Gaining the Confidence of Speaking Another Language

Gabriel Varlack - Brazil


February 21, 2018

Having the ability to speak fluently in someone else's language after only a few months is truly a gift. It's truly been a struggle and allows you to get down on yourself if you're not getting the language as quickly as the other fellows in the cohort.

On my independent travel from São Paulo to Paraty and Rio, I hit an unexpected obstacle I was not ready for. The Airbnb that I had gotten was completely not as advertised. The place was in the middle of nowhere and was completely filthy with dirt and bugs both dead and alive. My allergies started acting up as soon as I got there and knew immediately that I had to go. The place was murky and of course the hostess was super creepy. I decided to stay one night to figure out how I was going to get to Rio a day earlier and stay there. I turned on the TV and watched Think Like a Man 2 while I tried to get all of the logistics figured out on the dysfunctional wifi. After an hour of going through the taxi numbers trying to get a taxi early in the morning for my bus to Rio, I concluded that the numbers were no longer in use. What made it worse was that Paraty had Uber except there was only one Uber car there which is nearly impossible to get. I finally got the bright idea to call hotels for numbers. After another hour of convincing hotels to give me their taxi contact even though I was not staying there, I was able to secure a taxi. I had 4 hours to sleep and then I'd be on my way to Rio. 

Sadly when I had woken up, the taxi driver had canceled the trip. At this point I was ready to haul my luggage for an hour to go grab my bus but I had woken up to late. I went back to the list of taxi numbers and tried one last number and it went through. I was expecting the number to be incorrect so I had no idea what to say when the taxi company picked up. After talking for a while, the taxi finally pulled up and got me to the bus station in time to buy the last seaton the bus to Rio.

It's moments like these that boost my confidence in learning a new language and remind me of why I came here. I've put in the time and the effort and it finally is starting tone more useful than it is a burden. Gaining confidence has truly advanced my ability to speak in Portuguese and can't wait till I come back to the states fluent in this language!


Gabriel Varlack