Grounding

Julia Bräunig


October 13, 2018

It’s been a little more than a month and I feel strangely normal and real in my routine.
There’s my apprenticeship at the church and I feel so welcomed by the children there. They mostly come from low-income households and seem to lack a lot of attention at home, which is why they quickly opened up to me and started welcoming me with happy hugs right from day 2.
I already taught them a German christmas song in preparation for their celebrations in December and, as expected, they really disliked the language (I can totally understand). But they were so happy to learn something new and gave me their full attention learning “Lasst uns froh und munter sein” and I felt, surprisingly, very glad being able to share some of the things I grew up to with them.

Then, there are portuguese classes on Fridays, and I must say I am always filled with joy meeting my fellows and learning about their experiences (and also jumping back into my linguistic comfort zone once in a while).
Portuguese is, suprisingly also, going really well and the more I understand the conversations within my host family, the more I feel motivated to study harder.

Grounding, which seemed hard in the beginning in such a different environment, now gets easier every day, and my daily bus rides and closeness to the stunning nature really help. The beaches are more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Also, I signed up in a gym and take dance classes there (and embarrass myself, typical “Gringa”).
The elections have really shook the country and EVERYBODY seems to talk about them 24/7 a which was at first pretty strange to me because political opinions are often big taboos when starting a conversation where I come from. Anyways, I’m looking forward to see how things develop and keep getting grounded!

Julia Bräunig