A very influential part of my trip was one special guy that goes by the name of Nicholas, N-swizzle, or N-dog for short. Nick was the closest fellow to me in my home stay. He’s the one who I angrily called when I was frustrated to the point of tears, he’s the one who would meet me in town on what seemed to be very very long days to share a smoothie, and he’s the one who joined me to farm on the far away organic farm we worked on when the schools closed. However, Nick and I were not what one could call instant friends.
Before we were placed in our permanent home stays near each other, we had barely exchanged a conversation. For the first month or so, we never exchanged more than a few e-mails about navigating the city. This was also pretty unusual for our regional cohort. Jaxom and Camila, who lived in the small bairro (burrow) called Macacu of our neighborhood, lived a mere 200 feet from each other. Through their host families, they were in a way cousins. They went to parties together, went to church together, and hung out quite a lot. The other two fellows in our regional cohort, August and Paulina, worked in different sections of the same organic farm, and seemed to spend a lot of time together too.
Nick did not live near me. To get to Nick’s house I had to take a 15 minute bus ride, he didn’t even live in my town. When we actually started talking, we were very open about the fact that we would NEVER have chosen each other to live near in country, and we had no idea why we were even placed together. We talked about how we were afraid we wouldn’t get along. For the first month or so, we didn’t.
One of the things that Nick did that really flustered me was he would constantly ask me if I was okay.” I viewed it as one of those annoying things people say when you stub your toe. “Are you okay?!?!” Well yes