Risotto and Responsibilities

Fernanda Tornell - Brazil


January 31, 2017

Yesterday after eating more than two bowls of the delicious “risoto de lula” that my host mom made, Kenya and I were laying down on my bed almost in a food coma, talking and talking about everything and nothing at the same time. Eventually we started discussing a common topic that always ends up sneaking its way into our conversations: how little time we have left in our host countries and how different life will be like when we go back home. She casually asked me what I am going to miss most about life here in Florianopolis. Almost immediately I replied, “the freedom”.

What did I mean by that?

Well, in only two months I will be leaving my host family, my job, my friends, the beach- every single thing that has become a part of my life here in Brazil! I am obviously extremely pumped to go back to California and hug my family and tell them all the experiences I have lived and all the things I have learned. But with going back home comes responsibility.

While living here, I have the freedom to basically do whatever I want when I want to (while keeping it #gcb of course..). I do have a job and that’s almost the only responsibility that I have to focus my energy to, everything else is up to me. Back home I already have a ton of tasks lined up and I will not be able to have the freedom that I do here. The freedom to go to the beach whenever I want to, the freedom to take three buses to the other side of the island just to visit a fellow Fellow, or even the simple freedom to lay on my hammock for hours listening to my surroundings until every inch in my body is covered with mosquito bites. Back home, I will have so many more responsibilities to take care of and no team of people trained to help me when I am struggling. It will all be up to me (I will have to learn to develop a “Belkis” within myself).

With that said, as my bridge year is coming to its end, I am starting to feel more and more ready to go back home and take on all of those challenges that will come my way. Every day I am feeling more and more confident that I have within me what it takes to be a responsible adult (or at least the confidence to attempt to be one). And because I am surrounded with such incredibly intelligent people everyday, I am becoming more and more eager to learn as much as possible about myself as well as the world.

It feels almost surreal to say that I only have two months left of the life I have been living for the past 4 months. And it is now that I am realizing that as ready as I am to go home, I have to go out of my way to make every day a the best day. And that  I need to take advantage of the freedom and independence that comes along with my bridge year in order to continue it being the best decision I have ever made.

Fernanda Tornell