I started off this gap year with a blog post. The night before I left for
Brazil, I rushed to put together a couple paragraphs on how excited I was
for this year in order to meet the requirement of having at least one blog
post written before arriving in-country. While it was written in a hurry, I
meant everything I wrote, and as I wrote my blog post, I had every
intention to continue with it while in Brazil. However, as it usually does,
my imagination strayed too far from reality and as the five-month mark
passed by, a second blog post was nowhere to be seen.
But you see, I can’t just start writing now. No, that would be skipping
over the five amazing months that I’ve spent here already. So let’s go back
in time.
I am not a writer – I never have been, and even if I were, I wouldn’t be a
very good one, that’s one of the reasons why this blog is so devoid of,
well, everything. But I do like taking pictures. So I figured I’d go month
by month, sharing my memories with you in the form of photographs
(disclaimer: most of which I am not in), and maybe by the time I’ve caught
up to now, I’ll be able to continue with it until the end. Either way, by
then I’ll have satisfied the program requirements.

So here’s what happened in September:

September 7. I met my new host family. In the picture (from left to right),
there’s my host mom, Deia, and my two brothers, Vini (16) and Chris (13).
(I also have a host dad, Vilmar, and a host sister, Duda (19), but they
weren’t at home when we took this picture).

September 16-17. All of the Fellows in Garopaba got together for our first
GCY meeting, known as Catch 1. We ranted about our problems, talked about
our feelings, joked around a lot, and had a ton of fun canoeing out on the
lake together.

September 18. My first day at my apprenticeship. I work for an organization
called Monitoramento Mirim Costeiro that works with children to foster
their interest in caring for their coastal environment and advocates for
clean oceans by raising awareness about the dangers of leaving trash on the
beach. They have this Mini Museu do Mar (Mini Museum of the Sea) where they
collect various types of sand, shells, and marine creatures for kids to
learn about.

September 19. After waking up early to take a different bus to language
class, I still somehow managed to miss it. I decided that instead of
sleeping for the next hour and a half until the next bus came, I would make
the two-hour long walk to town that I had wanted to do since arriving. I
brought my camera along and took these pictures (and many others) while I
explored my new community.

September 26. A few of us in Garopaba decided to get together one day in
between language classes and play beach volleyball.

September 27. On my first outing with my apprenticeship, we took classes
from the schools of Macacu, Siriú, and Gamboa to Praia da Gamboa (Gamboa
Beach) to go whale watching.