Well this past weekend marked my first week in Coronel Fabriciano, Minas Gerais, Brasil. Many great things happened this weekend
1. I could actually start to understand what people were saying to me!
This was a huge step for my progress of learning the language and becoming more settled here, for this is my home for the next 10 months.
2. I went to my first professional soccer game.
My brother, father, cousin and I attended the Atletico MG vs Figurense game. Having been around soccer my whole life and always enjoying to watch the game, seeing people excited to watch soccer and seeing how the fans reacted was amazing. One thing that confused me more than anything was how bipolar the fans were. One minute they would chant "kill the team, hang them. etc" and the next they would yell "GALLO! you can do it you can pull this game around and win". I will never understand how quickly their minds can change just because the ball was being dribbled close to the goal.
3. I traveled to the mountian.
My brother, interact club, some rotarians, and I traveled to Cocatias (excuse my spelling but that was as close as I could guess would be the correct name). They donated books to the local rotary library for poor families and children along with clothes. It was insane to see how people lived in the middle of nowhere, but again was a totally efficient society with bars, resturants, and a "mini mart". After we were done with the donations to the library we traveled to a waterfall. When I say waterfall i do not mean anything near Niagra Falls in New York or even Gooseberry Falls in Minnesota. This waterfall was running over a somewhat flat rock "hill". Basically, it was natures way of making a waterslide. It was so fun sliding down it, even when Wesley and I went too high, got too much air, and landed on our butts. They still hurt today if anyone was wondering.
4. One thing I will NEVER become accustomed to is how much Brasillians eat. Wesley says he needs to eat every 3 hours because he is always hungry. I do not understand how you can eat a large meal, then a mere 3 hours later be hungry again! I feel like everyone thinks i am loco because I do not like to eat as much as they do. Here is the best way for me to explain Wesley's meal plans: breakfast, lunch, snack, "dinner", snack snack. and mine would be somewhere along the lines of lunch and a snack for dinner.
5. I stand out like a sore thumb.
This weekend whenever Wesley and I left the house we seemed to notice that whenever I open my mouth people start to stare because it is obvious that I do not beling here. Not only do I look different but the fact that I do not speak Portuguese shows them I do not belong as much as a sign on my back saying "Yes, I do not belong here, I am fro Minnesota USA" would. I absolutley hate all that attention.
6. I love having a brother!
Wesley is the first male other than my father I have ever lived with. We get along so well and we are acting as much as brother and sister as a blood brother and sister would. We pick on eachother, but get along great he is hilarious. The other night at dinner he told me "I love you because you are my sister, but I will still kill you". He also likes to shock me with electric fly swatters, but we have an amazing relationship. I do not know what I am going to do when he leaves for France on the 27th of August.
And of course I miss my family and boyfriend, it is natural to miss then when I have seen them everyday for the past 18 years, the language barrier also makes it harder because there are not many people I can talk to. I was always the one person who was always loud and talkative, now is the total opposite. I can only speak very few phrases. My mother (real mother) asked me if I was lonley. I never thought of it as that type of feeling untill she asked and now I have realized how lonley I truely am. The only times I do not feel as lonley are when I am with Wesley or my rotary councler because they speak English and can more easily realate to me and really know how I am feeling when i try to explain it.
I am hoping over these next couple weeks the language barrier will be less of a problem so I can feel like I belong here, and am not just another "intercambista dos Estados Unidos"