Monday, February 21, 2011

Life as of Late

I have been a very busy person over the last month and a half. I spent all of January traveling the Northeast Coast of Brasil on two buses with 100 other exchange students. It was absolutely amazing! We started in Brasilia, which was a 25 hour bus ride away from my city. Then we made our way over to Maceió, our first city on the ocean. We went to Lençois in between, which was a wonderful place to hike and explore. From Maceió we made our way up the coast, spending 4 days in Fortaleza. After Fortaleza we begin our descent hitting cities such as Recife, Natal, Porto Seguro, Porta das Galinhas, until we arrived in Rio de Janeiro. I ended my journey crying, but in a good way. I had made amazing friends over the month from all over the world and all over Brasil.

I got back home and the first night went to a graduation party with my parents. The next day my brother arrived from the city where he was moving to, to go to college. He passed in a university for Civil Engineering. After about a week (I started school again), my sister and her boyfriend came up from the same city where my brother was moving (they live there [Campo Grande]), and they announced their engagement. They are getting married in July of this year, they've been dating for 7 years. Then as they were all going to Campo Grande (even my mom to help my brother set everything up) they invited me to come. Literally they invited me about 9:00 that day, they were leaving at 2. Of course I accepted.

We spent the week there together and visiting family. My brother was moving there and my sister (whom got offered a great job in my city) was moving back with us. It was emotional saying goodbye. Within my first 6 months in Brasil (apart from January traveling) I have spent maybe 1 week away from my brother. I would consider him my best friend, we do everything together, and I feel like I've known him forever. It was hard saying goodbye, because the next time he comes back to visit, I won't be in their house anymore. We used to spend all of our free time visiting about things, joking around, drinking tereré at 2:00 in the morning, watching movies, going to the gym, or hanging out with our friends together. We were even in the same class in school. Brasil isn't/won't be the same without him, but I'll adjust.

We went to Campo Grande by bus, we came back by car with my uncle driving. Travel was long because there was a lot of traffic, but towards night it thinned out. The only problem was that the roads in every state except mine, are wonderful. My state's roads are full of potholes and rough patches, especially the part between my town and the capital (the last 3 hours). Our time changed back from the summer hour, so it got dark very early. We ended up hitting a couple pot holes and got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. My uncle ended up changing it and we went slowly the rest of the way to not hit more pot holes and end up stranded. We also had some problem with bad connection with the battery of the car and it would throw sparks whenever we hit potholes, so we had to fix that. We should have arrived at 6:00 that night, we got in at 11:00, but we got there safe.

I went back to school today which was normal.

My english is worsening everyday, but my family considers me fluent in Portuguese, which is a good thing. I'm making new friends everyday and I switch families soon. My new family has a stay at home artist mom, two sons (one was an exchange student to Germany and they both are taking classes in a town far away), and my new dad who owns the largest chicken butchering company in the area (ironic, né?). I'm excited to experience this new family but I'm devastated to leave my family, the family that welcomed me into their home for the last 6 1/2 months. I also find it weird to call someone else "mãe" or "pai". You may be thinking, but hey Aletha you already had your real mom and dad and you had no problem calling someone else mom and dad for 6 1/2 months, what's the difference now? Well my dear readers, the difference is that I have one mom and dad, one madre and padre (costa rica), and one mãe and pai, I'm sure I'll get used to it, but in the beginning it'll be strange to have another mãe and pai, especially to have two in the same city. I feel like I'm going to be cheating on my first family.

Through all of this I've realized that I'll be home, at the latest, in 5 months. I don't want to go home, not now anyways. I'm nowhere near emotionally ready to leave. I mean don't get me wrong I can't wait to see my family again and eat home cooked meals. I can't wait to start working again and to study things I can completely comprehend. However, I can't imagine my world without Brasil. I'm having a really hard time thinking about having to go back, and of course I will, but I can promise you that I'll be visiting Brasil every time I get a chance.

Até mais.
Aletha Duchene

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