Saturday, October 20, 2012


Sometimes I am an emotional wreck, I never really was before I had the emotional roller coaster experience that was my Youth Exchange.  I had one of these moments the other day when I was looking at airplane tickets, one-way, from Minneapolis to Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brasil and I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't help but tear up.

About a month ago I started to plan for a semester abroad to improve my Spanish and take care of most of my major credits that I have to complete still.  I looked at programs and eventually decided to apply for the most suitable one that happens to be in Venezuela.  When I was telling my best friend, Isa, about this, she asked if I was going to stop by when I was down there.  My first thought was that I couldn't possibly pull it off.  It would be too expensive and I wouldn't have enough time.  However, once the seed was planted I was hooked.  I had to go back, I had to make it happen.  In my mind it all made perfect sense, I was already taking a leave from work so why not incorporate this into it.  I hadn't planned on going back to Brasil until 2014 at the earliest, but this seemed too good to pass up.

I started talking to my brother, Henrique, and asking him if he'd be around in January for me to visit and if I could stay with them.  After a while of reassuring myself that it would all work out and that I wouldn't be a burden on my family, I contacted him and bought the ticket.

I am officially going back to Tangará da Serra!! I will spend the end of Decemeber and most of January with them before I continue on my way.  I was crying when I bought the ticket of how real this going home experience has become.  I can't wait for everything that comes with it.

On a sad note, one of my best friends, Hiago, was planning a trip to Minnesota to visit myself and Matthew at that exact time!  We may miss each other all together, which bothers me a lot because I miss him to pieces and want to see him, but I know that it will also be okay because he will finally get to see snow and the U.S. while using his english and that happiness of his is more important to me than seeing him in Brasil would be.  I am nervous however, I mean who wouldn't be?  I am going back and it isn't going to be the same, I am not going to be under any rules and I will be thrown back just as I was when I returned to the United States for the first time.  I can only hope that the "reverse culture shock" that I will go through will be hardly anything and it will seem like a mere homecoming/vacation!!

Some of the things I am most looking forward to are listening to my favorite type of sertanejo (country) music, maybe go fishing, going the farm and ride horses, dancing with my friends, eating açaí, and hanging out in the living room watching soap operas and movies with my family.  I also can't wait to go to church with my family and then again with my friend Isa and her family!  One of my last desires is to go out and party because I want to be able to experience all the small moments and the down time I had last time that were so important to me, but I've always been up and ready for anything!

Até logo, Brasil!
Aletha Rose Duchene