Monday, July 13, 2009

3 days...Just to Remember

The Southern Cross which is only possible to see when you are in the Southern Hemisphere

This sweaty Canadian's adventures in Brasil are sadly but surely coming to an end. For now. But I can assure you (well like 99.9%) that one day she will return and one day the adventures will continue. For right now I want her to remember that she is never allowed to forget. That is why this blog is here. So that in the future she will be able to rewind her mind like a movie and relive all of these experiences. To remember all the lessons she learned. Well, since I am talking to myself in the future I should technically say what "you" learned.
All the people you met, the friendships you made that are as far away in distance and as varying in nature as each star in the sky. Remember that you are a star and to always let your own light shine to help light up the world, especially when it is in the dark. Remember the person you brought with you to this strange new reality and the little pieces of that person that you left behind to remain scattered as an everlasting mark. More importantly remember the person that you found and took back with you,the one that became one and the same with the person you already were. Just like an expansion of yourself.
Remember the meaning of life is the choice you make to be happy. The power you have to respond to every situation and realize that love is truly and always the only choice. Doing this, you live every moment to its fullest which in turn leads to living life to the fullest. Remember to live now, because this is life, right now. Don't worry about what other people think. Just do what is in your heart. In doing this you will have no regrets. Say what needs to be said. Always. Because the moment that passes with the unsaid words still hanging in the air may have been the only one chance you were given. Take every chance you get, embrace every new opportunity. Remember that there are unlimited possibilities with what you can do with this life. So just do it. Live. Live and only look back to remember what you learned. Give like you have given without thinking of what you will be given in return. Remember this feeling that you have right now of complete and utter joy. Never lose your self to the tangle of wordly worries, and if you do, realize how easily it is to find yourself again. Because your true self never leaves. Now tell me what more you have learned and if you remembered. Because I believe right now that it would have been impossible for you to have forgotten. So remember. Just remember. Don't just remember, but know. Know that in wherever place you are that is where you are meant to be. Home is where the heart is and your heart is always with you so you are always home. Go and live it all, give it all. Most of all; love. And remember one last thing; I love you......infinity. There is no end.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

4 days!

I moved families!! I am now back with my first host family. Yesterday I went with my host brother to his friend's house and then walked back home. We danced some Michael Jackson which was pretty funny. I got ready to go to the Roteract meeting. It was at the place where they always give speeches and stuff. I met many people there that I knew and saw Natalia (the one who I went to her house) and Carol. I sat with them. But then a person from Roteract came and said that they would call my name and I would have to go sit up at the front as a guest. So they called my name after it had started and I went. At one point I was the only girl. Then near the end the special guests were invited to get up and say a few words. I wasn't planning on going but then all the Roteract people said my name, so I went up. To their disbelief for many of them. I thanked them for inviting me and talked about how Roteract and Rotary is such a good thing and it is so nice to see the young people of Roteract wanting to make the world a better place. Then I talked about how well the city had received me and how I was happy yet very sad at the same time to be leaving.
Afterwards I went to a dinner/party. I returned home and went to sleep at 2:00am!
Today I went to lunch with my second host family and their friends. It was nice, we took lots of pictures. Now I am trying to get all the pictures off of the computer at my second host house so I can take them on CD's to Canada. My host sister Tatianna is helping me.

Remember: Your city here is just like a big family! Every new person you meet is more often than not already related to somebody that you already know!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

9 days, good-byes and then some dirt and english

One more of these pictures for ya of me as a human farm doll. :)

Today I had my good-bye rotary meeting in the morning. Everyone stood and said something about me and wished me good luck. Then I thanked Rotary for everything at the end. I got a little teary. There were Rotarians from the two other clubs there as well. It is kind of funny because I was the only exchange student in my town so I got to know all three clubs.
I got some presents too! A face towel and large towel with my name and initials embroidered in them! They also have the flag of Brazil and the flag of my state here. I also got a t-shirt that was from the, well it is the best way I can translate it, "vodka festival" here that Rotary volunteered for. The type of drink is actually called "Cachaça". I also got a DVD of a Rotary party from a Rotarian from another club.
I received an "honorary diploma" for completing school here too! I doubt that they will accept it when I go back though. I guess I will just repeat grades 11-12 lol. But how many people can honestly say that they have legitimately graduated twice? Lol.
My first host Dad and host sister were there along with my second host parents. My second host mom also won a certificate from Rotary International for all her help with the exchange program! I thought that was pretty cool.
I didn't go to school but returned home. I started to pack most of my clothes because I will be returning to the house of my first family this Thursday. I watched Michael Jackson's funeral on T.V and cried. He brought a lot to the world, despite any mistakes he made. We are all human.
My host dad came and picked me up at 3:00pm to go to his work. He owns a business that analyzes soil. It was very interesting. I asked him many questions which led to me finding out that this region in Brazil was once under water millions of years ago. This area now is a savannah. The driest semi-arid region in Brazil is in the northeast in Bahia. It also happens to be the poorest. I wonder if climate has something to do with it. It probably makes living more difficult, I mean with less water and all.
Filipe and Laiza came knocking after and I walked with them to their English school. The boy named Lucas who didn't believe that I was from Canada was there again. This time he believed me I think. Then I went home and saw my host mom going into the house. She had taken the bus and then walked. She gave me a yellow bag that people at her work wanted me to have as a present. It was very nice of them.

Remember: you lived in a savannah! ( I don't know if that is how you spell it)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just Dance.....It will be okay

Izze, Andressa, Me, and Bia

Trip to Patos

I left after dance class on Tuesday with Ana-Paula my dance teacher. We went on the ônibus. It was a three hour ride. I got in touch with Ben (Oregon, U.S.A) and Carmen (Pennsylvania, U.S.A). We met at the shopping center and then went to an exchange student's good-bye party. Her name was Leonie. She was from Germany but she was using a program different than Rotary. I saw exchange students that I already met and some new ones. It was really fun.
The next day was pretty busy, I woke up early because Ben had asked me to go to school with him and Sebastian (Sweden) but when I called him he was still sleeping!! So Ana-Paula and I went back to bed and woke up later to go shopping with Carmen. I bought them chocolate and then we went to a park to eat it. Later I went to a concert with Jurin from Iceland playing violin and then went to a good-bye party. We went to a restaurant and I met a woman who was American and had been an exchange student in Brazil in 1977 or something like that. She was with her Brazilian friend who had gone to Texas. It was interesting to talk to her about how Brazil was different back then. She went to the city Brasilia (the capital of Brazil) when it was only a few years old and she said that there was barely anything there!
We went back to the good-bye party after. Ben came and I wrote him a message in his book. Then everyone got ready to leave and because three exchange students were leaving everyone was crying. I felt kind of out of place and just awkwardly danced to the music. The exchange students in Patos were such a close knit group, like a family. It is funny because I just randonly showed up in their city the day before almost half of them left!! So there were lots of tears. Maybe at least I made some of them laugh.
I went back to Ben's house and he finished packing (even though he had to go catch the bus in like ten minutes!) and then later I went with Carmen and got dropped off by Ben's host dad at Ana-Paula's house.
Ben's host sister was so sad that he was leaving that she got sick! I felt really bad for her. I also met Brazilian's who are going to have exchanges in Germany, one was named Lucas and the other Pedro (but people called him Guatamala).
The next day I woke up at around 5:00am and caught the ônibus at 6:00am. I walked back home, slept, had a shower, then went to dance!

11 Days

I have been so busy lately. I have not been able to write in here everyday, I should have realized that things would be hectic since my exchange is winding down. I will just update you with a summary. Some how the only thing that sticks out in my mind is how I went to my friend's birthday party and while I was waiting to get picked up with Arthur, somebody spit over the side of a balcony in the apartment building and it landed dead center on top of my hand. I just can't seem to remove that experience from my mind. There, now maybe you can be stuck with the image too. Hahah sorry.

Remember: People clap after the National Anthem, do we do that in Canada?
How it is nearly impossible to walk down a crowded street non-stop here because you know everyone and they all stop to talk!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kiki Saved the Dance

Me with my host mother and brother before going to Ester's Birthday Party

Mateus dressed up for "Festa Junina"

My costume!! :)

18 days

So yesterday Helena picked me up and dropped me off at school for the "Festa Junina". There were many people there and I met up with my friends from another school. I also saw my friends from my grade working there. The money earned will go towards their graduation party in around November. I ate a type of food made from corn that seemed to also have a taste of cinnamon to it. It had peanuts as well. It was a kind of a soup. It came in a cup. I liked it.
I left at 8:45 pm to go to Rotary. I put my blazer on top of my costume. I must have looked pretty darn rad in that outfit. During the ceremony they called my name once so I stood up then sat down. Then when it was my Rotary Club's President's turn he called my name as well. Except he asked me to come to the front. I was really not expecting that to happen. So I went up, flushed, to the front. Everyone looked at me in my strange clothing and laughed as I posed for photos. I can't explain what came over me but I made my monkey face for one. I hope it turned out good. My president talked about me and my exchange and thanked me. I thanked him and shook his hand. Then I went back to the table.
By the time my first host father dropped me off at school again the dance that I was supposed to be in had alreay begun!! I panicked at first but then tried very slyly to slip in the line with everyone else. The only problem was that my partner had found himself another partner! Although I do not blame him for it, I would have done the same thing if need be. That was not the issue though, the issue was that his new partner did not want to let me dance with him. I suggested that we should both stay and it would be funny because he would have two girls. He did not seem pleased at the idea and started making frantic hand motions from the line he was in on the other side of the floor. His facial expressions looked a bit panicked. To not cause any more confusion I bowed off the dance floor.
My friends came and asked me what happened. I explained. Without a second thought my friend Kaique linked arms with me and said "Vamos" (lets go). He lead me into line. The funny thing was he had no costume, didn't go to the school, and had never rehearsed. Yet he did everything right and didn't mess up once. Except for maybe when he started to lead me to the middle of the circle, which was not our part but I told him and we went back. But I was happy after because at least I got to dance.
I apologized to my first partner though, I feel really bad that I was late. I did my best though, I mean, I was almost two places at once. I guess it is still impossible though. Yet one can't help but try.
Thank goodness that Kaique is so spontaneous and had the guts to dance with me. He even managed to lift me up at the part where "the snake was gonna get me". Thanks Kiki, it meant a lot.

Today I went to lunch with Helena and Washington. It was at some sort of German Club or something. There was "Churrasco" (type of barbecued meat) which was good. I showed the Buddhist "Sensei" from Japan how to "Foho" (partner dance). He seemed to like it, he laughed a lot when I showed him the video. He has been in Brazil for five months. He tried to return to Japan but was put in quarantine because of the pig flu so never got to see his family. He has just returned to Brazil now and has been here for three days. I talked a mixture of Portuguese, English, and Japanese with him.
I went to Sergio-Toolio's house for the "Buddhism Class" except there was not translator this time so it was only in Japanese. Because of this my second host mom let me take a nap on the couch. Hehehe.
I went back to my second host mom's house and had dinner then returned to my third host family. Tomorrow I will go to school and then Tuesday I will go to school, then dance, and then go with my dance teacher to a city called "Patos" where I will be able to see some of my exchange friends. It is the city of "Ducks" because "Patos" means "Ducks" in Portuguese. I will return on Thursday. Until then!!

Remember: Brazilian's like their meat. Especially barbecued.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Festa Junina (June Fest)

20 Days

I went to school and during school I rehearsed the dance for "Festa Junina". My partner is a boy named Fabio-Lucas from the first year (grade ten). It went well and was really fun. I came home ate lunch etc. then returned to school in the evening to have another rehearsal. I saw my twin friends while I walked past the English school and talked to them for a bit. They are really nice. The rehearsal went well again. It is funny because in the dance the teacher yells out things that we have to do and everybody does them. For example, she will say "chuva" which means rain and our partners have to use their hands to shield us from the imaginary rain. Or she will say "cobra" (snake) and our partners have to pick the girls up. I think I may have hurt some of their backs. During the last rehearsal my partner just pretended to pick me up. Then near the end the guys have to go in turn and get out a present from a box for the girls. When Carol went up with Pablo he jumped into the box and then came out of it. Hahahha. Pri's boyfriend gave her a real rose and then kissed her. Everyone ooed and awed. I walked home with Mateus, Arthur, Fabricio, and a boy that I only know as "pear". I watched Transformers with Mateus and part of Spider-man 2 then went to sleep.

19 Days

Helena came in the morning and I gave her my Rotary blazer because she would pick me up at the "Festa Junina" and take me to the Rotary Club so I needed her to have my blazer so I could change into it. I don't know how I am going to do it because I am supposed to be at two places at once; Rotary and the dance for "Festa Junina". Hopefully it will all work out.
I went with Mamãe and Mateus and got a traditional dress to dance in. I rented it for R$30.00. It is black with pink, green, and yellow bows and stripes. It is short and I wear frilly yellow shorts underneath and a blue fluffy thing, well, to make it fluffier. It is cute. I will wear my hair in two braids with colorful ribbons and have colorful make-up including really rosy cheeks with painted on freckles.
I watched "the End Times" with my host family on T.V before lunch. That is just the translation it makes into English but I don't know for sure if that is what it is actually called. It is about everyone dying because of this toxin the plants release. It was interesting.
After lunch Mateus washed the dishes wearing his old superman cape from when he was little. He took the dish washing soap and sprayed me with it...*sigh* brothers. I washed my undergarments after outside and hung them to dry. Now I am just going to get ready to go to my school for the party in a little bit.

Remember: People usually don't have dryers here but hang the clothes to dry. Sometimes they don't have washing machines either and the clothes get washed by hand. Mostly the maids wash the clothes though. So maybe you can understand why somedays I was a little more smellier, the guilt of making somebody sweat for me made me wear my clothes as many times over as possible.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Host Dad's birthday,.....MJ's final day...

22 Days

I went to school and then Isadora's Dad drove Carol and I home. I ate lunch and watched some television when Filipe came over. I invited him in and then I walked with him to his school so he could work on a project. Many people were there like Marina, Nati-Yumi, Luiza, Lu, Yasmine, Matteus etc. Their presentation was interesting it was about how there is no wrong or right, just what is best for you in your life. I gave them chocolate after. Nati-Yumi talked to me about an idea some of the girls had about travelling to Canada when they turn 15. Instead of having a debutante party they would come to Calgary! I told them it was a great idea and of course they could stay with me.
I walked with them down the road until I turned to go to Carol's house. We talked and then watched some episodes from a series called, "Dexter". It was interesting but twisted, about a murderer who kills for "good reasons".
When I went to leave it was getting dark. I asked Carol if my host mom would be worried if I walked. She said it was ok. I tried to phone but had no credit on my cell. I ended up seeing my host mom in her car and she said it was too dark to be walking. I apologized. Then when I got home I made the house alarm go off because I got one number wrong in the code to turn it off and she had to return to help me! I felt so bad!! But we worked it out so that is the important part. I wrote down the code for the alarm on a piece of paper so that I will never forget it.

21 Days

I went to school, then home, ate, and then went to dance. I talked to my Dad in Canada on the phone. He is doing well, he told me about my little brother Sebastian who is in Colombia that when he saw the full moon he yelled my name at the top of his lungs. As if I were in the moon or something. It reminded me of when I taught him and my other brother Bryan about the moon. One night the sky was dark and there was a huge full moon and my little brother Bryan gasped and said, "beautiful!" I told him it was called, "moon". He repeated the word slowly and tentatively, "mooo-ooon." Feeling how it felt to make the smooth sound. And then ever since then when the moon came out he would point and say it. I guess they still haven't forgotten, even though it has been close to two years since I have seen them.
I called my first host father because it was his birthday. He said that he would come by to pick me up. My first host sister had also arrived from another city. I went to their house and there were many other people who came. We ate some delicious cake. Then I returned home really late, took a shower and went to bed.

Remember: Michael Jackson is really well known is Brazil and people really like his music. That is probably because he is well known around the world. R.I.P Michael.