Looking back, I know that I will find this experience in Brazil to be one of the most memorable Summers of my life. One in which I met a lot of people, learned an entirely new language, and truly learned to live in equilibrium with a foreign country. I am already well into the stage of loving being here, but I must say that my transition into living abroad (after the rest of the group left the four of us staying for internships in early June) was an unbelievably emotional roller coaster. There was a point when I was first beginning my internship when I was really busy physically, but at the same time I felt completely alone. It was a feeling of homesickness that I’ve never experienced. When I pranced off to college I didn’t even think twice about absorbing WashU in as my home, I never felt the dreaded “homesickness”. But, in Brazil, in a country where I was just barely grasping the language, where I didn’t know anyone, I suddenly felt it.
When you find yourself in a situation like this, it is important to realize that time is on your side. In time you will meet the people who share the daily life around you. In time you will find the perfect yoga class or volleyball intramural team that meets every Friday. In time, you will get a better grasp on the language, a Samba dance instructor who is willing to give you lessons in English, and a local cafe that knows your daily afternoon order. In time, the area around you, though you might not call it home per say, will start to feel more familiar. And with this familiarity you will realize that you’ve learned to live in this foreign place, you’ve begun to find your own niche. At that point, well, it might just be time to travel again 😉
Sunset from UNICAMP