This week turned out to be tougher than I had originally expected! Living alone is no joke; which is why when I do decide to move out, I am getting a dog.
Most of the week I was either working on my project, or spending a lot of time on itunes listening to music and/or watching (more like attempting to watch) tv.
Strange to say, I am starting to like the Portuguese language a lot more. It could be because I am surrounded by people that only speak this thus forcing me to like it. But at the same time, knowing that I can say, "I can communicate in 4 languages", brings me a lot of joy. Now I can say for certain that learning theory is not the best way to learn something. You need to actually go out and 'experimentar', and this can apply to any subject.
It is sad to say that I will miss Brazil. It has been good to me as I have been good to it. The environment and culture are the things I will miss the most. They way things work around here is not like in Miami. Although you do have your certain individuals here that are liars and thieves. But the majority of the population has have a certain trust that is no longer seen back at home. For example, at a Kilo restaurant, you can go and pick your portions, go outside and enjoy the food. After you have finished your meal and have had your drinks, you then go back inside and pay your dues. Back in Miami, any restaurant like this would probably not work. Now it is not fair to say that all citizens of Miami are like this, however unfortunately there are people that like to destroy this type of trust among latino-americans and thus why certain communities of White Americans detest latinos, especially in areas where the latino population is not common.
The culture here is also another ideal that I will miss. Here people have a different mentality when it comes to the meaning of life. Now I'm not going to say that the answer is 42, however the idea that they have is the reciprocal of ours back in the states. People here do not live to work. Here their biggest passion along with being brazilian is futebol (soccer). And while your can read in magazines and textbooks about Sugarloaf and the amazing Christ statue; these mere landmarks are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to experiencing the actual culture of Brazil. Culture is like an artists canvas. You can have a mere drawing of a portrait, or you can have a canvas infused with rich colors that define and makes it stand out above the rest. Passion is what creates the second canvas, and it is what the brazilians have.
I know, because I saw it. I experienced and I lived it. There is only one word that can describe what I felt when I experienced this and that word is: envy.
Envious of what they have as a country, and what we lack in America. Not to say that in latino areas of the United States you had some small groupings rooting for their country; ironic as they should be rooting for USA and not Argentina, Uruguay or Brazil. But when the whole country absolutely stops what they do, and I mean a complete shutdown of the entire workforce; this is the passion they have for what they love the most. It is not about the amount of money they make. Brazilians will cheer and scream no matter what size tv they have, or whether the channel is in HD and its being Tivo'ed.
I have seen this canvas of passion and explosive sentiments; and it definitely kills our view on life.
Countries throughout the world have their culture that is defined and solid. So intricately designed that to confuse one for the other would be taboo. Italy created their monumental masterpieces, and Brazil's love for soccer are some to be mentioned. I sometimes wonder what people think of our legacy. The creation of a privatized Federal Bank? The deprivation of solid education for our youth? The idea of having teachers think of our youth as $ dollar signs instead of students.
Envy is definitely the word I would use to describe Brazil's culture, and I have no regrets participating in the PIRE program. Out of my 4 years at Florida International University, this has been the best (and only so far) experience period. I would not trade the last 2 months for anything in the world and if I had the opportunity of doing this again, I would jump on it in a heartbeat.