Friday, September 28, 2012

Oh my god, Avery cooked something?

Well hello again.
I know I titled my last post "Settled In" but I have been here for almost two months (doesn't that just automatically make me half Brazilian?) and am even more settled in and very comfortable with my situation. Life is pretty normal here so there isn't too much to talk about, but I'll try and hit on some things that I haven't told you about yet.

Life here is a lot simpler than my life back in the United States. I say this for a couple of reasons. Here, people aren't constantly running around trying to cram as many things into their day as humanly possible. Most nights, at about 6 or 7pm, we decide what we want to eat for dinner and then one or two of us walk about a block down to the little market to buy just what we need for dinner and breakfast the next day. We live on more of a day by day basis. Here, I spend more time at home, more time reading, more time doing simple things that I didn't leave time for while I was in the US.

Speaking of reading, I used to be quite the reader. I probably read all of the Harry Potter books at least three times each, and if you go waaaaay back, I used to be a huge Magic Tree House fan. Unfortunately, when I entered High School and started filling my free time with friends, girls (shhhh), soccer, and all the other freedoms that come with being older and having a car, I stopped reading for pleasure. Here in Brazil, my downtime has increased exponentially compared to the downtime I left for myself back in Northfield and I use a lot of this downtime to read. I am really glad I have this opportunity because I absolutely love it. I forgot that when I read while laying on my back and holding my book above me, my hand gets sore after a little while. I forgot how my contacts get dry after about 50 straight pages. I have been reunited with my love of reading, and I am fairly certain that this wouldn't have happened if I had moved straight from my busy lifestyle in Northfield to a busy college lifestyle. Just another fantastic thing about Rotary Youth Exchange.

IT FINALLY RAINED. So, after about five weeks of living in sauna-esque heat all day every day, I was about ready to evaporate. But one day, I think it was a Saturday, it just started POURING. It was fantastic. It was super windy and stormy and finally a little bit cold. My favorite part was later that night when the air was so wonderfully fresh and brisk. Now it rains a little bit every couple of days and I am pretty sure the average daily temperature has dropped a little.

My family here is still fantastic. As always. I have created great bonds with my family, especially my host mother and two host brothers. They are always super willing to help me with my Portuguese and are just very helpful in any and every possible way. Another great party of my family is my unbearably cute little niece. I a box of brazilian chocolates in my room and every time she comes over to our house she pays a visit to my room to have a little chocolate and listen to some music.

I went to an american football game here in my city. To be honest, it was quite hilarious, and i'm pretty sure our good ol' Northfield Raiders could give both Sinop (my city team) and Sao Paulo (opponent) a good whoopin. There was no admission cost and there were only about 50 people at the game. But it was a good experience and I am glad I went. It gave me a chance to practice my Portuguese while trying to explain all the rules to my two host brothers.

Last weekend I made Pao de Queijo with my host mom and host sister. Pao de Queijo is a very popular brazilian food. It's like a little cheesy, doughy ball of goodness. Anyways, it was super fun and it was a fun way to help out and build more of a relationship with my host sister who I don't get to see very often.

Just a little background information about myself. I'm pretty much useless when it comes to cooking anything besides cereal or a cheese tortilla. BUT last Sunday, I went outside my comfort zone (YAY! Rotary!) and made ham and cheese omelets for my family. I cut the ham and the peppers, mixed the eggs, shredded the cheese and to my surprise, actually succeeded in making three, edible omelets. My next adventure in the kitchen will be to make chocolate chip cookies with the little bag of cookie mix that I brought with me from MN.

I leave for Sao Paulo on Monday for a short trip with my host mom and sister. Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the Americas, and the southern hemisphere. We have an 8 hour bus ride to Cuiaba starting at 11pm on Monday night and then on Tuesday we fly to Sao Paulo where the adventure begins!

Until next post!

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