Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I'm done predicting World Cup games, and one more thing...

I predicted Germany would beat Italy, and Italy won 2x0. My other prediction still stands, but my third place and final predictions obviously don't. So my last remaining prediction is that Portugal beats France tomorrow. I hope I'm right.

Also, here is my last post from Curitiba in English. Again, people looking to learn Portuguese from my blog should give up because:
a) my Portuguese sucks
b) these translations are not literal.
Now that that's out of the way, here is just a lame writeup I did earlier. I wrote this after walking home from lunch and getting depressed as hell realizing that this whole experience is almost over. I think I almost started to cr... HAHA fooled ya.

As I lie here relaxing in my bed, listening to the music of one of my new favorite Brazilian bands, I’m thinking about my last six months here in Brazil. Five of these six months has been in Curitiba, “the people’s city”. In my experiences in Brazil, Curitiba is one of the best cities to live in. The city is safe, it has little poverty, plenty of businesses to work at and, in my opinion, the quality of life is probably better than the rest of Brazil.

I’ve made a lot of friends in this city; friends that I hope stay with me my whole life. The first day of classes at UFPR, everyone offered to help me with the language, my way around the city and with finding the best restaurants, bars and clubs in the city. I could talk to them all about politics, history, but even more I could make crazy jokes and talk bad about the USA (obviously quite important to me).

I’m a pretty lucky guy that there are some Brazilians going to study in the USA this coming semester. Rachel and Julia are both really cool girls, and although I don’t know much about Stefani, I’m sure he’s a cool guy. Rachel is going to UNCC, Julia to USC and Stefani to WSSU. UFSC has two people going to the USA and UFBA has three going. This is really important to the development of my language skills in Portuguese. I have already talked to Rachel saying that I am not going to speak English with her. I did invite her to Gooncamp and also told her that I could take her to a football game (Go Panthers!)

Beyond the people of Curitiba, I’ve made stronger friendships with Ana Paula and Fernanda from Santa Catarina, and also with Marcos and Rogerio from Bahia. And aside from the Brazilians, I’ve made friendships with two Americans that I never would have made without coming to Brazil. Matt is a guy from Ohio and Rebecca a girl from South Carolina. I hope these friendships last a long time.

When I got to Brazil my Portuguese was bad. I knew 15 verbs in the present tense and maybe 20 other words. Everyday I thought to myself that I had not learned anything, but when I read my old texts compared to my new texts (such as my long paper) I realized that I have actually learned a lot.

Yesterday I really couldn’t wait any longer to get out of Curitiba. I have been here, without leaving, for four months. I still want to leave and see more of the country, but slowly I realize that Curitiba seems like a home and after eating lunch today with Leonardo and Athos, while I walked to the house, I got kind of sad because it’s a little bit depressing to leave all of this; the house, my friends, the parks and really just the city.

But I am going to São Paulo, Rio, Belo Horizonte and Ouro Preto, Fortaleza, Recife and Porto de Galinhas, and Salvador, so four new cities and I really don’t know how many new places in actuality. I’ll see my friends in São Paulo and Salvador, make new friends in Rio, meet up with Becca and her sister in Belo Horizonte and travel with them for a week. This whole trip will be good practice with the language and I’ll learn a lot of the other aspects of Brazilian culture.

I’ve already been to quite a few places, including Florianópolis, Ilha do Mel, Morretes, Antonina, Foz do Iguaçu, São Paulo, Salvador, Recife and Porto de Galinhas, and during all these trips I have learned more of the language and culture than I could have learned by staying in Paraná or without traveling. I have gone to popular tourist spots and to some places where not even natives of the city of have, and on this adventure I am learning a lot and meeting a lot of people.

I have been thinking of ways of coming back next year, maybe by doing research before I start graduate school, or maybe teaching English. I still don’t know, but I know that the instant I arrived in Brazil I loved it. The people of Brazil are a lot different than those in the USA, at least more so than a lot of the people I know or have known. They have invited me to stay at their houses when I return; they’ve taken me to excellent restaurants and to awesome clubs and concerts. I wish I could buy each people that I have gotten to know in Brazil a beer or cachaça of their choice.

I don’t have much else to say, but there is one thing that is clear, and that is that I really don’t want to leave Brazil. The country to me seems like home and I just feel really comfortable here, without making myself stressed and without the pressure of day-to-day life.

To end, I’d just like to thank these people for supporting me and giving me a great chance to do such an awesome and educational thing:
• Dr. Anderson for teaching me some Brazilian culture and the language of the Brazilians
• Katrena for telling me of the program and encouraging me to take the classes required
• Caio for being an awesome friend
• Andre for always helping me with my Portuguese
• Dr. Lima for giving me the motivation to do good work for the conference and for my research paper
• All of my Curitibano friends
• Caroline for understanding that I needed to leave and do this
• Mom for giving me money! And also for supporting me throughout this whole adventure ☺
• And to Rebecca for being a great friend to me these last six months.

That’s it, so bye everyone and I’ll be seeing you next year!


Worst blog post I've ever made. Thanks everyone!

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