Off to Brazil!
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t the slightest bit nervous. I was going to travel internationally by myself to a country where I don’t speak the language, and the reality of such a venture is a little alarming at times! I flew from New York to Georgia without incident and once in Atlanta, I would catch my flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Atlanta is a large airport, and lugging my giant carry-on bag (with my camera and computer in it for safe keeping) around was no easy task! I had to rush a little but eventually I made it to the right gate.
While I was sitting and waiting for our plane to begin boarding I was approached by a Brazilian woman who began to rattle off Portuguese very animatedly to me. I’m sure the look on my face must have been entertaining to say the least! I smiled and nodded dumbly, as only someone who has no clue what you’re talking about can. Frustrated she turned to another woman and they began conversing, clearly she wanted more than a smile and a nod. On the plane I waited anxiously to see who would be my travel companion for the next ten hours of my life. I couldn’t help it, I was terrified I was going to be sitting next to a big gruff man who didn’t speak a lick of English; thank God I wasn’t right! A middle-aged and somewhat quirky looking lady approached and began unloading her traveling things beside me, looking up she must have noticed my gaze,
“Hello” she said in flawless English. My whole body relaxed as relief flooded in, I eager returned her smile,
“You speak English!” It wasn’t a question. She laughed, I must have looked as relieved as I felt.
Her name was Debra, and her son had come to Brazil as a student and fell in love. Now he was married with two kids and Debra often went to Brazil to visit. We chatted, and I asked her a lot of questions about Brazil. We parted ways at the airport in Sao Paulo, she had to make a connection, and I had to go through customs, find my luggage, and meet the trio that was to take me to Americana.
I wandered around a little confused in the airport for a while before pushing my cart of luggage out of the exit and looked around for a sign with my name on it. I spotted them in no time, and broke out into a grin. The sign read “Welcome Charissa Farnsworth! Bem-vinda a Fatec Americana! which translates into welcome to Fatec Americana. I welcomed their embraces, their smiling faces assuring me all my worries and fears had been in vain. Finally, I’m here!