Day 11 in Brazil
Between my cough and my sore body from my bike injury, I had a rough night of sleep! Exhausted and feeling under-prepared for a test in Portuguese, I trudged rather glumly along to class. Elisete assured me the test would be easy; it wasn’t. I was tired and cranky and stressed out! After correcting the test with me she took me to the mall for coffee and to buy a dictionary. Bless Elisete for having compassion on the cranky American student who was slowly but surly discovering she was about as good at Portuguese as she was at math! I’m constantly amazed by the kindness of the people I meet, and I wish I was a better Portuguese student! I get out of class some days and I don’t want to try and learn anymore, I’m tired and grumpy and as much as I want to make everyone happy, I don’t want to speak Portuguese because it’s embarrassing to have everyone stare at the foreign girl as she clumsily butchers the most basic Portuguese phrase. And what”s worse, the only way to keep from being lonely is to talk to someone, and I can’t do that in Portuguese. I keep feeling like I’m not trying hard enough. Try harder, study more, those are my options. The way I see it I could curl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself, or I could work my butt off and practice my Portuguese until something finally clicks in my brain! I’m not a person who is easily defeated, I get discouraged and I may want to give up, but I hate quitting, I hate feeling like I’ve been beat. I’m representing my school, my community, my scholarship foundation, and my country, you better believe I’m not going to throw in the towel and call it quits!
Later, the family was taking us to a classical concert. I was excited because I didn’t have to understand Portuguese to understand and appreciate what I was hearing. We saw Maestro Joao Carlos Martins and the Bachina Filarmonica. But before we went, the director of Fatec (the school I’m studying at) introduced himself and welcomed me to the program. They are excited that I’m here, and expanding their program to include bringing students here. After the concert we went out and got some food with another one of Jessica’s friends. It was a nice night out, and I was happy that I could sleep in the following day!