Aeroplan trip to Brazil.
19th Jan 2019.
To start, organising this exchange has been hard work for my whole family, for me and for Rotary. We had 3 meetings with Rotary, we had many forms to organise, many appointments to go to, papers sent all around the world, and in the end, we received the visa on the morning of the 18th, a day before I left. How lucky!
On the morning of the 19th of January, my mum and I drove to Sydney Airport where I was a bit silent, sad and excited. I kept on looking at my mum and I kept on telling her that I could not believe that I was coming to Brazil, finally. When we arrived (2hrs late to what Rotary said) we rushed into the Airport just on time, quickly checked in and I quickly said goodbye to my mother, to Spock, Arthur, Sue and Ray Rice and the rest of the people who were there to wish me a farewell. I didn’t even cry at all because I was so excited to be going to Brazil and to be with new friends already. I was introduced to Macayla Anderson (another Australian going to Brazil who I contacted before) and all of the rest of the 20 exchange students going on exchange. From then on I had found a group of girls that I liked and we were just hanging around waiting, talking (about the exchange, each other and random stuff) and just letting time pass by. We had to fly to Auckland NZ, Santiago, Chile and then SP, Br. Our flight was 14hrs all together with extra transit waits as well. Through this trip I sat next to Macayla From Australia to NZ, then I sat next to her again from NZ to Chile, where we met a Brazilian guy that was coming back from his exchange in NZ. From Chile, I sat next to Olivia to SP. When we landed I screamed in excitement because the trip had taken forever, and the people on my flight thought that we were in danger or something, haha. When I arrived at the airport it took us ages to get through customs and security because we had to wait for EVERY student to receive their things. Then finally we were let out to go and receive our families. Now, at this moment I was overly tired and excited. I was messaging my family through customs while they waited for me. When I finally exited, I sped walked to my family and then I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. I was excited and happy and blown away, but also crying at the same time. My family had an Australian flag waiting for me, and the 3 kids were holding my name up and my family was singing to me. God, it was one of the best things in the world. The kids were a bit shy. We were all glad that I was there and that my visa had arrived (from what i remembered I notified my family one day before that i was coming). After this, they bought me my first Pao de queijo (small cheese bread) 🙂 . We went to the car drove to a pizza restaurant in my home town, Santo Andre. I had dinner and ended up going to bed at 1am.
From the First moment I met my family, I had the best connection in the world, they were so loving, caring and warm. We also have many characteristics and hobbies in common, and I respected them as much as they respect me. In these months I have been adapting, forming and bonding a relationship with them. We go on our shopping journeys together, I have connected with extended family of theirs, they are always there to support me (like I am their own blood), they respect my individuality as an exchange student, my mum and I do sports together, we cook for each other, I go to rotary with my host dad which I love and we talk about many things, they have taken me on trips and introduced me to various places and people, and so much more! I bond with my little siblings a lot as well and I really feel like a part of the family. And my family is very busy with work, kids and me. We plan things spontaneously and we try to enjoy every moment day by day.
At school I literally know so many people. I know people in my class, people from the other class, people from the 3rd year and other people from different scattered years. I say hi and talk to everyone that I can. My class and I have a great bond! They are always greeting me and they know my daily schedule when I go and have classes with little kids in the afternoons. And I listen a lot in class and some people help me out with some work. And I have also done some activities outside of school with them.
I have met all the people in my district that includes of 20 people. And one day I went out with people from my district and then I met a whole load of other exchangers from different countries and districts. And all of the exchange students are pretty unique and individual. We talk so much when we meet up and I seem to be learning a lot about different countries and life experiences in general. It’s really great because the moment you meet up with exchange students we connect straight away and the are really easy to chill out with. We are going to many hot spots around the city and taking it all in.
I go to the majority of rotary meetings where my wonderful rotary club full of 100 Rotarians, talk about their charity events and ways to improve their work. I introduce myself to many tables of Rotarians and I try to have conversations with them even I don’t speak much Portuguese. Many Rotarians have given me invitations for lunches and I went with one Rotarian to Iguazú falls, lucky me! Soon I will have a district meeting as well.
To be honest:
From the first day, I have arrived in Brazil I have been doing something new non- stop. Every part of my exchange has been filled with activities and growths that I can’t even explain. There has been so many people that have supported me when I have needed help and people have also dealt with me when I have been a pain. There have also been many people who I have shared amazing experiences with that I will never forget. I have definitely shared a different part of myself with every individual I have met. There has also been people I have lost relationships with for some unknown reason, but the relationship was enjoyed when I had it.I have literally been the luckiest girl in the whole world with the experiences i have had, the opportunities that I have been given the love and people around me. Literally everything! I could keep on writing on forever about my crazy experiences and growths, but I won’t. I hope I could give you a little snippet of the progress of my exchange. 🙂
- getting to know my family
- introduced to some new sports at beeats
- playing with kids and going shopping to buy my goods
- introduced to 2nd family, 3rd family, councillor and his family
- introduced to portuguese a lot
- going out with Marcio (dad) to change money and organise documents. He takes me to many fancy restaurants and desert places as well.
- Met Up with various exchangers
- My birthday: Had sushi with Debora, went to get eyebrows/hair done. Kids Party at Playground facility. whole family dressed up as super heros. Met more exchange students. Met a lot of extended family.
- Went to Santos with Laura and Astrid
- Been to Anita concert with girls from school
- iguazu falls
- Peoples birthday parties (mine, dads, people from school)
- Salto with Family
- Stayed with Australian friend for 1week
- having work experiences with kids at my school and Sao caetano
- Playing school sports
- Portuguese classes at headword
- meeting new people non stop every day
- District day out with exchange students
- Carnival with family
- Knowing people in my apartment
- making a presentation about Australia in Headword
- Going out in the city with Exchange students
- Going to the beach in the North of SP
- Musical, dinners out with people
- getting closer to the family by spending chill time together and having lunch at grandparents house
- Learning about new people and different cultures
- Going to my mums work
- And more!
I have been a part of so many new experiences, activities, growths and memories that I don’t have the power to explain what is happening or to tell you everything in detail. But I can definitely say that it’s a bloody amazing individual journey of development. It’s not easy but I’m always trying my best. Thank you for every single persons support.