What are some of the things that come to mind when you think of the word “grandma”? Perhaps you have many wonderful memories of being spoiled with a never ending supply of food and the occasional (and by occasional, I mean frequent!) gift at the most random of times. As it turns out, grandmas in Brazil are not much different! To help explain, I will share a funny story that happened this morning.
The night before, my roommate Haven and I realized that we had accumulated one too many plastic water bottles, and we decided that we needed to ask someone where to put them the next day. Now, it just so happens that our host mother who speaks English cannot be with us in the morning, so we have to use our best Portuguese speaking skills to communicate with her mom, who does not speak any English. When we presented our host grandma with the water bottles, she immediately assumed that we needed more water.
To make a long story short, we ended up having to spend at least five minutes trying to explain what we wanted in Portuguese and I had to physically take the trash out of the bathroom to explain to her that we did not need more water, but we wanted to get rid of our excess. It was incredible how exceptionally patient she was with us, despite our huge language barrier.
I can’t finish this post without at least mentioning a few of the other things she has surprised us with on this trip. For one, our host grandma has washed every piece of my dirty clothes since the day we arrived, and has even gone the extra mile to fold it and put it on my bed. Don’t you wish you could have your own host grandma at home? In addition, she wakes up early in the morning to make us breakfast and sends us off to school with snacks and a nut mix she made herself. Tonight she even brought us multiple new bags of local nuts and fruit to try!
Because I have not had the presence of a grandma in my life for many years, I have been incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful one in Brazil. I am looking forward to spending the next couple of weeks with her, and hopefully learning to communicate better to avoid any more garbage mishaps!
P.S. As I wrote this blog, I had the pleasure of drinking from a coconut and snacking on cashews that (you guessed it) came from my host grandma.