Whoa what a busy day! It’s hard to believe we’ve only been here three days, it seems like at least a week! This morning we had a cooking class where we learned how to make Galinhada and Brigadeiro, which were delicious! I think peanut brigadeiro is my new favorite sweet. We had so much food at the lesson that we were not hungry for lunch! Then in the afternoon, we went to our Portuguese class and learned an overwhelming amount of Portuguese with the help of some Brazilian students who are studying to be translators.
Finally, it was time to go home. Gisele, our host, invited us to go to her Zumba class tonight and I was so excited to go! I had never been to an authentic Brazilian Zumba class and it was so fun! We entered the studio, the lights were off and instead a disco ball was shining colored lights throughout the studio. We jumped right into the Zumba!
At first the dancing was easy. But, apparently that was just the warmup. After the first three songs, we started doing squats, fast footwork, and jumping. We did one song that every other move was a squat; it was so intense! My legs were already sore from walking all around the campus and standing in the cooking class! Now they are even more sore; I am definitely going to have trouble getting up tomorrow!
Also, tonight was the Zumba teacher’s last class before she moves to Germany. Last night we had a surprise party for her with cake and a bunch of popular fried Brazilian snacks. Tonight after our class she brought presents for everyone. That’s when it hit everyone that this was their last class together. One of the ladies had come to almost every class and had been good friends with the instructor, began crying, which made a lot of the other women emotional too. Then, the instructor began passing out the presents she had brought starting with her friend who cried even harder when she got her gift. It was such a special time for all the women there.
However, I felt very awkward because I really did not know this lady, so would I get a gift? And if I was offered the gift should I take it? I did not know how to react in the most polite way. But when she finally came to me she spoke to me in Portuguese and talked to me about how I had traveled so far to come to her Zumba class, and soon she would be just like me in a place where she would not know the language so she wanted me to have one of the gifts. I was very honored. This really made me feel a part of their community. I have heard about Brazil’s great people and sense of hospitality, now after getting to know the people these past few days I can say that this is very true. The people of Brazil are so welcoming and kind, to know them is to be blessed. I am truly honored to have interacted with all the amazing Brazilians I have met!
~ Hannah Saxena