Coming to Brazil, I was largely excited about the experience as a whole but honestly highly apprehensive about living with a host family. An array of thoughts plagued me – “what if they don’t like me?”, “what if I do something wrong on accident”, “What if I’m not what they expect?”, or the worst – “What if they ask me to speak only Portuguese?!” Of course, none of these things were true but were all fears I had had coming into the trip. The reality was so much more than I ever could have anticipated. When I first met my host family, Aléxandra, Flauber, Nathan, and Sarinha, it was admittedly pretty awkward but a typical first meeting experience. As we each attempted to connect there were awkward moments. Now, as we get ready to leave them in a couple of days, I find myself dreading the day we part. We have had such amazing experiences together, so many amazing conversations and moments of bonding across cultures. This morning, we were able to spend the morning and into the afternoon playing card games and watching High School Musical 2. Tonight, we were able to attend church together as a family and interact so much more smoothly than we were even able to at the beginning of this trip.

Realizing the bonds I have made with my host family has made me realize the importance of reaching out to others. Despite the fears and anxieties of connecting with people from other cultures, the results could be life-altering. I pushed through my anxieties and allowed connections to form naturally and more meaningfully than ever. I have made connections that I will cherish for life and I consider these people who were virtual strangers 2 weeks ago, my family. I will remember this experience as I travel in the future and keep myself open to connections with people despite my reservations. I’ll never forget this experience or this temporary family that has become a permanent fixture in my heart.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *