Me in Brazil

I have a secret to tell you. Although I may look steely on the outside, between you and me, inside I am a fervently nervous person. The months that stood in between me and my departure for Brazil were filled with worries that I would somehow break down during my trip for some unforeseen reason. I had long anticipated that this reason would be related to the constant interaction with new, foreign people, most pressingly, my host family.

My host grandmother, one of the women I was so anxious to meet.

But this is not how it has turned out at all! For the readers who bite their fingernails over my well-being in Sao Paulo, be comforted in knowing that my host family is doing a wonderful job of keeping me safe, happy, and most definitely full. And despite having met them only a few days ago, I feel as if I’ve known them forever. How so? Perhaps their innate kindness and empathy creates a familiar environment for me, thus making my stay in Brazil feel like an extension of my original home and life rather than an isolated and alien location. As a result, I fly through my time in Brazil while feeling grounded at the same time.

Having a grand old time with my roommate Tyler (far right), host mother Michelle (second to left), and Michelle’s friends.

As a more introverted person, I should remember that all the people I’ll meet throughout my life are just that: people, just like myself. I know that everyone I’ll meet in my life will have differences; however, I believe that the majority of people are similar fundamentally. Perhaps I’m not nearly as disconcerted throughout my time in Brazil because the things that matter most, like caring for those who are important to you, haven’t really changed. My host family, fellow explorers of Brazil, and trip leaders from Roberts are prime examples of this. They have all been an incredibly good-natured group to each other and to me, sometimes more so than I think I deserve. They easily, even casually, show empathy towards other people, which is something that I would struggle to do. As I continue to explore Sao Paulo and Brazil, I am grateful to be surrounded by kind and compassionate souls.

Categories: Brazil 2019


Amy Kovach · May 19, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Gordon: I haven’t been biting my nails here in Rochester, but I have been waiting to hear about your experience and waiting to see how it grows and streches you. Open up to yoru classmates, your trip leaders and the Brazilian peopple. There is much in you that the world needs to hear and see!

Dr. Kovach

Evelyn V Lipina · May 19, 2019 at 5:38 pm

Hi Gordon, this is Tyler’s mother (as you may obviously see from the last name lol). I encourage Tyler similarly so often regarding people, and traveling, and stretching wings to meet people from different cultures near home and all over the world. My overseas trips changed me too! So I’m glad you two are together, and it’s great to see a photo of your host grandmother, and I’m so glad she’s keeping you two full!

    Global Honors · May 21, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Thank you, Mrs. Lipina. Tyler is a great friend to me and we are all having a great time. There is no need to worry 🙂

Terrina LaTourette · May 19, 2019 at 6:24 pm

It sounds as if your host family is showing you God’s love. I’m glad that you’re feeling His love and I hope you feel His presence with you, no matter where you are.

Dad · May 23, 2019 at 1:20 pm

You must be having unforgettable moments in Brazil ??~ meeting new people sometimes worries you but as you spend more time with them, you will feel familiar and comfort because we are all human-beings. Enjoy your being in Brazil and make many good friends who will be enriching your life.
Take care and be safe sllways . from your dad

Delmira · May 29, 2019 at 7:04 pm

Thank you for being a part of our family. I was very happy with your text on this blog.
I considered you as my grandson during these 15 days.
you are a very helpful and polite person, keep it up!

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