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.
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.
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.