I now live in Recife, Brazil.
It’s currently the middle of winter and also currently 85 degrees fahrenheit outside. Recife is the home of 3.7 million people and 3 competing soccer teams. I have so far avoided picking which team to follow, despite many pleas to support the right one. Thanks to imperialism, locals speak the language of Portuguese here. I, on the other hand, do not.
I live with the familia Sampaio e Silva, all wonderful people. Suzana and Mauro, the parents. Leticia and Rafael, the kids. Eliane the maid. Mauro writes software for Motorola and Suzana teaches at a local university.
I now attend Colegio Damas, a private catholic school, a five minute walk from my bed. Uniforms are required, which makes my life easier.
People here are unapologetically friendly, a little crazy, and outwardly loving to each other.
During my time in school I have learned how light travels through glass, how to make friends without understanding them, and the redundancy of fear in human interaction.
Fear is meant to protect us at our most vulnerable, yet it is of no use when attempting to fulfill a human goal. When presented with an unfamiliar situation and a new culture, fear urged me to book it home. Useless. In a new class and country, one may be mobbed by many young people on the first day of school. In this situation, smiling and reaching out proved to be the better option than jumping out of the window.
How to spot a jackalope: