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Reflections by Ben Hogan – 19 de Agosto de 2013

August 20, 2013

Sometimes here in Brazil there is so much going on that it’s difficult to take the time to reflect on the experience itself. As classes are about to start it seems like an opportune time to reflect. The past few weeks have been interesting, since the arrival of Shawn and Isaac. It’s been nice to have people to share in all the new experiences and being here for some time before them, it’s been fun to see some of the “deer in the headlights” looks knowing that was me only a few weeks earlier.

My experience in Brazil has been really positive, I’m still continually impressed by how welcoming and friendly the Brazilian people are. Some of the people we have met have taken it upon themselves to show us all around Brasilia and have taken us paddle boarding on the lake and to a very beautiful waterfall where we went swimming. In a less welcoming culture I think the transition and the language barrier would be much more frustrating and isolating. Though I’m becoming more confident with Portuguese everyday, it can still be really frustrating to try to communicate anything more than factual information and simple opinions (i.e. I like this/I don’t like this). It’s like going from being an adult with a college education to suddenly only being able to communicate as well as a young child. Having this experience, I already know that I will be much more helpful to the foreign people that I meet in the future. It can be bad enough to try to navigate stores and the bureaucracy of a foreign country when you don’t know the process, but if you add a foreign language, it can be scary. The past two months have been a really enjoyable and totally new experience for me and I’m looking forward to the new challenges that the semester will bring.

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