It's The Little Things

Day 132:

NEW TO TALVIFOTOS

I did a thing. 

My host family made a traditional food from Brazil called pamonha last Sunday and instead of helping them, I filmed them making it!

At least they liked the video I made about it. 

Making the video was fun, and I'm thinking about making a series about traditional Brazilian foods (biscoito de queijo, pão de queijo, brigadeiro, feijoada, rice & beans, chicken, etc) like the one I made about pamonha.

The videos won't be how-tos or recipes, but will give a general idea of how the food is made.  

Let me know what you think about the video in the comments.  

Life Update:

Summer break is almost over. School starts again on February 5th. 

I have mixed feelings about that. I'm going to miss sleeping in until 10 am... but I'm also ready to go back to school. I was put in the senior class (third year) last year and I graduated with them, so this year I'll be with what was the "junior class" (second year) last year.

That means I'm starting all over again at school. I'll have a fresh set of classmates and this time I'll actually be able to communicate with them without the help of my best friend: Google Translate. I'll also be getting a special third year uniform.

I also figured out my "missing half-credit, don't know what I'm going to do with my education when I get back to Alaska" situation.

I am going to actually be able to participate this year in Brazil school because my Portuguese fluency has gotten better. Then before I return to Alaska on July 30th, I'll get official documents from my school stating that I attended school, attempted to take the tests in Portuguese, and participated in class so *fingers crossed* my school district in Alaska will accept my year abroad as my missing half-credit. I already applied to a college in my city in Alaska. I'm pretty sure it'll work out.

Since I still don't know what I want to do career-wise, I'll probably be taking the "general education requirements" for my first two years of college. I just want to stay in my city (Wasilla, Alaska) for at least a semester to settle back in with my family and appreciate my home state again, and then I can always switch colleges when I find out what direction I want to go to further my education.

Now back to Brazil. 

ROTARY:

Rotary club meetings have resumed, so I went to that on Wednesday night to ask if I could go to Belo Horizonte (my state's capital) for Carnaval. They said no. But I understand why. I knew it was a long shot, because Carnaval is a crazy time of year and the rotary clubs of BH already have a lot of exchange students in the big city to keep an eye on, but I wanted to try.

My host family knows how much I want to go somewhere to experience Carnaval (because my city doesn't do anything for it) and they have generously arranged to take me to another city called Divínopolis for pre-Carnaval. Family I met on the Cabo Frio trip live there and invited me to visit them for pre-Carnaval. I'll travel there Thursday with my host parents. 

I also went to a Rotaract party. They're a fun group. I'll present my Alaska presentation to them the week after Carnaval.

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Daily Life : 

consists of going to the gym, eating fresh fruit, watching a novela with my host mom, and trying to find things to do with all this free time on my hands.

I've been trying to go to the gym every day. It's a 20 minute walk there and back, but I truly love it. It makes me feel independent. It makes me feel like I'm adult-ing. 

I go to the gym for my own sanity. I know if I stayed at home watching movies like I want to do sometimes, I'd miss Alaska more. That's the funny thing about homesickness: it makes you want to withdraw, and the more you withdraw, the more homesick you feel.
Going to the gym and killing my legs continues to effectively cheer me up. If the only thing I do is go to the gym in a day, I feel like I did something productive. And that makes me feel better.

Eating & picking fresh fruit is another one of the little joys I have. The way I talk about fresh fruit would make you think that I've never had fruit before. I swear I have. I'm just enjoying picking fruit right from the tree here in Brazil.
Alaska has fruit, but Alaska does not have guava fruit, starfruit,  passionfruit, or acai. ( I laughed for a solid 10 minutes when one of my Alaskan friends saw a picture of a guava fruit I had posted and asked if it was a skinned avocado). The flavor of fruit is not the same in Alaska because most of the fruit is imported. I never really thought about how fruit gets to Alaska until Brazilians kept asking me about it.
I enjoy telling them that one mango in Alaska cost 9 Reais ($3) and watching a look of horror pass over their faces.
They are used to eating free mangos from the mango trees that are literally everywhere here.

I'm not.

That's why it makes me so happy when I can buy two mangos for 1 Real (30 cents) at the farmer's market. That's why I get a stupid smile on my face when I go to one of the fruit stores here. That's why I take pictures of the weird-looking pinha fruit that my host mom just picked from the tree in the backyard.

Such a little thing like fresh fruit makes me happy.

  Pinha - a fruit from a tree in my backyard, now sitting in the kitchen, washed and ready to be eaten. Pinha looks just as alien on the inside as it does on the outiside. There are many black, oval-shaped, smooth seeds on the inside to work your way around, but the part you eat is white and sweet. It has the texture of a pear, but sandier (if that makes sense). Overall, I liked it. 

Pinha - a fruit from a tree in my backyard, now sitting in the kitchen, washed and ready to be eaten. Pinha looks just as alien on the inside as it does on the outiside. There are many black, oval-shaped, smooth seeds on the inside to work your way around, but the part you eat is white and sweet. It has the texture of a pear, but sandier (if that makes sense). Overall, I liked it. 

FOOTBALL (SOCCER)

I went to the championship game of futsal in João Pinheiro this week. There was a summer tournament with 15 teams from different cities in Brazil (Paracatu, Brasilia, etc.) and I made it to the last game.

Futsal? Yes. Futsal. Futebol (soccer) is different than futsal (futebol de salão).  

Futsal is played in a soccer court like you can kind of see in the photos below. Regular soccer is played on a large field of turf or grass. (I didn't know futsal existed.) 

Brazilians take soccer seriously. The place was packed for the final game. With all those bodies packed in like sardines, it was as hot as an oven.

Being surrounding by all of that cheering and clapping and shouting reminded me of my high school's Friday Night Football Games. Different kind of football, but same kind of spirit. I enjoyed every second of it, even though I felt like I was being slow-cooked in a furnace.

The team I was told to cheer for took first place too, so that was a plus.

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Until the Next Post,

Natasha Talvi

 

 

Tasha Talvi