The Adventures Continue in Brazil

The Adventures Continue in Brazil

Gym, lunch, and waterfalls, just a few of the many highlights from traveling abroad! Janice, our teach in a homestay participant in Brazil shares her adventures during her time abroad. Read her post below to get a glimpse of her daily life.

“There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it.”

Tuesday morning; a good night’s sleep in my protective mesh jacket lined with mosquito repellent. I slowly greet the day with breakfast followed by the gym with Rylara. I met the owner of Deo Academy my second day here and he has allowed me to come for free. We practice my Portuguese each day. Esta melhorando. It’s getting better. The gym is small and the atmosphere is amazing. The space creates a sense of togetherness. People greet each other upon sliding the glass door open.

The cool air gently brushes past my face and invites me in. Everyone has a goal for the day. Ian, one of the trainers, asks me for mine. I never thought about this before. We have to pay for trainers at the gym back home. They don’t approach you and take you to a station where they encourage you to start working on your goals. I decided to go with the booty. Ian makes me work hard. I’m not used to lifting weights, let alone repetitively. “Can’t work the bum bum without working the legs,” he says. They shake with exhaustion when I’m finished. I’m assuming Brazilians work hard for their bums. At least, that’s what I see here. 

I later find out that people do have to pay for trainers but since Ian is a friend of Rylara’s, he just helps us out. Nice! Time for operação bikini.


“Friendship brings people close no matter how great the distance between them.”

It’s morning. I don’t realize until I get out of bed how beautiful the morning sun is here. The sounds of birds chirping in the trees outside make me think of the colorful birds I’ve seen at the pet store. These birds don’t whistle as they do back home; their chirps are very strong and short, although repetitive at times. I get ready to accompany Rylara to her school. It’s her last day of finals as a sophomore in college. Upon arrival, she points out her college to the right of me. Parking is unbelievably easy to get, unlike my 5 years of trying to find parking with ample time to get to my class. This college is the equivalent of the Craig School of Business building at the CSU Fresno campus. Everyone knows everyone. After her test, Rylara and I meet up with her friends for lunch. My Portuguese and understanding of Portuguese is getting better. I had a conversation with 2 friends while waiting for our food. We laughed as one explained what happened when she got in a minor car accident: she gestured how a lady came out yelling and throwing her arms around. I couldn’t stop laughing. It was a fun afternoon! 


“God will not send us out on any journey for which He does not equip us well.”

Presidente Figueiredo. Waterfalls. Families. Fresh water. Food. Waterfalls. Today Livia, the international exchange supervisor in Brazil, invited me and Rylara to go with her and her friends and family to Presidente Figueiredo. We took the hour drive up after breakfast. I sat between Rylara and Livia’s 1-year-old son, who is the most adorable thing in the world. Upon arrival, we walk across a bridge to get to the sandy and rocky area that preludes the water. After settling at a table, I make my way over with Livia, who has my camera. As my foot makes contact with the water, I retreat; it’s not warm as I thought! Halfway to the waterfall, the waves push against my legs with each step. I head over to the waterfall as it drenches me. There is a path behind it!

I slowly walk to the other side, fighting the water that drowns my eyes, keeping me from clearly seeing where I’m going. As luck would have it, I lose sense of the wall and the waterfall pushes me onto the neighboring rocks where I slide 5 yards away. Thankfully, it was a fun waterslide experience and not a rocky, painful one! My newfound friends were scared to go behind the waterfall after watching me slide out. Vamos, vamos; eu vou a voltar! I decided to go again. This time, from the other side. I grabbed hold of the intertwined tree roots as I made my way in, excitedly fighting the strength of the waterfall. Everyone made it! It’s definitely something to experience.

We sit together for lunch as I eat the most deliciously grilled chicken. Then it starts raining. Hard. People scramble in a rush to get to the hut. I’m still sitting there eating my delicious chicken, yelling, “Nooo! Eu não terminei! Eu não terminei!” The rain was getting in my food and I wasn’t finished yet! One of Livia’s friends starts crying with laughter as I’m the last person, shuffling with my chicken halfway off the plate. After getting to shelter, the men go back out to retrieve our bags and shoes from under the table. I continue eating and Livia’s friend continues laughing. I join in the laughter. Once we finish eating, we head out to the car and make our way back. The finals have started! Once I get home with Rylara, we watch the second half of the game. Then overtime. Then double overtime…and Germany takes it! The right team has won. Great example of team playing! What a day.


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