December 04, 2018

What to do?

After I finished my high school, I didn't quite know yet what to do.
A problem most teenagers seem to be familiar with.

So of course, with my stubborn head, I chose to attend the school of life for at least one gap year.  In September 2018 I boarded the airplane and took off to Florianópolis, Brazil. Six months of un-paid work were waiting for me, and I didn't mind it a bit.

As soon as the doors of the airplane opened I already felt at home at minha casa nova. One thing I noticed immediatly, was that Brazilian people had a very different view on life than the Dutch.
They were incredibly kind to me and another. You could literally meet some random guy on the street, grab a beer together and you'd know his entire family by the end of the day. Probably during a churrasco (barbecue).

Communication 404

Getting rid of the language barrier was something that I was pretty eager of. From day 1 until the end, I was focused on learning Portuguese.
So I did. During the breaks, in bed, and even in the shower, Portuguese was my main focus. This, in combination with a beautiful job where I had to guide kids with rough home situations,
motivated me even more to learn this language. Since I really wanted to understand their situations better and improve the communication between us.

Another thing that helped me a lot was the lack of knowledge under the locals when it came to the English language. It was mainly the wealthier youth that spoke (some) English.
Three months further and I managed to have simple conversations, understand a ton of what was being said and make the occasional joke, which I was very proud of hehe..
My friends (of which a lot did speak English) thought it was time to throw me into the deep and decided to only speak Portuguese from then on.
Everywhere I went, wether it was to the beach, a party or the grocerystore, it was strictly Portuguese from then on.
You have to believe me; the struggle was real fam.



Though it was hard in the beginning, I learned more and more and at the end of my stay there I was told by locals I spoke the language fluently.
Of course this was what I called 'Socially fluent', I didn't really bother to expand my vocabulary towards the scientific fields.
But eventually I learned a language in under 6 months without following even 1 class. So the best way to learn any langauge is just to embrace the culture.
In addition to that I picked up other useful skills and discovered different kinds of mindsets along the way, which opened up a lot of worlds to me.
You wouldn't be able to put a tuition on that. It was priceless.

Until this day, eu ainda sinto saudades demais caralho.

Dani (19)

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