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).
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.