As much as I loved Rio, I think that I like Salvador even more. Upon arriving in Salvador, we immediately went to a reception where we met the families that we would be staying with for about two weeks. While I waited for my family to arrive, I was very nervous and excited… it was a feeling that is really hard to describe in words. Although I had seen pictures of my host family, actually meeting them made me really anxious!
Now that I have spent over a week with my host family, I feel that I have learned more about the culture and have learned more Portuguese than I ever would have if I had just stayed in a hotel the whole time. I think that being able to live with a Brazilian family, even if it is just for a few weeks, is really what studying abroad is all about because it has allowed me to experience the everyday life of a Brazilian.
My host mom and sisters have truly made me a part of their family, we eat breakfast every morning together, talk, laugh, and watch movies. Although there is a bit of a language barrier (my host Mom does not speak a lot of English, but one of my sisters speaks very well!), we are able to communicate for the most part..we do a lot of pointing and if we are having a lot of difficulty expressing something, we sometimes use google translate.
Over the weekend, I went with my host family to visit my Brazilian grandmother and I met my cousins, aunts , and uncles. We ate a lot of food and spent hours on the patio dancing and looking up at the stars…it was definitely one of my favorite nights here in Salvador. My Brazilian grandma even said that as long as I didn’t try to speak (since I haven’t yet perfected my Portuguese), I would be able to pass for a Brazilian!