Ah ok so this was definitely nearly a month ago but finally here we go. Sooo I'm 18! Finallllly. In Brazil the 21st of April is a holiday and this year fell right before easter! And then after that my class had the week of exams so pretty much I got home from the cruise and then we had my birthday kicking off a 10 day holiday! (holiday from what, I don't quite know as I don't really study..) It was my host dad's birthday the day before so we had a combined festa with all their friends, my 20 closest friends and the extendo family! It was such an amazingly gorgeous gesture of them and they had the room all decorated with the Brazilian flag, the Australian flag, balloons in both the flag colours and like a 'fusão' of them both in between. Their daughter is doing an exchange in australia so it was kinda like a colourful metaphor of our lives :D
It was a really joyful day; my host dad did an amazing churrasco (barbequed meat has never been so good), I got so SO many sweet presents (some from people I hadn't ever met!) my south african bestie teaching everyone the waka waka dance, getting cake spontaneously smeared into my face/hair/clothes/bod by my friends (apparently it's a brazilian thing...still suspicious about that haha) and yeah just lots of laughs! I'm really grateful for my family really including me in their lives and making the day so special, I won't ever forget it.
Oh and if you know me well, rest assured I didn't let you down, the birthday night was quite wild too haha ;)
The day before easter me and my host family went to this sort of exclusive beach called Iporanga in the neighbour city Guaruja. We had to wake up at 6am to get there early as they only let 30 cars in per day but it was definitely worth it! It was a beautiful beach, and it had WAVES which I had been missing! Had a bit of an Angourie moment..when you just look pop your head up out of the fresh cool water, squinting into the sunlight wondering how something could be so perfect. I be reppin with my aussie bikini! God I thought I'd never wear one of those but when you're away from home suddenly it's a novelty :D
Woke up to easter with my host brother poking me saying 'sarah! sarah! Kinder ovo! I is very happy!' haha he is crazy. I got an easter egg too, and then 4 more when we went to my host uncles place for lunch. So...much..chocolate...
The whole weekend was really special because my family, and the whole extended family really have embraced me as one of them. Family ties are really really strong here in Brasil and I've been learning alot about the importance of family in our lives (ugh I think that's the lamest sentence I have ever written but it's pretty true) For example, my host aunty did a 6 month exchange to the US like 30 years ago or something..and the family that she stayed with is coming over here to Brasil to visit her (bringing the next generation of kids along with them) ..30 years later! Which just goes to show that exchange isn't really for one year only..it will always be with you if you let it.
My host mum and host aunty both have kids living in other houses overseas on exchange, and both the mum's miss them terribly and had a little tear for them not being there but they know that they are having the year of their lives so they fica tranquila, they know that their kids are out meeting people/staying with families that will be with them for THEIR lives too. It's a really beautiful little thing, exchange. Bringing the world so close together. Anyway at this massive turkey lunch I got a bit emotional because like coming from having just a mum and a dad in my country and them being so far away it's a really nice feeling..to be loved and cared about and sharing a meal with so many people with everyone all connected. There were like cousins and grandparents and aunties/uncles and everything..things I'm not really that used to..and all of a sudden you don't feel like you're out here in a different country all on your own..you get a real sense of belonging one HSC english student might say..
Anyway when we got there the house was all decorated with cute little easter bunnies and special 'feliz pascoa' hand towels it was so cute. So festive! We had a big turkey and also baked salmon sweet jesus nothing in my life was better..then there were 5 DIFFERENT CAKES. Um so yeah yet again I became really overwhelmed and overate the shit out of lunch and ended up being sick..bit of a food overdose..but so damn worth it ahhh.
So I hope you all had a lovely easter too and took full advantage of those half price creme eggs on the monday! And if you are having an lil issue with a family member..try to patch it up and keep it tranquila because it has taken me 4 months half way across the world to realise there is nothing more important in this world than family.