Well well I don't know HOW June passed..it just kinda flew by in a blink! I guess that's much better than it passing slowly and being boring. Let's see here, I went to about a million farewells. They don't really get any easier, and yesterday the last intercambista from Santos left :(
It's quite strange, it's like half of my life has disappeared from here. All the crazy cats that I used to call for afternoon hangs (that would always end up in hilarious fits of laughter/inappropriate public behaviour/wild singing and skipping in the streets etc.) are all gone now. Of course I still have my amazing Brazilian friends that I love to DEATH but there's just a certain bond between exchange students that you won't find anywhere else.
Exchange students are the people that want to try anything and everything once, the people that have left their previous lives and everything they knew and loved behind in our own little corners of the world, the people that have been shoved into this new country to see what we can make of it, the people who are always out of money, the people that go from not understanding a single word to living their life in another language, the people that are living in random people's houses, the people that are growing and learning more things about themselves and the world than they could ever imagine, the people that haven't had a hug from their real mum or seen their best friends for months, the people that understand you.
And these people, HAVE ALL GONE HOME :( Back to real world! So yeah Santos has a bit of an empty feeling at the moment, with the addition of the classic winter slump but nevertheless, soon to be fixed with bright and beady eyed fresh excahnge student meat arriving next month! Seeings as I'm the only girl that's left from my district I have decided to be their mumma cat and show them the ropes :D
But anyway, always having a big bag of fun with my Brazilian friends. Last month we had this thing at our school that happens all over Brazil called Festa Junina. Alot of them didn't know the exact reason why it's celebrated but you know, any excuse will do for a party here. So basically everyone is in checkered shirts all barnyard-ey and little girls have this gorgeous little dresses and everyone is skipping around like crazy doing these crazy squaredances and eating lots of traditional yummy food. The month of June was considered to be a favourable time to marry because it is named after the Roman godess who is the patronage of marriage (Juno), spreading of Christiany the traditions were eradicated blah blah but her marriage abilities were passed on the Saint Anthony. So hence we have this fake marriage. My guy friend was the bride and it was all quite hilarious.
Anyway the ferias started with a bang, 18 of us went in a van to some random inland city for my friend's birthday and we all stayed there rented out a house for four nights with a massive front yard and everything and we never left there, just totally away from civilisation in our own little world living off 2 minute noodles and partying every night haha. Dancing on table tops was a regular occurence. Extraordinarily wild fun!
My host dad also threw this 50th birthday party this month, it was fancy dress and there were like 100 people all in crazy costumes in this beautifully decorated room ah it was amazing! This host family that I'm with now are just so incredible, every single day I wake up grateful to be in their lives. When I arrived here and saw their amazing apartment, heard of their overseas holidays, the kids in good schools everything you first kind of think 'oh, these type'. But they are definitely the opposite of that rich egotistical stereotype, FOR EXAMPLE, when I saw that they had a maid here I thought that was quite uppity, like if someone had one in Australia it would be met with a 'oh so what you're too good to clean your own house then? How lazy.' type attitude but then I thought about it and really, they are out there operating people's hearts and attending to patients etc. helping people in need, while at the same time they are giving this single mother a job. And not just a job, they bought her a HOUSE and paid for her to get braces to fix her chronic dental problem when she didn't have the money up front. Like, can you believe that? Who would DO that?
They have the purest of hearts that exist in this greedy world, my host dad grew up pretty humbly and the years that they have both worked to create what they have here is just amazing, and not just materialistically, how they are as a family too. Their bond is just incredibly strong and even though I only met them a few months ago, they have made a big impact on my life because they are truly genuinely good people, the type that you aspire to be you know? When we came back from the party we were all just sitting around and they said that I seem like their own daughter and that they could keep me forever if I didn't have to go anywhere haha! It brought tears to my eyes and overwhelming gratitude because they treat me SO well and I truly do love them as family too. Just another one of those things in exchange that definitely won't end at exchange :D
And the rest of the holidays have been pretty tranquilo..waking up at midday..enjoying some sun in the arvo, longboarding usually and then if everyone has the energy.. going out at night! It's been good.
But I can definitely feel a change under my feet, around the halfway mark a few weeks ago I realised that I'm not a new little tourist running around anymore. Like, this has become reality, normal life type thing. It's not like everything is crazily new anymore, I know my way around, and I'm apart of this city in so many ways that Santos seems like home now.
So, em fim, life is travelling along smoothly 4 months of school and then bam 30 days in the northeast, bam christmas, bam new year and then pahhhh 2 weeks of hard goodbyes. Will all arrive in the blink of an eye, this I am sure of. I hope you've all enjoyed some winter hibernation. And do let me say, that while life here is a dream, some people will just never realise how much I miss them..!
(pang of homesickness #13: when Brasilians find the concept of vinegar on hot chips and cheese on hot dogs ABSURD. I just sighed and said ahh it's normal in my country, I swear.. )