For the next six months I’ve decided to move to Florianópolis, Santa Cantarina, Brazil and volunteer. My name is Ghio, I am 24, and I was born and raised in San Francisco. I chose Brazil for it’s unfamiliarity. My only contact with Brazilian culture has been the occasional stop at the all-you-can-eat Churrascaría – steakhouse in English – or attending Carnival. Needless to say, it’s been limited.
I felt that in order to better prepare myself for Brazil, I should learn some Portuguese. Fortunately and unfortunately, I do speak Spanish. I say that simply because the languages are so alike yet so different. However, after three months of taking classes for only one hour a week at Street Smart Brazil I am confident that I can hold a conversation in Portuguese.
In Florianopolis I will be volunteering at the Vidal Ramos foundation for kids. As of now I am not too sure what my role will be, but it is something along the lines of a dynamic assistant – vague, I know. I will find out more in the weeks to come. Aside from that, I am living with a host family in a neighborhood called Vargem Grande; about 30 minutes driving from downtown Florianópolis. My host mom is originally from Rio de Janeiro, but has been living in Florianópolis for the last 20 years. I know enough Portuguese to know she’s lost her Carioca accent, but I am waiting for it to shhhhhow itself (for those that do not know, Cariocas tend to make a lot of shhh sounds when speaking). She has two sons, one who lives at home and the other who is currently in Argentina. My host mom likes to talk a lot, and thanks to her I am certain I have heard more Portuguese in my five days with her than I did in my three months of classes at Street Smart Brazil. She lucked out, I am the best 24 year old San Franciscan Portuguese listener in the world.
Ultimately, the purpose of this blog will be to write about different aspects of Brazilian culture and paint a vivid picture of Brazil for those who’ve never been and for those who have, relive past experiences. Feel free to ask questions and if there is anything specific you would like me to look into let me know.
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