April 21, 2017
Dear Josi, Heloisa, Agenor and Andre
I have so much to say that I do not know where to start. 197 days. That’s how many days I’ve spent with you all. One day feels long but 197 days flew by. I can’t believe my journey here, as a part of family Andrade, is coming to an end.
As you know, I grew up as an only child with two parents. I’ve always been the center of attention and have never been apart from my parents. In the beginning of the journey, I was filled with dread. I expected this year to be super hard, but honestly, it has not been. When many GCY fellows found their host family situation challenging, I didn’t find any of that relatable. Since the day I arrived, you guys welcomed me into your family and loved me wholeheartedly. Instead of feeling like a guest, I feel like I am actually a part of this family.
As I am writing this letter now at midnight, tears are coming out from my eyes. I am beyond excited to be reunited with my family and friends, but at the same time, I am not ready to leave here yet. I know the moment I leave, I will start missing everything here. The morning runs and workouts with Heloisa, making creative dishes and talking about the fabulous rural life with Agenor, cooking with Josi, Andre laughing at me saying “muito” too much, everyday here was filled with memories.
Believe it or not, when I first got here, I even had trouble lighting matches. But by the end of my journey here, living in Santo Antônio de Lisboa couldn’t have felt more natural. I am now so used to waking up to fresh pão de trigo and Nescafe and going to sleep after saying boa noite. Thank you for putting up with such a spoiled kid and supporting me throughout the way. Even being half a planet away from my family didn’t make me feel lonely because you guys have so kindly opened your door to me.
Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for the past 7 months! I’ve had an amazing time here! And I will be back visiting you all before you know it 🙂