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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

10 Facts You Didn't Know About Me

Joinville, Brazil
One of the assignments for Us-Brazil Connect was to write 10 facts. To see more about my time in and my art in response to Brazil check out these posts.

1. I only eat certain foods in even numbers.
2. I can fit my entire fist into my mouth.
3. I knocked out 5 teeth as a child.
4. I want rear-ended a police officer and totaled my car.
5. I've been in two serious golf cart accidents.
6. I've been to Mexico, Haiti, India, Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, but live in a state that borders Canada and have not been there yet.
7. When I travel I want to learn about a culture and the lives of people rather than see every tourist attraction
8. I lived in the woods for four months total and hiked 20-40 miles per week. For two of those months I have no running water or electricity.
9. I recently developed an addiction to studying language.
10. I sincerely believe that art can change lives!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dhanyavaad Doston: Saudades pt. 2

Interestingly while in Brazil I didn't find myself missing American culture or dealing with culture shock becuase Brazil was so different from the US.

See Dhanyavaad Doston Pt 1. Here

My culture shock for the first few weeks was that I was around too many Americans, in a mall several times per week, surrounded by people flaunting their money, around too much English (haha yeah, I was around more Hindi with you guys than I was portuguese for a couple weeks), couldn't really take my shoes off indoors and couldn't eat with my hands. The food was not spicy which I craved...one night I added several teaspoons of hot sauce to Arabian food...and I was saying things like "bahut obrigada" and "muito dhanyavaad." And I'm still not convinced that I know how to convey the meaning of "thik hai" with the head bob in Brazilian culture.

The second part of my trip, however,  was a very different experience. I was able to experience many of the challenges I crave with travel. I was around no english for most of it. Some days I had a translator for workshops and seminars and such but evenings and mornings there was typically no english. After 5 days of no English, my brain could actually think in Portuguese which was incredible...I really did and still do love Brazil. The food may not have been spicy, but it was delicious and flavorful. And I know y'all like to claim to like sweets...but y'all ain't got nothin' on Brazilian sweets.

But anyways this post isn't about Brazil. It's about being homesick from you all...

I knew I was a bit crazy about and may have been excessively-fascinated with Indian culture. But I didn't quite realize how much the last year was impacted by you guys. I didn't expect being away from your culture to be as challenging as it was. I am so thankful you let me genuinely experience life with you all....I will miss you all and always have a space in my heart for you and your culture. One day I hope to really experience Indian culture again and really gain a grasp on Hindi...

Português has a word, saudade, it's used to describe the emptiness when something or someone has gone away. It is certain that I am having this experience for you all...

Eu tenho saudades pra vocês...beijos e abraços!

Brasília

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Esperar - To Hope: Quando as Coisas Não Funcionam

 
People in brazil have a strangely beautiful and amazing ability to wait patiently and maintain relaxed when things não funcionam.

I talked to a man on a bus about this. I pondered "eu não entendo como pesoas em brazil tem muitos patience. É muito interesante pra mim."

I'm pretty sure this man ended up missing his flight because the bus didn't come on time. Yet...
We calmly talked about brazillian patience, lack of function, and a myriad of other topics for over an hour (em Português, I might add). 

Em los estados unidos pesoas....grrrr (meu mao português at work here...)..." In the US we want our money back if we stand, waiting, almost two hours for food.

But, I suppose it is rare that we would ever wait that long in the first place. We refuse to pay and walk out long before the 30 minute marker. 

If something goes wrong we get angry and try to get the priority service we paid for. After all we either earned or deserve it.  

At the end of out conversation, I think this man and I came to the conclusion that Brazilians are used to things não está funcionando so there is "no problem" and a backup plan will come along so that eventually things will work out even if they don't work... But Brasileiros sabem that eventually it all works out and not staying relaxed doesn't help.

If you wait through, it will all work out, even if it doesn't function properly or work. 
Se você tem patience, todas as coisas vão funcionar, mesma que ele não funciona direito.


I will end this post with a message I sent my husband while I was waiting for a delayed airplane with some Spanish-speaking imagrants coming to Pasco to work...

"well a cool fact...Portuguese and Spanish both use the verb esperar. It means "to hope" but is used for "to wait" as well. So you are literally hoping for something or someone. I like it. I think it shows insight into the hopeful mentality and patience Latin Americans have...anyways back to hoping :) love you"

Friday, August 8, 2014

24 Hours: No English

Its been 24 hours and my brain is kinda freaking out. I'm exhausted and feel like I am a major pain in the ass because people have to explain everything several times and the tension and the frustration and knowing I'm bad at Portuguese is is making it more difficult to understand, speak and recal what I do know...

Por outro lado, eu gosto la experiência porque é unique e eu sai que eu vou crescer mas que todas las otras situações em Brazil. Eu vou aprender mais português. Os pesoas tem muitos patience comigo também. Elles são fantásticos. 

My portuguese is atrocious and its frustrating because I want to connect with people deeper but I can't because the words must be simplified so much. Even my thoughts in English are being dumbed down.
meus pensamentos em português são ideias complexas. Eu adoro la experiência é acredito que eu vou aprender muito coisas sobra la Brazilian cultura so observando. E eles falan que meu português é bom pra dois meses. E eu mais o menos concordo. Tenho muitos feliz e sorrisos quando uma convenção é swave. 

I miss home (mostly my husband) and I miss spicy food, eating with my hands and taking my shoes off indoors. I miss Laramie and am sad that there is a possibility that I may never return. I am sad that I'm not yet in Washington and I'm sad that Jim is stuck there without me.

Saldages é minha palavra favorite en la idioma português. E eu penso que é descritivo de a cultura beleza. Uma cultura com muito emoções linda e sentimental. As pesoas aqui é carinhosos e dulce. Eles pensam com suas emoções. E eu gosto disso. Tenho saldages pra meus amigos en Santa Catarina e eu terei muitos pra pesoas aqui, pierto de Brasília, e todo o país.

Challenges make you stronger.
Viagem é cultivo bonito. 

Looking at Brasilia

*I ended up going 5 days and it was amazing...eu tenho cinco dias sem inglês e é foi muito bom! Obrigada amigos Brasileiros! 

E mais uma coisa. Disculpa meio mal em português...Eu escrevi este no meu diário/jornal, depois de um mês de practca português :p 

For those of you who speak both languages...I didn't intend on the two different tones...it just happened as I journaled and switched languages...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Art Exhibition in Brazil!


I have been blessed with several incredible opportunities while here in Brazil!

One if the most exciting art opportunities I have had is this opportunity to be in an art exhibition with several local, extremely talented artists. The reception will be tonight!

You can see my drawings on the black panels in the background. I drew one a day while in the South of Brazil. Prior to coming to Brazilia, I spent one week in Foz do Iguassu touring and one month in Joinville working with US-Brazil Connect teaching English.

The artwork in the front is from some of the kids 300+ that I had in workshops while here in Brasilia.

I can't wait and will be sure to share more photos!

www.FeliciaFollum.com

My blog and website have moved. Be sure to check out www.Feliciafollum.com