This spring semester I won’t be in California for school. Instead, I’ll be studying in Rio de Janeiro. I boarded my plane a day after it starting snowing in Chicago and arrived in a jungle. There’s so much green here. The weather waters my skin every moment of the day because it is so warm. I can say that for my third day being here, this experience is not going to be easy. To start, I wake up around 6AM to start my day during the week. I have to in order to get ready, eat breakfast and then take a 30-45min bus to my university. More than that, I have to switch my brain from Spanish to Portuguese whenever someone speaks to me because even though the languages share many similarities, they are quite different. It’s very difficult opening my mouth to form the sounds that my mind wants to make. It’s almost like I have to retrain myself to know what I actually want to say to someone. But I’m building lots of vocabulary and slowly, I think I will be able to pronounce things with more ease. This is my third day here and I already know that this will be one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences I have ever had in my life.

I guess the only thing I miss about not being back home is seeing my friends or having more time with them. I know this semester will be very difficult (for many small and national reasons) but I hope that these coming months are more loving to everyone I love from far away and to myself. I’ll see how each day comes to me. I know some days will bring more doubts than joys but I am really thankful for these past few days I have gotten to spend here in this complex city full of beautiful, resilient people.