Hi everybody! Olá todo mundo!
This is my first blog post ever. I’ve never had a blog and I wasn’t going to start one either, but I have friends who have insisted I have one for my future adventures in Brazil, so I conceded. This blog won’t win any beauty contests, so leave now if you might suffer a heart attack.
Anyway, this first post of mine is to acknowledge one of the biggest shocks of my life; seeing my name among accepted Master’s degree students in a new university in a new country and on a continent I’ve never been to (if you don’t count Mexico). I’m very pleased with this recent development, although quite terrified right now! I went back in time (not literally) to my recordings of when I first started to seriously consider Brazil, which was back in January 2012. Since then, it’s been much considering, a lot of paper work (and more to come), lots of contacts, emails, letters, etc.
As you can see below, I’ve been accepted to the Federal University of Viçosa, in Viçosa, Minas Gerais, a big state neighbouring the state of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and some others. As this is not the beginning of the school year, only a handful of people are accepted at this time, with start in August. So that’s not a whole lot of time left for me to get all the papers in order, sell most of my things, pack up and hitch a ride with a transatlantic bird. Oh yeah, and to get confident in Portuguese. I’ve been actively studying the language since December last year, but before that I had never studied a Romance (Latin) language, so it was completely from scratch, mostly on my own, with once-a-week lessons in Amsterdam. I’m pretty confident at reading, with sufficient colloquial writing and speaking (i.e. I won’t be (I hope) insulting anyone’s mom or ask for a diseased beef steak in pee), but I’ve yet a lot to learn through being surrounded by Portuguese-speaking people. This is the sixth language I’ve actively learned in my life, or seventh if you count Cantonese Chinese I spoke when I was (much) young(er), so it is getting a bit confusing in my head. But I’ve had plenty of motivation for Portuguese, so the half a year has been in an overdrive gear, occasionally pushing out my mother tongue.