Raewyn Burrough

Destination:
Brazil
Host Club:
Franca - Oeste
Home Town:
Feilding

My year away:

I have just finished a year of amazing and wonderful experiences. Living in Brazil this past year was the best thing I have done in my life so far, I learnt so much about the world and myself and I also developed a lot as a person. I grew in maturity, independence and self confidence. I arrived in Brazil on the 18th of Jan after a stop over in Chile where we got to visit the capital Santiago, and the oldest port in South America. I loved it. 
In Brazil I was met by my rotary club, four out of my five families plus a number of my first host mums 10 brothers. They all erupted into cheers as Joseph and I walked into the airport. It was an awesome welcome into Brazil.
Through the year I went to school at 7am every morning, and this was my main source of making friends. I was the only exchange student at my school so I hung out with only Brazilians for most of the year. I moved around a bit, I had 5 families instead of the usual 3 or 4 but they were all lovely people, and I loved living with most of them.
While I was there, I became fluent in Portuguese, I was conversationally fluent by about three months, and I first dreamed in Portuguese after about 5 months. My first host family didn’t speak any English so from day one it was Portuguese or nothing.
While I was there I also gave English lessons to a dance teacher in return for free Latin American dance classes. This was so much fun, and the music and dance was one of the reasons I picked Brazil. My 2nd families host brother was a music teacher so I also was able to learn one of the Brazilian styles of playing the guitar.
I went on two trips during my year, one to Pant anal, the worlds largest swampland, and also for a month to the northeast of Brazil, where I got to go on the worlds largest water slide, see all the history of Brazil, and also see the statue of Jesus Christ in Rio, pone of the 7 modern wonders of the world. I enjoyed it so much; they were the highlights of my trip. 
The best thing about my year, was meeting all the other people, from Brazil and around the world. Those new friends that I made are priceless.
I loved my whole year, and I thank Rotary so much for the work they did to make it possible.