After a long and drawn out return, with a 10 hour layover in New York City, I have finally returned home. My reintroduction to North America started with a day in NYC, luckily I have a cousin who was able to show me around, which was a much better alternative to spending the day in the airport. Back in Canada the first thing I noticed was the peace and quiet, as I live outside of the city limits. Not being woken up at 7am every morning by the school behind my apartment in Brazil blasting music, or hearing traffic and the hustle and bustle of daily life was nice, although a part of me does miss the chaotic aspects of live in Brazil. Boarding the flight from NYC to Calgary, most people stood quietly in line, minding their own business in the North American way. Life in Brazil had me accustomed to strangers greeting you in the elevator and hearing the constant chatter and conversation of the people around me. While both cultures have their aspects I appreciate, I do miss the warmth and energy that many people I interacted with in Brazil expressed. Overall, this experience was a great way to experience how a diffierent culture lives and interacts, and gave me a greater appreciation for how my future students, many of whom will be new to Canada, would feel living in a brand new cultural and linguistic environment.
The photo I have chosen is from Iguazu falls in Brazil, days before my arrival in Goiânia. It reminds of how despite being the same person before and after this experience, I am leaving Brazil with a love for the language, food, music, dance and people, all of which, at the time this photo was taken, I was not aware of. I left with the same size bag as when I arrived, but I am full of all of the memories, experiences and new interests, which I did not have prior to this experience.