Before I begin with this story, can I just say that my room, and homestay house is awesome?
Yesterday, I woke up early and traveled with my irmã (sister) Carina to Shopping Barra, one of the largest malls in Bahia. Carina is an American student who’s been in Brazil for a little over a year now. My Brazilian mother adores her, and she’s acted as an incredible tutor and guide over the past few days. She knows a lot, not just in terms of language, but in terms of culture. It in some ways, is a problem, because my mother and I have grown dependent on her to translate. My mother often gets frustrated with my toddler Portuguese and we often have misunderstandings. With Carina, we can clear the air. But she leaves in a few days and… it’s gonna get bumpy.
I’m only here for five weeks though, so I have to make the most of it, Aproveite!
Speaking of the time frame here, I had recently begun to grow exasperated at the daunting task ahead of me. Just think for a moment, of all the words you know in English. For example, if I were to pick up a dictionary, and rattle off a list of words to you, how much of them would you know, or at least have some knowledge of? A lot, no? Every word, every verb. You know enough about the language that I’m writing in, to know when sum dun lok o sawnd rite. You know!
I do not know these aspects of Portuguese. I develop a vocabulary that I lose within minutes. The language slips through my fingers like water… if my fingers were also covered in oil. Portuguese is hard, and after watching the four main novelas my mother and sisters watch at night, coupled with my misunderstandings between professors and students, I’m at a loss. A real, real, loss that’s not even tangible. There’s no way I can do this.