There and back again

So it’s been almost two months since I’ve written a blog post.  Why?  I’ve been drained.  I honestly haven’t had the will or energy to write one, and no matter what I write right now, I know it won’t be a sufficient description of what I’ve been and am still going through.

I’ve had a lot of highs and lows recently, and generally a lot more stress than I like.  My mom came to visit, and we had a wonderful two weeks exploring southeastern Brazil–mostly by bus.  My mom and I get along famously, and it’s always a treat to spend a lot of time with her.  She also happens to be one of the few travel companions I don’t ever get the urge to stab somewhere along the way.  It was especially rewarding to be able to show her the country I’ve decided to call home and introduce her to the people I love.

We returned to São Paulo on a bus from Ouro Preto, which took about twelve hours in total.  I got to my apartment, showered, and was preparing to make dinner when I got two terrible phone calls: someone very important to Rino had just died in a car crash.  Rino was also in the crash (thankfully uninjured).

I don’t know if you’ve ever dealt with sudden, violent death like this, but for my part, I went into autopilot for the next week or so.  Death is hard enough in your native language, but all the more surreal in a language you’re still learning (and in a country with such notorious bureaucracy).  I went to north for the funeral, which in itself was just a microcosm of the high-low duality of my life here.  I met a family full of warm, funny, loving people, but the context of the visit was never far from anyone’s minds.  I got to know Rino’s hometown, but it wasn’t how I was supposed to get to know it.

We came back and I am still sort of trying to pick up the pieces.  It helps to know that I have a group of friends and adoptive family here in Brazil who love me, as well as those of you abroad.  The emails and moments on Skype are more treasured than ever, trust me.  In the midst of all this, there is still room for joy: I laugh with my students every day, I have a renewed desire to explore Sampa, and Rino and I are relearning to enjoy the small moments together.

I may or may not be going back to Paraíba next week–depends on some changes at work–and I am super excited about it, since it is June and therefore Festa Junina.  Anyway, that’s about it.  Was this a super cheesy post?  I have no idea.  But there we go.  Oh, and the picture above was taken at the easternmost point of the Americas, also in João Pessoa.  You look out, and there’s nothing but wind and water, and then Africa.


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