A week from today, I will eat a banana in Brazil.

The title says it all, really.

On the 23rd I will depart for a Spring semester in Porto Alegre, Brazil to study language and culture.

The anticipation has been a long process of working out many issues including: anxiety (mine and my parents), living arrangements, writing emails in Portuguese, Visa paperwork, excitement that keeps me up at night, and all that other fun stuff.

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Luckily, endless yoga, along with this mantra (everything is chill) and poetry have kept me relatively sane. Oh, and coffee, too.

This extended winter break in South Florida has given me plenty of time to fill. Amongst the many hours of playing video games, watching movies, and traveling to and from yoga, I’ve had the opportunity to contemplate the nostalgia I feel for Gainesville. I’ve come to the conclusion that saudades will be a big part of this experience.

The important thing, I guess, is bringing home with you wherever you go. This is a lesson I will continue to learn.

Here is my tribute to UF and everyone who helps make this happen time and time again for many students, including myself. Thanks to everyone for the support, especially my close friends and family. The encouragement is priceless.

I hope that through this blog I can share the marvels and challenges I encounter abroad. I will try to write frequently – whether a journal entry, a poem, or a very descriptive piece about one thing (such as bananas.) Anything and everything. So any requests, questions, and/or feedback are welcome.

Obrigada, always,

Michelle

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