On Tuesday I started to feel sick. The first thought that went through my head was “Oh my god why me.” Getting sick abroad is everyone’s worst nightmare, but as my professor mentioned, it seems to happen to someone every year. A mixture of unfamiliar settings and isolation is bad enough, but mixed together with illness and the situation becomes hard to handle. I felt horrible that my host mom had to deal with my sickness on top of the fact that I didn’t know anything about Brazilian medicine or where to go if things got worse. Luckily, I was able to talk to my father who was more familiar with these things but for people who don’t have any contact within their host country, things seem to get more complicated. I’m still sick but things are starting to improve.
This first week was a whirlwind of learning and connections. Because it’s only a five-week study abroad, there are many things to go over. Sometimes the classes seem like they go on forever but all the professors are understanding of our worn out faces. There were even two student birthdays and IBEU, the school we are being hosted at, was nice enough to make them cakes.
So parabéns (congratulations) to Lorena and Luz. I’m sure it’s a little sad not to be able to spend your birthday with your friends and family back home, but hopefully, we made them feel welcome. Many of the students celebrated the birthdays by going out but sadly because of the sickness I was unable to go. Hopefully next time things will go better!