Thursday, March 6, 2008

Congratulations are in order to...well, I don't really know to whom...the readership? of Living and Loving in Natal, Brazil for surpassing the 4000 mark at some point this week. That's a LOT of hits, and special thanks to my Mom for taking care of about 75% of those. Haha, just kidding. Only 50% I'm sure. I hope you'll all stay tuned for the day we reach 1 million. Yes it can be done, my friends, it just might take a few, or 25, years. We're well on our way!

I mentioned on Monday that I would be coming back on Tuesday to offer a 6-month reflections post, which turned out to be a lie because today is Thursday and I'm only now checking back in with you. I think I need to stop making promises about things like that, because I never follow through. It must be an aversion to deadlines left over from 4 years in college. I was never the student who casually turned in assignments late, I was always on time. So maybe now that I don't have anyone or anything holding me accountable I just throw caution to the wind. See it out there, flying? That's my caution, in the wind. Wow, such a lame joke. But I will not delete it.

So yeah, I hit the 6-month mark on Tuesday. How did it feel? Like a normal Tuesday. It also felt like Thanksgiving and Christmas, in that I willed myself to get emotional and it just did not work. But really, 6 months is a big deal. I remember back in September or October when I was trying to study Portuguese and I just sat in Marisa's office and cried...and cried...and cried. I was so frustrated because I thought I would never learn. Later that night, Marisa told me to not be so discouraged, I was doing so well that within 6 months I would be speaking fluently. I politely thanked her, and then laughed secretly at how delusional she was. It actually cheered me up I thought it was so funny. Well, Marisa did turn out to be wrong. I was speaking almost fluently by the 4 month mark. And at 6 months, the only English I use is in my reading sessions, where that's kind of the whole point. Would I ever have predicted that? NO. Am I so thankful that God has blessed me so much in this area? YES.

What else is significant about 6 months? Well, it also means I'm halfway done with my first year. When I first signed up for this internship, the idea was 2 years. Then all people wise and knowledgeable encouraged me to take it one year at a time, for several different reasons. I followed their advice and got here with enough money for 12 months and no plans come August 2008. Well, 6 months later, I now have money left for 6 more months (given that the dollar doesn't continue to fall ridiculously low as it already has) and plans to raise more. I'm not leaving any time soon, and August 2008 is definitely soon.

So, that's my 6 month reflection. I still live in an apartment alone, I still go to the beach sometimes, I still spend all day everyday at the church building, I still have amaaaazing readers with whom I love working, I still love my church family, I still get made fun of by my friendly neighborhood bakery workers if I go in to buy breakfast after 9 am (is it my fault that their jobs start at like 5 am? I think not) and I'm still deathly afraid of lizards. Yep, things seem to be rolling along smoothly.

Great votes on the Democracy post, I will be weighing the opinions soon and begin to address the topics at hand. And Justin, although I am interested in "avoiding detection by the Brazilian police force," you can be sure that the "series of blog posts detailing [my] diabolical plot to take over the Brazilian government, install [you] in a puppet regime, and wield power from behind the scenes," is coming soon. Just wait patiently...ever so patiently...


Jeremy Kenney said...

I already have the place girl! You really think I would move someplace with out good mexican food? Add plus the place is ran by the Allen boys!

Unknown said...

HELLO! Can you say words of encouagement? I havnt hit the crying point but I feel as if I will never learn Portuguese. I arrived in Natal 2 weeks ago tomorrow. I'm staying with a former exchange student for 6 months and ohhhh I miss talking so much. This is not like me what-so-ever to 'post a note' on peoples sites, but i think this could really help me-I would love if you could contact me. Let me know if you know of anyone wanting to teach a little Portuguese etc.
-Alexa Kauffman