DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CANADA & BRAZIL

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Hi guys! I have now been in Brazil just over a week, and my experience so far has been great (and busy too!). Last week was “packed” with unpacking, cleaning and organizing our new home! It is so nice to have everything put in it’s proper place now, haha.. my mom will love this ;).… We still need to buy a TV stand for our living room and pick up our couch, but otherwise our apartment is all finished. Last week we also started our ministry school, which has been amazing! I have also started studying Portuguese everyday, and I start my first Portuguese class at the university this Thursday (woohoo!). 

Of course I have missed home, family, friends, familiar things (especially last weekend)… but I have shifted my mindset and that made a world of difference. I am now focusing on the reasons WHY I am here (because God called Geo & I here), WHO I now get to live life with (Geo= no more long distance), and WHAT I need to do to become more comfortable (become more fluent in the language, make friends, etc.). 

Hopping from one country to another, there are always some (or many) differences and I wanted to share some of the ones I have seen!

  1. HUGS! Brazilians are very warm and affectionate. In any social setting you enter, you make sure to first go around and say, “Oi” to everyone and give them a hug and kiss on the cheek. You also hug everyone again when you leave. When I first landed in Brazil, our friend Rafael came with Geo to pick me up at the airport. Not being used to hugging someone new, Geo had to cue me saying, “give him a hug, haha”… I am much better at this now, and don't need the cueing... Even after church on Sunday, the pastor said, "make sure to give at least 20 people a hug before you leave". :D
  2. SAYING GOODBYE. Saying goodbye lasts a long time. Last Saturday night, we went out for food with a group of friends. When we got up to go, we all gave everyone a hug and kiss then ended up talking again (which is too be expected haha). 30 minutes later we all realized it was quite late as we needed to get up early for church the next day. Once again we said “tchau” to everyone with a hug, and then went our separate ways. 
  3. FOOTWEAR. You wear your shoes/flip flops in your house and in other peoples houses. In Canada it is common to take off your shoes and leave them by the door, but not here.
  4. LOUDER. People are a lot louder. Any social gathering is a lot louder. I went to my first Brazilian birthday party and BBQ last Monday for our friend Thiago, and I thought I almost needed ear plugs when we sang, “Parabéns pra você” (Happy Birthday) :D.
  5. GAME DAY. Every Wednesday and Sunday is game day, and the pubs are filled with people watching soccer or “futebol”. I call this: Brazilians in their natural habitat!