24 Dec 2013

Foz do Igaçu

Oi gente,

Here I'm again since a lot of time. But the last there wasn't anything special to talk about.
Now I want to tell you about my trip to the Iguassu Falls with Belo Brasil two weeks ago.

Tuesday (Day 1):
I started my journey on December 10th at the airport of Varginha. From there I went one hour to Campinas in the state of São Paulo.
There I met the first other exchange student who went to Foz too when I was waiting at the Gate for my second flight.
The two went very fast and on the way to Foz I had a TV in plane, so it was interesting.
I arrived in Foz do Igaçu at 3pm in the afternoon and went together with some other exchange students to our hotel.
The hotel was beautiful and had a big pool (which I've entered :( ).

The pool (it was raining bc of that it was empty
I shared a room with a girl from the Unit... Texas and another girl from Japan. I really enjoyed the time I had with them and we had so much fun!

Room girls <3 comment-3--="" i="" miss="" you="">
The first evening we had dinner at the hotel (the buffet there was amazing!) and then a little meeting about the rules and the program.
I've met some German exchange students I've already knew from my preparation weekend in Bad Hersfeld and some other AFSer from my first orientation here in Belo Horizonte.
Of course I got to know some other exchange students too and that was one of the greatest things of this trip.

Wednesday (Day 2):
After a very delicious breakfast we went to a bird park first. It was cool to see all this birds like parrots, toucans and all the other ones from just a very short distance. We could touch some too. It was an experience I'll never have again, I think.

I was a bit afraid of this bird, it was pushy ;)
After that we went to the waterfalls of Igaçu and it was just amazing. The waterfalls are so big and it's so unbelievabal to see them for real. I enjoyed the time there so much, for most getting wet, because this made this experience real for me.

After lunch at one of the park's restaurant I went on an optional Safari and boat tour. We had a short Safari trough the wood, a short walk and then a drive under one of the Iguassu falls. We got so wet there, but honestly I expected a bit more.
But hey, how many people can say that they had a shower below one of the waterfalls of Igaçu?

In the evening we stayed at the pool again until 11 o'clock and just talked to each other. And even I didn't sleep much because of this, I really enjoyed it. It was special this atmosphere there again which forms every time exchange students meet.

Thursday (Day 3):
This morning after breakfast we went to Paraguay by bus to go shopping. Ciudade del Este is really close to Brazil and it's duty free.
First we just stayed at two shopping centres, but then one of our stuff went to a shop of "Victoria Secret" with us.
I bought a little bag with some perfume, body lotion and shampoo there and later in another mal two more perfumes.

We had lunch in a shopping center in Foz do Igaçu back in Brazil where we had lots of restaurants to choose from. Shizuka (the Japanese girl I shared a room with) decided to eat some Sushi and I really liked it, even I can't eat with chopsticks :D
We had some time in the mall so I bought some little things.

Later this afternoon we went to "Itaipu Binacional", a hydroelectric dam (Info here). I was just tired and not that interested in that, but it was ok.

In the evening we went to a dance show which lots of dances from all over South America. It was great and the food we got was so delicious again (especially the dessert).
There were dances from Argentina, Peru, Paraguay, Mexico... and of course Brazil. I really like the Samba performance.
After the show they made a cake for Shizuka and Nick (German exchange student), because their birthdays were that day (Shizuka) and the day before (Nick).

Friday (Day 4):
This day we had to get up even earlier because we went to Argentina and they needed a lot of time at the frontier.
I slept when we waited for our stuff in the bus because I was really, really tired this morning.

After entering the new country we went to Iguassu National Park on the Argentinian side.
There we stood nearly over some of the waterfalls and it was really awesome. I couldn't believe that the things I saw are real.
We ate at a park restaurant where we had some problems with the currency first and thought everything was sooo expensive, even for real it wasn't.

Later we went to a view point from where we could see to Paraguay and Brazil while standing in Argentina.
After that we went to another duty free shop between the borders of Argentina and Brazil where I bought some new sneaker.

This night we stayed awake very long to enjoy the last time we had together. It just have been 3 days but I made some really good new friends and spent time with people I've already knew and liked. The Thais took plenty of photos as remembrances and other people had books and t-shirts to collect signatures and little texts.

Some of the exchange student had to go to the airport at 4am inclusive Shizuka. After about 3 hours of sleeping I woke up to say goodbye to here, even this scene feels like a dream when I try to remember it now.
She wrote me a really, really sweet letter and now I miss here so much. She's one of the nicest people I've ever met in life and I can't wait to see her again someday.

I got up at about 9am the next morning and because of the raining I couldn't go swimming like I'd imagined the day before.
I spent some time with Sarah (the Texan girl from my room) and some other exchange student before we got to the airport.
There I had to say goodbye a lot too soon and it was really sad.
This days in Foz have been one of the best I had here in Brazil and I enjoyed every single moment of this trip.

Todo mundo :)
After my flight to Campinas I had some time with my monitor there so went to a mall there where I had lunch at McDonald's and my best Brazilian ice cream. I also bought a present for my brother back in Germany and got some really cool sweets.

I arrived in Pouso Alegre at about 9pm where some family friends picked me up and got me back to Varginha.
The first night after the trip I spent "na Roça" with my family.

So this was a big post about one of my greatest memories here in Brazil.
Soon I'm going to tell you about the last week and the graduation of my older host sister and of course Christmas time here in Brazil.

Frohe Weihnachten, Feliz Natal & Merry Christmas,


18 Nov 2013

3 meses, 100 dias & uma mudança na minha vida

Oi gente,

Yeah, I’m still alive. I haven’t posted anything for a long time, but it has a serious reason:

I changed my host family.

To the majority it will be a little shock, because I’ve never told that I wanted to this. I don’t wanna talk about the reasons, just: sometimes it just not should be.
And for me it was the right decision.

I’m still living in Varginha, just in another part of the city now.
With my new host family I’m getting along really well and I enjoyed the first weeks here so much.
I have 3 host sisters now: one is older than me and she’s finishing school at the moment, a nearly 14-years old one and a little one with just 10 month.
My host parents have a car repair shop next to our house and I know a lot of the employers who’re working there too.
All my host uncles, aunts and their kids are living close to our house too, so I can see them often.

In my first week I made a spontaneous trip to São Paulo with my uncle, one of my host sisters (the 13 year old one) and my cousin to pick up his dad. He was in Ceará (state in the north of Brazil) for 3 weeks to visit his family there.
We went there in the evening and arrived at midnight. Before meeting my host uncle we had a midnight snack at Mc Donald’s. It was a cool trip and when we arrived in Varginha again in the morning I didn’t have to go to school :D

One of my first weekends here I spent “na Roça” because my family has a house there. With 3 floores it’s really big, but at the moment we can just use the first one.
We went their Friday evening after I came back from my tests and stayed there until Sunday evening.
The house is near a river and we made a little boat trip one it on Sunday.  I took some photos because the nature is really great. The exchange student from Thailand, my new family hosted last year, said it looks like Pantanal.
I enjoyed the time with my family there because every day some family members and friends arrived and stayed for some time.
And of course: the food was too good – like always *-*

School is getting more and more boring. I like some subjects like math, physics, English for example, but some other are really boring. I try to understand them but it’s so boring so I do other things in school. At the moment I mostly reading stories or writing some by myself.

Since my last entry the 3 month mark are already over. And another really important mark:

100 Dias!!! 100 DAYS!!! 100 TAGE!!!

I can’t believe it yet, but the time is really flying. There are “only” 200 days left and at the moment I can’t imagine going home so soon. But of course I’m missing my German family and friends too and I can’t wait to see them again in some month.

The last five day I stayed in Cabo Frio with my two host sisters and my uncle’s family. I’m going to write something about this holidays soon – I promise it ;)

Beijos do Brasil pra vcs,


10 Oct 2013

Um final de semana em BH

Oi gente,

Here I am again. Now I want to tell you about my last weekend in Belo Horizonte, like I notified in my last post.

It all started at Friday when I took the bus to BH together with the two Italian exchange students from my city.
Because of the rain we needed 6,5 hours instead of 5. When arrived at the rodoviária in BH nobody from AFS where there, neither at the meeting point.
After 10 minutes a volunteer arrived but the other exchange students still hadn't been arrived.
Later another German girl arrived and we started speak German - and it felt so strange at the beginning. I can tell you: it's a crazy feeling when your first language isn't normal anymore... :D

After 2 hours waiting at the bus station nearly everybody arrived and we could go to our hostel. In the evening we just get to know each other and we went to a restaurant and ate Pizza there.
At this orientation there were AFSer from Italy, Germany, Thailand, Turkey, Greenland and the USA. It was so interesting to talk to people from countries you don't know and now I know: I still have to visit so many countries!

In the pizzeria (credits to Sofia Lissandron)
Intercultural talking (credits to Sofia Lissandron)
The next day we had some activities about exchange in the morning and then we left the hostel and went to city center of Belo Horizonte. And we used the metro - I didn't know that it exists one in BH.

We arrived at a station called "praça da estação", a nice place with a little museum which we could visit for free. After that we went to a shopping center to eat there in a "kilo-restaurant". If you don't know what this is: you take a plate with everything you like from a buffet and then you pay by kilo. That's really common here in Brazil.
And we had the advantage that AFS paid the meal, so I could eat as much as I can :D

When we finished our lunch we didn't had time to buy something in the shopping center (that's really sad because I saw some FC Bayern jerseys in the Adidas Outlet :'( ). We walked to the "Mercado central" which just a few streets away.
There I bought a pair of Havaiannas (for just 5 euros *-*). 
The Italian girls bought everything to make Spaghetti for us.

When we walked back to the metro station I saw some parts of BH which aren't really pretty. The whole city is a mix of pretty, modern and old, run-down parts. 
If you rode all of my entries you know that I've already been in Belo Horizonte when I arrived at the airport there. At this day I saw some really beautiful places and I thought is BH is a amazing city, now I know that doesn't count for the whole city.

(credits to Sarah Willmeroth)
We spent the evening talking to each other and eating really good Italian pasta *-*

Italian Spaghetti *-* (credits to Milan Marcus)
After a short night our last half day started.
We had breakfast in the hostel and after that we went to a little park where everybody of us AFSer had an individual interview with the volunteers of AFS. They wanted to know how our experience is going until now.

After that we took our backs and went to the rodoviária where we had lunch in a "kilo-restaurant" again. Then the first of us had to go and this meant say goodbye.
I can't describe it but it's every time special when AFSer meet. Everybody is getting along well with each other and you can talk so much to people who are the complete opposite of you.
Because of this I love meetings of AFSer and hate the time is passing faster than normally then...

My bus back to Varginha went at 2.30pm and so I arrived at home at nearly 8pm.
It was a really great weekend and if anybody of the AFSer of Minas Gerais reads this: I enjoyed the time with you so much and I hope we'll meet again soon <3 p="">
Here are some more pictures:

Alemanha, Tailândia e 2x Itália (credits to Sarah Willmeroth)
AFSer (credits to Sarah Willmeroth)
A gente (credits to Sarah Willmeroth)
Intercambistas de Minas Gerais (credits to Sarah Willmeroth)
Os alemães (credits to Milan Marcus)
So I hope you could get an idea of my first AFS weekend here in Brasil.
I don't know when I'll write again, maybe when something special happens or after my first week of school after my holidays (which aren't official holidays :D).

Até logo, Sandra

2 meses, meu primeiro Bimestre & mais

Oi galera,

More than two month are already over! I can't believe it :o Time's flying so fast... ✈✈✈
And last week my first of four Bimestres in Brasil ended. My first 8 weeks of school, new subjects and lots of test are over.
Two weeks ago I had my last two exams, the "Simuladas". They were for all the subjects and I reached 2,8 and 2,7 of 5. I think that's a really good mark for a German exchange student.

Simulada Part 1 (Inglês, Matemática, Biologia, Literatura e Filosofia)
Simulada Part 2 (Português, História, Física, Química, Espanhol, Sociologia & Arte)
Minhas outras provas (my collection of other tests)

Then on the last day of September when I came back from school, the shock: a truck that normally parks towards our house bumped in a house at the end of the street. It wasn't parked right and because of this it started to move down the road itself...
There's a picture I mad:

From last Friday to Sunday I was at an AFS camp in Belo Horizonte (capital of my staate). There's so much to tell about this weekend, so I'll write an extra post today or tomorrow.

Last Sunday night I was at a concert of Jorge & Mateus in my city. It was really good and like the music they make a lot.
I was there with my host sister, the two Italian exchange students and their host siblings and two friends of them. We bought VIP tickets, but VIP here is different to Germany. VIP here means that you are in front of the stage, but it's a really big part so I hadn't been near the stage.
We were also in the "Pista" (that's the other and cheaper part) and I think there isn't much
difference, just the distance to the stage.
And in the VIP area there was a fighting, so a friend took my arm and we run away really fast.
To be honest: I was afraid...

So I think that's all the important things to write. Now I just want to share some photos of the last time with you:
Jogo de basquete do um amigo (Basketball game of a friend)
A Pool *-*

Feliz aniversário atrasado Varginha!

Até logo, Sandra

What I just wanted to say:

Even I don't have much time to follow the games: I'm so proud of you boys! ♥♥♥