Monday, June 11, 2012

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6/6/12 We left Pesqueida this morning at about 7 o’clock. Helena and Paulo were both up when we left; it was so hard to say goodbye to Helena. She’s been so amazing during our time here – she took care of us like we were her own family. I teared up while saying my goodbyes to her. Paulo drove us to the bus stop in Pesqueida so we had a bit of extra time with him. As he was hugging and kissing us goodbye I realized that we didn’t talk to him all that much or spend very much time with him during our stay, and suddenly he seemed so warm and open. My eyes watered when we said goodbye to him too – I think part of this was because he was the final link we had to the house, and suddenly the idea of him leaving without us really made the fact that we’re not returning back to the house that much more real. We were supposed to have a “beach day” today but were rained out, much to our disappointment. Instead we toured a bit of the area where we were staying, grabbed lunch, and hung around our hotel room. Today while I was sitting in the room, feelings of loneliness kept washing over me. These sad feelings would come and go without any apparent reason or trigger. I just felt like I was missing or yearning for something. I felt so homesick, but for what or for whom I’m not really sure. I miss my home, my family, and my friends, but I so badly want to go back to Pesqueida and see the people we left behind there. This trip to Brazil has changed my life. I feel as though I’ve just woken up from a very long, deep sleep – like my eyes have just opened and I’m seeing for the first time. We learn about differences in cultures in our anthropology classes but nothing can really prepare you for the experience of living abroad. It is truly a shock to all your senses. It’s as if I’ve been living in a protective bubble, safe in my small town North Dakotan community all this time, and now I’ve experienced this completely different way of living. It makes the world that I live in back home seem so small; it also makes me have a greater since of appreciation for the things I have and for the level of comfort my lifestyle offers. I’m so incredibly thankful I got to live and work with the Xukuru; what an amazing community of people! It’s my hope that I can continue to work on projects regarding this community and the social and economic issues at play here and attend future field schools here. I don’t want my adventure here to end simply because I’m finally going home. -Shayla

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