terça-feira, 10 de março de 2015

Almost three months back home.

I couldn't be more thankful for the present God gave me. The place where I discovered the deepest me was at Ambrose. My weaknesses and my strengths. The place where I could be myself without any restrictions. The place where I could be away from so much stress I have had since I was a little kid. The place where I met some of my dearest friends... Where I got a new family. 
Only myself and I know how much I had to go through to achieve this goal. Many years of sacrifices and obstacles were so worth it. Then, suddenly, everything was... done!? I'd have to stop living what I've fought so much for? Would I abruptly have to interrupt all of this!? 😩
A friend once told me that sometimes we need to step back to jump forward. I hope she's right.
I don't know why I feel so deeply connected with people. It hurts me a lot sometimes. But I know that if it wasn't for this achievement, I wouldn't have grown as a man and I wouldn't have discovered some of the greatest people who have changed my life. 
I wouldn't trade these things for anything. 
Sad that I can't have them all the time with me. They had the ability of making my worries disappear, replacing them by friendship and joy. Yea... They need to shine in their own world. But the truth is that they have taken part of me with them, so I may never feel complete again. However, I'll surely feel happy for seeing them happy.  
Some people may forget me one day, maybe I may forget some of them too... But at the end, my life has become better because of them. That is the greatest price I paid for the richness of knowing and loving people in more than one place. 
I'm glad I have Internet.
I really do not know when I'll see them in person again... In one month? in one semester? in one year? in two years? ... Some I may never see again... Where will God lead us through?
The uncertainty has just anguished me from inside out. 😥If this depended on me, I'd see everybody tomorrow. Just for a couple of hours at least. Time, life, future, destiny... Whatever it is called, we don't control it.
I am a new Shalon though.
By the end of the day...😩 ... Everything I pray for is REST for my heart, because it has been very sad as it never felt... But it is still very thankful. I just needed to give vent to this emotion.
August 13th - December 29th:  the greatest time of my life. I think I've just completed the last post of my Ambrosian adventure in 2014 on my blog. Thankfulness defines "my Ambrosian way of life".
Goodnight. See you someday, Ambrose...

quinta-feira, 1 de janeiro de 2015

Time to Say... See you later! :'(

It has been awhile that I do not write anything! I decided not to! The reason is because when I realized my time was getting shorter and shorter, I just wanted to enjoy each second of my trip. I didn't want to keep my mind busy thinking about what to write, but I wanted it to keep the best moments that posts can't express.
While I am writing this post, I am already in Brazil in the city of Salvador waiting for my next and last flight until home! 
I never thought it would be that hard. It is so hard! I spent 12 hours crying in a row...My life in the United States has been great! I have discovered myself, I have fell in love with myself and I have become a better Shalon who I really love! I knew that this would happen!
These last couple weeks there, I have done a couple cool things. We had a nice "End of the Year Celebration" at Jacque's house which was pretty awesome with people from different parts of all over the world!
 I went to Chicago twice with Jennifer and with Christine and her boyfriend.

The day I went with Christine, I was able to see many cool things. I really appreciate the time they spent with me even with her foot aching after she tripped and Tom's knee was bothering him so much. Despite these things they walked me through Chicago downtown and made my day when we finally got at Navy Pier and I had  the most beautiful view I ever saw. For me, coming from a small town, seeing that huge city, I could not hold my tears.

My time with Jennifer was awesome! She was challeging herself all the time and I didn't realize! We both know how so! We left Davenport very late and spent more than one hour trying to find a parking lot while we were trying to find a gas station to use the restroom! haha When we finally could park, we went to Willis/ Sears Tower for the SkyDeck view... but it was too foggy and we couldn't go up there! We were sad but we still went to the see the famous Chicago silver bean at Cloud Gate... Before leaving, we noticed that it was no longer foggy and greatly we could go up there at the SkyDeck and see a beautiful view of Chicago... It was beautiful ... and then we went to the bar procrastinating each second of the day.... We didn't want it to end!

Before leaving we walked a lot downtown...  she was feeling very tired...  she walked and drove us back to Davenport. We were so exhausted! We were even see things on the way back! It was funny! With Christine I even had the chance to go ice skating for the first time! It was so fun!! I broke my watch though! lol

During the winter break I spent a lot of time on my own at the dorm, but finally I had my roomies' (Joe and Jordan's) companies again for awhile. It was so good to have them over!
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were nice as well!
I went to church and dinner with Tyler's family and on the day of Christmas I went to Christine's house and ended up going to Jennifer's boyfriend's aunt's house where I could sing: "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" - Sam Smith's version and "You raise me up - Josh Groban" that Travis' mom asked me to sing it! Jenn's niece sang beautifully "When I was your man" - Bruno Mars! She is so talented!!!

Well, I knew that "the day" was coming to break my heart hardly and without mercy! I went to Peoria with Tyler's family to see the Festival of Lights! It was nice and beautiful... on the way back we stopped by a restaurant to have some hamburgers! But then, I had to say bye to my dear friend! I can not express how nice was to meeting him this semester! Even relaxing and singing in the hot tub, going to church, doing a great job on Spanish presentations and homework, etc... Thanks, Ritter!! :)

After Christmas, we still went to some friends' house, Lee and Joelma (from my hometown! yay!), where Jennifer and I could have some Brazilian food and desserts and have a nice time with them! I felt like I gained 10 extra pounds! lol... It was so good! They are great people and it has been nice to meeting them!

I knew the hardest time was about to come! I spent the 28th, Sunday, with Jennifer having brunch at Blackhawk Hotel where I drank some "mamosas" and ate a nice food with my dear friend. We passed by the John Deere Pavilion too! It was fun!

After eating we took a walk at the mall when I had some allergic reaction for some food I ate (maybe it was the sweet potato pie that I had at her house, we don't know exactly). Anyways, my left ear was swollen and itchy. I could feel my throat closing too and my tongue getting bigger. On the way, I found Joe and his dad walking in the mall who invited me over for a dinner with my roomies. After taking the medicine which made me very sleepy, I gave Jenn a Christian book that Rosangela (Rouxinol) had given to me before traveling to the States to give it to somebody. Maybe that was the reason ( + seeing Joe ) of having that allergic reaction.

I was so high because of the medicine... I needed to sleep... well, Jenn dropped me off at Joe's... time to say bye...  It has been awhile that I do not cry that long. We said "see you soon" to each other and she said that her heart was leaving along with me... it was so hard. But she had to leave and get ready for the great day. The 29th!... 
After walking in, I had to go to the bathroom right away and cry for a bit while I was getting ready for even worse hard moments: saying bye to my boys! :'( I am still crying while I write this.
These guys had the ability of making me a better person, encouraging me and teaching me many great things...

While we were waiting to have dinner I was seated on the couch and Jordan for a couple seconds put his head over my lap like he was trying to say : "I will miss you"... that broke my heart into pieces... How hardly I would miss this boy, my brother, my bête!
We had dinner, took some pictures and Austin came to pick me up for dinner again!

The 4 roommates took some pictures together... my smile was trying to hide the sadness I was already feeling for having to leave. Everybody agreed on going back to the dorm, so we could hang out a little bit...
I didn't want the day to end at all!!! I wish I could have one more month, stay with them until we graduate, sing more with the choir, BeeSharp, go to lunch with my friends, do homework... I don't know! 

Before leaving with Austin, Joe gave me two beautiful pins (one of Iowa and the other of the American flag which I will wear them for a couple months every day!! lol) and I left with Austin.
After leaving with him, I could relax a little bit at a very country and cultural restaurant where we could talk for awhile. He is a very great guy! :) We went back to McCarthy and he also spent the night across from my apartment, so it would be easier to drive me to the airport. 
When I got there, JJ, Jordan, Joe, Helene and Ramsey were there! It was nice to see some of my best friends together!
JJ had a surprise for me... the American flag greatly folded which was close to the Brazilian flag all the time in the apartment... 
I finished packing, got everything ready, we set up the couch and mattress in the living room where we planned on spending the night.

But Joe had to leave... Oh God! The first one...

I think I hugged him three times while I was crying a lot!! I was heartbroken! He closed the door and I was wondering when I would see my great talented pianist and friend again... for my surprise, five minutes later, Joe came back to spend the night at the apartment with us! That was amazing of his part! I really appreciated that... especially because he had to wake up at 5 in the morning to go to work. After getting everything ready to go for the next day, I was playing with Jordan some capoeira and ended up everybody tickling each other until the death! We truly became a family! :')
I didn't want to go to sleep! I wish that the idea of leaving the campus was just a nightmare... that I would get a phone call from the International Department saying that I could stay longer... A company accepting my application to work in the Quad Cities... I don't know... I didn't want that to be true!

JJ and Ramsey went to get some tacos for me while we were getting ready to go to bed. Joe went to bed first because he was tired... when the guys arrived, we had some tacos and went to bed. Jordan got my matress, I got the couch and Helene the other one, JJ and Ramsey left to come back at 9:45 because I was leaving at 10:20.
We slept...

At 5 something, Joe woke me up, I said: "Shalon, I have to leave for work now. Bye, my friend, see you in the future." we hugged each other and I watched him crossing the door and leaving... :(
I couldn't sleep anymore... Jenn was going to have the surgery soon, we were cheering for her... Arh!! What a emotional stress... I showered, the boys came back and Jordan and Helene woke up and Austin knocked the door... We stayed there for a couple minutes and my roomie had to go... he was wearing the Brazilian t-shirt I got him "KEEP CALM AND BRAZIL ON" and I hugged him with all my strength! How weird is going to be waking up and not seeing any of them... not saying good morning... asking if we have any French assignment... I love you so much, Jordan! My dear bête!!
Then Helene, she had to leave again and more tears were being dropped.
It was time for me to leave... the funny thing was, when I got there for the first time, JJ and Ramsey were there to welcome me and now they were there to say bye to me! Wow... God's so perfect!
Without our IDs Ramsey stayed at the elevator so JJ could take me downstairs and Ramsey could press the elevator button back for JJ. I got Ramsey a funny Christmas gift and he said that he would never forget a sign in Brazilian Sign Language that I taught him! lol ... he was opening the elevator door twice to see my face again... He's awesome! See you, Ramsey!
When I got downstairs I hugged the nicest guy I ever met... my dear JJ... 
JJ was so supportive even with small things: helping me getting my books, encouraging me with my presentations in English, teaching me some English vocabulary... we laughed a lot... and I could say how much I love him and appreciate all of his help!!! Thanks for everything JJ!

Austin got the car and JJ and Ramsey were saying through the window: "See you, Shalon! Hasta luego!!!"

I saw my roommie coming again and asking to stop the car, I got out of the car... I needed to hug the guy who I was so worried to meet and live with... "Is he nice? Does he snore loud (haha)? Will we get along? Is he fun and funny?" Jordan, you are my blessing! You guys were more than I expected! God listened to my prayers giving me the best roommates I could ever have! "Bête", you believed in me many times when I doubted myself through rehearsals, on a daily basis... I love you guys so much and my days won't be the same without you, buddies!

I looked one more time at the campus and I could say: Thank you, God, for making my dream come true and changing my life in a very short period of time! Despite the financial limitations, having no idea about documents and international trips, linguistic limitations... I blessedly made it + got really good grades!! :)  Being away from my country I could get to know myself deeply, my weaknesses and strengths... Thank you and bye Ambrose! 

On the way to the airport I could look at the sunny and warm (and not typical) day of December in Davenport and I had to face the airport time! 
Austin parked and had to say bye there. He was the first Ambrosian I saw and the one who was taking me back to the airport. Thanks, buddy! Love you, Austin...

When I was going through the security at the airport, my mind was thinking about many things: I wish I could have more money, to get a new visa right away and go back, pay my tuition and stay longer with them or just visit them when I miss them... my great friends...
I called my mom, because I had to talk with her to release all my stress... During all these tough moments, she was there to comfort me and say that everything is going to be ok! Love you mom!
I learned that this is not the end and now I need to use all these sad feelings positively toward my new goal: GO BACK TO THE STATES! Start saving up money again, making new connections, finishing my graduation, making a new budget, making more sacrifices to achieve my goal!

I am loved by many people in Brazil... but I used to spend more time at my house, alone, bored than connecting with friends. I even remember spending 8 months without going out with friends due to some factors. Living with people who have the same age, musicians, great singers, amazingly talented, getting along with them, treating each other with respect... it was amazing! they were/are my family, those who listened to me when I was pissed off, when I had good news, when I was worried about something or when I was being annoying in some way! lol ... for these months God gave me brothers and I WILL NEVER FORGET THEM! 

Thank you guys! Jenn, Jacque, Christine, Tyler, Ramsey, Frank, Austin, Anthony, International Students, Cathy, the Bridge Club, Melvin, Kyle, Grace, Danielle, Courtney, Jessie, BeeSharp, Choir, Hannah...

Jordan, Joe and JJ ... I love you guys with all my heart! You guys made me a better person... a new Shalon!
I love you guys, so much! Forever, McCarthy 305!! :) See you all soon!

terça-feira, 28 de outubro de 2014


Today I had a dream...
I was with you during a cold night, I was seated in a chair in the living room... and, focused, I was working with my laptop..
You... you were in front of me, paying attention, and smiling at me like you were trying to say that I am the best man you know... that you want to stay with me forever... That my arms is the exact place you want to be at...
I occasionally realize you, then I smile slightly because I don't want to distract your eyes on me... But I keep working... When suddenly you need to communicate your farewell...
"Oh, no..." My discreet happy smile becomes weak but my heart still warm...
You kindly stand up but I don't look at you to show how sad I am because I need to go...
I want you to stay longer, I want you to be with me...
Why am I still working? My eyes are steady towards the laptop but my heart pays attention to you...
You gently get a blanket and cover my back, involving me with your arms... You kiss my cheek... I can feel your arms, your love, your heart, your kiss... And you say with the most beautiful smile, whispering to me: "Bye, I need to go..."
Oh, please, stay here... I'll stop working, I'll hug you, I'll be with you and we will through this cold night... And we will love each other and be happy because... because we have each other... You love me, I love you... We can love each other and appreciate each other for a couple more minutes, for a couple more days months, years... Or maybe we can love forever...
But, damn it! I try to say it but I can't... My disappointing eyes are still focused on my stupid laptop... You leave but you want to stay...
You cross the door, my mind can't forget your hug... Can't forget you...
I wake up... it was a dream... A dream that I would love to be real...
Was it a dream? Is it trying to say something to me? 
My time may be ending with you... I may leave from this place... Will I stay for awhile with you, trying to say what we both might already know, or I'll just have this dream in my mind?
Should I listen to my heart? Should I keep working with my laptop living in the "uncertainty" of my life...
Will I have other chance? Are you willing to me give another chance? Do you really love me? Do you really want me? Am I deluded? Will I be with you or I'll just have this dream? 

"Oh it's you I know, you're the one I dream of
Looks into my eyes, takes me to the clouds above
Oh I lose control, can't seem to get enough
When I wake from a dream, tell me is it really love
How will I know if you really love me
I say a prayer with every heart beat
I fall in love whenever we meet
I'm asking you what you know about these things
How will I know if you're thinking of me
I try to phone but I'm too shy (can't speak)
Falling in love is so bitter sweet
These love is strong why do I feel weak
Oh wake me, I'm shaking, wish I had you near me now
Said there's no mistaking, what I feel is really love
How will I know if you really love me
I say a prayer with every heart beat
I fall in love whenever we meet
I'm asking you what you know about these things
How will I know if you're thinking of me
I try to phone but I'm too shy (can't speak)
Falling in love is so bitter sweet
This love is strong why do I feel weak"
Sam Smith, Whitney Houston's "How will I know" cover 

sexta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2014

My American Friend Shares Her Experience in Brazil (in my hometown)

When we talk about impressions about a country, it is always nice to see the other side's perception. I mean, as M. Scott Peck says, you should "share our similarities and celebrate our differences". What make us unique is being different from each other, and this is nice. 
I would like to share a newsworthy point of view from a very dear friend of mine, called Calista. 
Calista went to Brazil, specifically to my hometown, with some Occupational Therapy students and Dr. Christine Urish (my American mom), where I had the amazing pleasure of meeting her and work as their interpreter.
Calista is an angel that God put in my life to present me "The Bridge", which is the group that I have talked about, and I really love her comments. Take a look at the picture below. I found this at the elevator of McCarthy Hall! (PS.: Thanks for mentioning me! :) I feel blessed for being your friend!  )

quinta-feira, 25 de setembro de 2014

The Expen$ive American Dream

One of the things that we all care about when we are planning on going abroad is: "How much will this wish cost?"
While being abroad,  we are tempted to think that everything about our country is crappy and horrible. Well, we should think twice and analyze the pros and cons and see things from a different angle.
We pay a lot of taxes in Brazil which is terrible. On the other hand, if you ever get sick in the US, get ready to become a billionaire in a couple minutes. I paid my Health Insurance for the period while I am here and I really needed to see a chiropractor. My insurance covers 60 or 80% of the costs depending on the doctors I have seen, if they are either from the Insurance Company's network or not. Moreover, you are responsible for the copay (amount of money that you pay the doctor, then he/she sends your bill to the Insurance, they cover the percentage previously agreed and the balance/ difference of it, you need to pay). Sounds nice, but what they charge people here for some stuff is an absurd!! It's really expensive. A friend of mine told me that her husband went to hospital and stayed there for a couple days due to a disease. They had to pay over 30.000,00 dollars, which is insane. Having a Insurance is REALLY important.
Despite the fact we have a lot of issues with Health System in Brazil, it is good to see the doctor for free, get shots for free, get medicines for free, etc...
Another aspect that it is really expensive is: Education! We, Brazilians, are really fortunate for not having to pay for college if we study at a public university. Guess what? It doesn't matter if you are studying at a public or private university, you will pay tuition either ways, and they are not cheap. People have debts and debts with this stuff. My tuition is already paid because of the agreement between my university and my current American university. Everything I needed to pay was: Meal Plan ( as I explained in my previous posts)/ Accommodation / Health Insurance / Books / Personal Spends. But not everything was exactly as I had planned before.
My 4 books were really expensive. Just one of them was over 200 dollars! Thanks to my great buddy JJ, we order all my books online (on AMAZON.com) for less than 120 dollars. But, there's more...
I firstly registered myself to take voice lessons, but at my first week of class (that I didn't have all of the classes because some of my professors couldn't show up) I was called by one of the coordinators of the Department who informed me that my voice class was cancelled for the semester because I was the only student for that class. Frustrating right? Get ready for the "better" part!
The coordinator told me that he was sorry about that ( and he is truly a nice guy) because he knew I was really excited about taking voice lessons, but the university "would give me" another option. I could take private lessons with a teacher normally, but I had to pay over 200 dollars! hahaha
My first thought was: Alright, I applied to take this class, they cancelled the class because I was the ONLY ONE and they forward me to another class, but I would have to pay for it! :( I am kinda having the same class, but now I would have to pay for it... That was the sad part. In order to take the classes that I wanted, I would have to spend a little more (that's way you should prepare yourself for the unforeseen issues that may arise during your trip). But there's more stuff...
I looked at my online bill to check how everything was going and I realized that my Health Insurance priced was more expensive than the price I saw online, I say, almost 50% more expensive than the previous cost. I talked with them to try to get a discount, anything, because, honestly, I was not ready for the increased price, however the university couldn't do anything because every year the price increases  ( and that year, around 43%). Well, I paid since I don't want to pay more if I need to see a doctor ( I really hope not).
Well, going back to the point of Education.
One of the discussion in my class among the Americans was why the tuition is so expensive in the US, since Education is a priority in our society?  (their words!) This is something that I am not able to answer, but I know that it is too much ( I can not imagine if I had to pay also the tuition. I can totally say that I would consider coming here to study here more than twice. lol)
In short, my mom and I have paid more than we thought we were going to pay, and since I was not born with a silver spoon, I have to control my finances more carefully and reconsider things I want to do while I am here.
In sum, I am really thankful for people that have helped me financially in some aspects of this trip, and also because my tuition is paid ( thanks, Ambrose ) otherwise I would have to pay more than I paid, but it not fun at all! hahaha.
To conclude,  I also would like to give you some tips to think before traveling:

1) While you are making the budget, be exaggerated about the prices: since I have got here, the currency rates are really high (price of the dollar, IOF and the bank operation fees which even includes withdraws. These days I paid more money in Reais to withdraw 230 dollars than when I withdrew 260 dollars to pay my bill.). Therefore, try to add 5, 8 or even 10% of the costs of each item on your budget. For example: if the Accommodation costs 3.000 dollars, write 3.300 in your budget, so you can have some money for emergencies (or maybe fun! :D ).

2) Always have a Health Insurance Company during your trips: you may have no idea how health system is in another country, so spending this money with a company is something that I highly recommend.

3) Review your budget over and over again: checking the prices and trying to prepare yourself ahead for any situation is really important. So, keep an eye out at the price of currency rates, other fees, etc...

4) SAVE MONEY: All the experiences abroad will compensate all the financial effort!
That's it! Looking forward to sharing more about my adventures!! :)

domingo, 21 de setembro de 2014

My American Dream or My American Nightmare?

I thought everything would be perfect! And I truly have had amazing moments that have made my trip incredibly great... But you
 know what? Some cultural shocks were unavoidable... I never thought I'd experience so much in a short period of time. Every single day is a challenge for me when I am able to understand and get to know more about this new world and specially about myself.
I look at myself today and I can see the difference... I grow day by day... I have learned so many things... I have seen so many things...
The American dream for me, sometimes is almost a nightmare. Daily I need to face the college life that constantly contradicts myself. Every single day I've learned to do things myself and rely on God. I feel so blessed for having amazing and helpful people around me though.
I have seen so many things that bother me. The individualism and the over control about personal emotions is something that makes me sad. Sometimes I feel I am changing my personality just for being in here. My interaction with people have changed. I have been bombarded with "the urge to make money, racial issues, personal space, becoming someone and having the perfect appearance, how to show people that you have something or that you are someone that has nothing to do with the real YOU". I never heard so many cases of suicide as I am hearing now. I never saw so many people alone, on their own. I feel now that everything is leading me to think just about myself.
I have learned that there is a big and touchy difference between being white, mixed or black. I have learned how relationships work. I have learned that alcohol, drugs and sex are the ways to explode the emotion of being " finally free", or maybe an attempt to hide the needy individuals they are.
I have seen how people feel extremely worried about money and personal carrier. I have heard: "I do not talk with people because they can invite me to hang out and I won't have time to study, work and make money". I have seen people being ignored insensitively for being "different". I have seen people apologizing for not being athletic as others. I have seen people leaving a place because there was a "weird" person. I have seen people saying to protect the environment but wasting a lot, I said a lot of food! Dishes and dishes full of food!
But I also saw someone's life being changed by getting a "Hi! How are you"... I have been able to see clearly the black table, the white table, the football table at the cafeteria. I have seen how close but separated we are.  I have learned how the media crashes the life enjoyment and how people forget that life and relationship are important in a different way... Wow... It's a lot information for my head. Instead of trying to fit everybody in a table, I have heard: "you should look for another table".
I have seen people pretending that they didn't know me and labeling me as "the church friend", "the guy from my class" and meaning that our relationship is based on the place that we meet on a daily basis. I have seen my opinion being forsaken, my well-being and presence not being considered at my own place ( and this has nothing to do with my roommates, because they are awesome and really respectful with me! :) ). I have seen how superficial relationships are common and how people are afraid to talk to each other. I have seen how Christmas is expected as the most emotional and beautiful moment to hug, to love... I have seen that people do not like to cry because they do not want to show weaknesses. I have payed attention to the ways people find to release their feelings and how being 23 years old doesn't mean being mature at all. I have learned that the sense of being a community is usually expressed just by volunteer work (for a SPECIFIC community) but this is not usually shown on a daily basis.
I also have seen...
I have see how I can change someone's mood with a smile and a hug. I have learned that I can be with the "nerds", the "different people", the black people, the white people, the freshmen and still be cool. I have seen this person's smile for being included in the group instead of sitting alone... that made me day. 
I have seen how the cultural system is powerful... I have enjoyed gathering black, white, brown, different people in a group... I have enjoyed introducing people to each other... I have enjoyed looking for those who are alone and make them part of the group, I have enjoyed seeing someone's smile just because I listened to their worries... I feel awesome when people look at me weirdly for talking with "different people". 
People may judge me saying that I'm overreacting or judging the culture, etc. However personal impressions are to be discussed, confirmed or changed, If we say that our country is the best, we are not being patriotic but hypocrites. You may see the same things in my country or even worse, but we can only see cultural differences in this way... I could be fooling my readers by saying how everything has been perfect without flaws and without issues, but I won't. I will share my positive impressions as well as not very good impressions. 
Take a look at this article that my friend Sarah has shared with me on Facebook: "27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well"!

My 21st Birthday in the US! And no... I didn't get drunk! Haha

By seeing the title of this post we will see how the 21st birthday is so expected for some people. 
Differently from Brazil, the legal age to drink in the US is 21 and not 18 and the laws are really tough and strict about it. 
I see positiveness about it. Americans learn how to drive at the age of 16, become "an adult" at the age of 18 and can drink when they turn 21! So, THEORETICALLY, people have five years to think about the responsibility concerning driving and drinking which is great. But we all know that this doesn't always happen... Anyways... In general, when people turn 21, they want to drink and consequently they get wasted! My birthday was totally different!
I started celebrating with My American mom Christine a day before my birthday. We had lunch and she gave a lot of presents, she is so sweet! I loved all of them!
On the Sept. 1st my birthday and Labor Day in the US, I went to a Zumba class in the morning that was also a fundraiser for a baby who was ill. It was cool to have fun and help the baby and his family! We were all being coordinated by Bettinna Bolger and her crew with fun movements and a lot of dancing. I enjoyed a lot, but I was tired and my back was aching due to my posture while studying and using my iPad (however Dr. Eduardo Marquez, amazing professional and chiropractor, took care of me and gave my spine and neck adjustements!). Well, when we were about to end, Bettinna plays the 2014 World Cup Anthem by Pitbull ft. JLo and Claudia Leitte! I jumped from my chair and started dancing with everybody. No more pain, just fun! During Claudia's part in the song, we had a blast by joining all the Brazilian in the middle dancing a very original samba! What a fun and patriotic time that allowed us to show our culture. :)
After that, we had Brazilian lunch at the Tome's house where I personally met Global Awareness Consulting supporters and I had the pleasure of having my roommates with me and being with my dear friend Jennifer (Love you, girl! You're my favorite!). My roommates and I even sang "Seasons of Love" by Rent. It was a fun moment.
Thanks, Jacque and Christine for my 21st birthday!