sábado, 15 de março de 2014

One of my biggest challenges is my greatest gift: my family!

Sometimes I still can't believe everything God has done to me! As I've told you guys before, my dream is coming true. Usually, people who get to know the story when it's about to happen, don't know what you had to go through.
Many nights, tears dropping... I may sound silly, funny, strong sometimes, however I'm undeniably emotional... I'm a human being!! 
My mom is my model, my best friend, my secret keeper... We are so closed that God knew that the only thing which would make me quit about traveling was leaving her, since it's only her, my siter and I. I didn't know I was ready to live without her. I didn't realize I had to be more independent so abruptly, I had to, though. I realized that I had to cut my umbilical cord once again and truly walk with my own feet. 
Everybody is different from each other (Thank God, otherwise it would be extremely boring), and despite the fact I am a young grown-up guy I was really scared about getting independent! I was frightened about the future, about failing... Afraid of falling... I knew that I had to and want to, but I was afraid of it!
Being the youngest child and not having my father's love, support and encouragement, my mom protected me so much and we got so connected that I thought I'd be a stupid lost guy without her. God has taught me that my future is in his hands and He has taken good care of me (and my mom and sister as well). For some people it's a not a big deal, but it's to me! It's a big step!
There are a little more than 100 days for me to leave for St. Ambrose, make new friends and join this new family! We feel that we will miss each other very, I said very, much (Thank God for technology), We are inseparables but we knew that one day, physically we would be far from each other. And this trip it's just the beginning! 
What makes me move on?
1) I won't have them forever and I'll have to built up my life; 
2) My mom said that she loved me more than everything and she'd not be happy by knowing that she was an obstacle for me to not achieve my goals. After that, she said something important that I kept it in my mind and heart: " If you love me so much as you do say, make me a favor: ' be happy '! And I'll be too! Because your happiness is mine and whenever you may go I'll be with you through my prayers, my love. And whenever you need me, I'll always be here for you!" 
Sometimes, it seems like I will stay there for more than six months, we don't know... Everything I know ,as everybody needs to know, is that we NEED to "lose" things to get others (I hope you get what I'm trying to say). To achieve precisely some goals we need to abdicate some things, leave some obstacles behind, be away from people who you love in order to grow spiritually and personally! I wouldn't say that my time to do was late, I'd say that the right time to experience it it's now!! 
Everything I know is that I'm a successful student, singer, teacher, a very responsible and professional guy and a good leader for having such great examples! Thank God for you guys, my dear family! God may be with you endlessly and with you guys as well!

quarta-feira, 12 de março de 2014

Acceptance, some costs and DS-2019!

Finally, I was accepted for the next Fall Semester!! I am so thrilled and still counting down the days to get in the US. 
After receiving an email from the university I had to keep going through the process of my registration which I'll explain it right now:
After getting accepted, my adviser and supporter Ms. C.T. (I will not reveal the person's name to protect her privacy) mailed me my acceptance letter and my DS-2019 document. This is one of the document that's required to get a student visa - J1 - in Brazil which contains some information such as the day you need to arrive and leave the country. My American helper also asked to sing a digital contract called "Room and Board Contract" that is available online for me to fill out and pay my deposit with credit card which costed USD 250,00. I picked the McCarthy Hall that is an International Community that will consist of suites of American and international students and will include special cultural programming such as cooking evenings, movie nights, and culture talks.
In this form I had also to answer some personal questions: what time I usually go to bed, my age, if I'm a smoker, if I like studying in a place quiet or with some noise, etc. It was also required to get my Meal Plan, which means I'll pay a amount of money for some meals I can have in the cafeteria weekly during the semester (I got 14 meals per week which will cost around USD 1800,00). I also had to fill out some forms about the shots I've taken ( thank God my mom works with that, so I have all the assistance I need. It's important to highlight that there's no mandatory shots you have to take to go to the United States, on the other hand, it's highly recommended to take Influenza Vaccine) and my health insurance form which will cost USD 500,00.

As I was waiting for my package from the university so that I could get to start the process of getting my visa, I went to my bank account because I needed to pay part of the costs prior my arrival at St. Ambrose. Nevertheless, I needed 13 different documents (some of them are payed and registered at Federal Police) and I would pay a lot of money for the transference + going through the annoying and stressful Brazilian bureaucracy! I knew I'd not be able to transfer on time... I got worried about it, however I would get REALLY worried by the upcoming events!
I sent an email to my adviser on the issues I was having and I asked desperately for some alternatives to pay the stuff. I also asked about my package that was taking a long time to get at my house. So, let's wait for her to reply it... And then... The answer arrived! 
My adviser would help me out with some payment alternatives and she told me that I shouldn't be worried about it. On my package with the document to get my visa, while she was tracking it , she figured out that it got stuck in São Paulo for having an incorrect address. In order to solve this issue, I'd have to call/email FedEx company and inform them my correct address. The thing was... they didn't answer the phone at all and they didn't have an email address to get in touch! Guess what? I'd need to GO to São Paulo to get it!!! I would miss a lot of classes and spend a lot of money to travel in order to get my package!!! I was freaking out!!!
I sent an email to the university saying that would be impossible for me to go for the reasons I mentioned above and asking for a hand! I must have to thank the university staff for being so kind, strategic and supportive with me since that's my first international trip! C.T. said that I shouldn't go at all because she had a solution. The director of International Studies Department of St Ambrose University  was coming to visit my school to give a lecture on American Education and she could send me another copy of my document with him! Yay!!!!
At this moment, my mind was like: "but if he forgets it? What would I supposed to do?" .. Then, the prayers were raised so hard and more emails were sent to remind them all! LOL
Guess what?
It's not what you're thinking! He did bring my document! I'm sooooooo happy!
He talked to me to pay everything when I get there and gave me the package! During his presentation I heard a lot of exciting information about the university! Actually from him and my classmates who went to SAU! I am so thrilled and more excited about expericing my "Ambrosian way of life"! 
By the end of their speakings, I could share with the audience that I would keep them posted about all the process, experiences, impressions and costs I will have as I am going to the States on my blog...
I left the auditorium so thankful about God's grace upon me by giving me so great and special people to help me out! I'll be endlessly grateful!
You cannot miss any of the upcoming posts! See y'all!