Where I Have Been Map

Sunday, July 26, 2009


You don’t realize how close you get to a family other than your own until you consider that the time you have left with them is coming close to an end. With only 10 days left in Gurupa, I have begun to realize how much I am going to miss my Brazilian home stay family. The parents took my sister and I in and treated us not only as their own children, but as good friends as well. The mom has time and time again gone outside and picked mint leafs and made me homemade tea when my stomach wasn’t feeling right. The dad always greets us in the morning and sits down to talk to us in the afternoon and never gets frustrated with our lack of Portuguese language skills. The two nieces are constantly by our side, eager to learn English, pointing to stuff throughout the day and trying their best to pronounce the words in English. The little boy hides behind the wall while we eat breakfast and randomly pops his head out while making funny faces, trying to make us laugh. But the one person who has made the biggest impact on me is someone who stands just over 3 feet tall.

I never knew so much personality could fit inside a 3 year old, but since day one of dancing around the kitchen eating grapes, little Edwarda has made my days here so much more interesting. In the mornings I am usually awakened not by my sister's alarm clock that she sets for precisely 8 am, but by a high pitch scream growing louder as it comes to my door, then softer as it passes by. This does not happen just once, oh no, but repeatedly in the morning until I finally get up and open my door. This tiny little girl that was just making the treacherous screaming noise and running around like a mad man, suddenly stops running and looks at me with the most angelic and innocent face. She then runs over and hugs my leg saying my name “Ennie Ennie!!!” and then grabs my hand and leads me to the breakfast table.

While Cindy and I eat breakfast usually a show is put on for us. It starts out with Edwarda and her brother playing a game of tag, and Edwarda laughing hysterically every time her brother accidentally trips or hurts himself. She then comes up to the table and tells me a story, which I don’t understand a word of, and then as she is smiling saying, “I love you, sister!” I catch from the corner of my eye her tiny little hand crawling towards my bread. Her mom sees this and yells at her to not eat my food, which she responds by turning to her mom with her hands on her hips, flipping her hair back, and running off screaming after her brother.

Whenever a popular Indian song comes on the TV, Edwarda will stop whatever she is doing and start dancing. She can mimic the Indian music video to a T, even singing along to the Hindu words. When she dances she wants the world to watch. Cindy got up one time and tried to dance with her, but she did the boy’s part instead of the girl’s part. Edwarda laughed at her, rolled her eyes, and then tried to teach her the correct way to dance.

Edwarda loves Cindy, but also likes to slap her on occasions… and Cindy bruises easily. She has tried to do the same with me before, scratching my arm or pinching me then looking up at my reaction… when I ignore her, she shrugs her shoulders and gives me a hug instead.

One time we walked into our room and caught Edwarda on our bed with every thing in Cindy’s purse spilled out. When she saw us she quickly started putting everything back, smiling and saying, “Oh your purse fell, your purse fell.” And Cindy responded with a smile right back saying “I don’t think so!” But Edwarda can never be wrong. Since the first time my mom came over to visit our home stay family, Edwarda thought her name was Senora Peixe (Mrs. Fish). When her dad told her is was Senora PACE and not Peixe she shook her head, ran to the window and screamed out to my mom “Tchau Senora PEIXE!” so the whole street could hear. She then proceeded to run over to the kitchen table, grab her bowl of spaghetti, and sit underneath the table as she ate the noodles with both hands.

Despite the occasional slaps and screams, Edwarda can be very loving. Sometimes as I sit and watch TV she will run over and sit on my lap, hug my neck and say “Minha irma." or my sister. Today she did this as we sat together and watched Harry Potter on TV. This tiny little girl is so full of love that even though she has only known me for weeks, she treats me like her real sister. I hugged her close as she grabbed my arm and kissed it… and then she bit me.

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