My Brazilian Cousins
I seem to keep finding relatives on all edges of the earth, because recently I connected online with some cousins of mine in Brazil. They happen to share my last name and we share common ancestors back in Italy (Italians made up a huge wave of immigrants in the late 1800s to Brazil, just as they did here in the United States)
It's really amazing to me how the internet has allowed people to connect in ways I don't think anyone would have thought possible. When I consider that the last time these two branches of the family were in contact was over 130 years ago back in Cosenza, a town in the region of Calabria in Italy, that's really incredible.
My one cousin happens to be an English and Portuguese teacher... and she wound up getting me to take the leap into Portuguese.
I've actually wanted to learn Portuguese for a while. And being that I have Brazilian friends and now family, it seems like more than an ideal opportunity to start, I know I'll certainly get enough practice. I'm exceptionally looking forward to being able to go down to Brazil and visit in the not too distant future (but once my Portuguese is to my standards)
I surprise people when they find I'm in regular contact with cousins in the Netherlands, Italy, and now Brazil. And it really makes me feel connected to the world community as a whole, which I couldn't appreciate more.
Portuguese is going to be an interesting experience for me, because I've had little to no exposure to the language, and I still have a hard time distinguishing it when I hear it. But this was how I was when I started French back in January, and I'm really far along into that language now.
In other news, I'm bringing the Jetta down to the Volkswagen dealer tomorrow to get it serviced under warranty. This is the first car I've ever owned to still be covered under warranty, so it's quite a new concept that I may have some minor things fixed at no cost to me. Though I'm exceptionally wary whenever I go to a dealer or mechanic because I'm afraid of them trying to pull one on me, so my guard is always on overdrive.
I can't believe I'm nearly finally done with French II, either. Because this has been one of the most intensive courses I've ever taken. I never thought I'd be able to cram 125-200 new vocabulary words in my head a week... but somehow I do it.
I also need to start on my application essay for my internship in Washington... What's critical is I carefully think out where I want to intern first, because my experience will be very different depending on where I go. I'm doing something in the field of international affairs, but that can range from working for the federal government at the State Department (which I'm actually not quite sure I'd enjoy because so much of it is extreme paper pushing) to working for a foreign embassy or multinational organization, such as the European Commission. So I'll see. I do want it to have something to do with US-European relations, however. So that's on my to do list.
I miss sleeping late.