Oi, tudo bem?

I wanted to pop on here and just give you a bit of a sneak peek into the life of living in Brasil as a pandemic is on the rise. Ah coronavirus, what a nasty thing. Stopping and changing people’s lives in an instant. Normal lives are being effected but also exchange lives.

I recently just got back from my amazing Foz do Iguacu trip, it was honestly so needed and made me so incredibly happy. So many new friends were made and so many incredible memories. Whilst on the trip some exchange students found out that they were being sent home because of the coronavirus and that made us all mad. I was just meeting all these amazing people from all over the world and now I might not be able to see them again for a very long time. But we all tried to not think about it and make the most of our time together. The time we spent together formed bonds that I’m not hoping to break any time soon. Our last night together was very emotional and I will miss them all, little did I know that was the last time I was going to see a lot of them. At the airport, we met a girl from Germany who was on exchange in Argentina who had only been there for 5 weeks and she was already getting sent home. We’ve all been keeping in contact and found out nearly everyone on the trip was getting sent home due to the virus. All my good friends have gone in an instant, spread all over the world.

Now back in my city, I’m in quarantine and it is anything but interesting. Mainly I just lie around and watch movies, learn Portuguese, scroll endlessly through Tik Tok, learn a dance or two, eat food when I get the chance and drink a lot of water. Netflix is quickly running out of shows for me. My Amazon trip has been postponed until May, which I’m hoping will still go but at this rate, I’m not sure.

My host mother is usually at work all day because she is a pharmacist so she can’t stop her job, but my host dad and my sisters don’t go to work now so at least I’m not alone anymore, I was at the start. I didn’t really have a clue what was going out there until my mum in Australia explained it to me (thank you kylie) it is so crazy. Nobody here really watches the news but my host sister did tell me that the president here, who is insane by the way, said: “The coronavirus is just a little sickness, everyone can continue their daily routines.” I definitely feel like Brasil will not bounce back as fast and good as some other countries, but if the president doesn’t do something the virus could spread everywhere, which is definitely worrying. People are still practicing social distancing but I’ll be worried when school goes back as Brasilians are very affectionate and touchy people.

This whole experience is making me sad and every other exchange student I know sad. Like it’s such a shame that it had to be us, why us you know but there is nothing we can really do about it except follow the rules and hope that this ends soon. I’m so thankful that none of my trips have been canceled so far but I do feel so terrible for the kids in Europe whos one Euro Tour was canceled. Brasil has many trips so even if the ones around this time are canceled hopefully some later in the year aren’t. So far what I know of is one Australian in Brasil has gone home. My host district at the moment don’t want to send me home, which is good but you never know, the situation could change very quickly.

Anyway just thought I would share my experience. Stay safe and wash your hands.


Sherriden Williams

We feel for you Indigo and all your wonderful exchange friends…the year of opportunities and bonding friendships with people from all over the world has changed for you all overnight. Talk about being resilient on your exchange year…COVID-19 is putting everybody to the test! A chance for us all to take stock of the important things in our lives, family, friends, learning new things now that we have plenty of time to slow down in the rat race we call life. Take advantage Indy…I hear your Mum will learn Portuguese with you…better watch out she will be fluent in no time haaa! I hope the world takes note of what is happening all around us as we practice social distancing and lock ourselves behind closed doors…mother nature is fighting back, animals are roaming the land again, skies are clearer which were once polluted with industrial smog from both factories and cars which is now limited. Canals and waterways have sealife back in abundance…we will have alot to answer to when normality is returned. I hope this has not put you off your exchange year Indy…just think of it as a bump in the road. We love you and are so very proud of you with what you have to handle in these crazy times world wide so soon into your exchange. Love to you, your beautiful host family and friends you have made along the way…BE SAFE our Aussie/Brazilian niece and keep writing in your blog…it will be fabulous to hear about your journey along the way…be it a very different one to what we thought it would be!!! Love Aunty Sherri, Uncle Brad, Mia & Harper xxx

Christine Owen

Indi Hi! Great to hear from you and know that you are coping pretty well despite being isolated at home. Consider it an opportunity to learn some Spanish dancing, to play the guitar, the make videos to upload to You tube of your TikTok dancing and maybe develop some skills in doing some Brazilian arts and crafts! I presume you are not doing any school work as it did not get a mention! Keep up the Portuguese.
I am glad you enjoyed Igaczu Falls. I saw it from both sides and loved every minute. How about some pics in your next blog? It was great that you were privileged to meet so many extraordinary YE students despite them having to leave so soon. I think you might be surprised that they will all want to keep in touch, even though you can’t meet face to face. Some of our Inbounds have headed home too and as you know Meret will leave for Germany on 10 April. Stay safe, wash you hands and make the most of your time. Christine xxx

Kelly Nicholls

Hi Indigo,so lovely to hear about your experience so far. Who would ever thought we would be living through a pandemic!You sound as though you are doing your best in isolation.Learning Portuguese is fantastic!Hopefully you can
absorb the culture even in isolation& no other trips will be postponed so you can make the most of your time away. Take care & stay safe. Love Kell,Dave,Milahn,Luca& Freyaxxx


Howdy Indi , how are those wild Brazilians treating you??? I have really enjoyed reading your blogs and getting a feel for what’s happening there for you….a very different experience to what was anticipated for sure – life throws curve balls, but it teaches us how to be flexible and to adapt….and to let go It seems your host families are friendly and kind. How are you finding learning the language??? I found it kinda tricky when I was there all those years ago. I was lucky enough to meet Brazilians who could speak a bit of English as I travelled around and it was enough to get by. Your adventure to Iguasu (?) Falls looked like a hoot. Aren’t they spectacular?? Perhaps your venture to the Amazon will be happening next month. Anyhow, I hope things get back to a new and improved version of ‘normal’ soon enough so that your Brazilian adventure expands beyond that of your host family home. Keep writing your blogs Indi. Take good care. Love n blessings, Sam n Keshi xox


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