Brazil Experience – Testimonial of Two British Girls

Hey guys!! Here we are again!😉 And this time I’d like to share with you this GREAT testimonial sent to our email (portuguesemassa@gmail.com) from two British girls who were visiting Brazil. I hope you enjoy it and more than that, I hope you can live the same amazing experience they had in the country and with our beautiful Portuguese language!
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As part of a year-long trip around South America, we were fortunate enough to spend six weeks travelling down the East coast of Brazil.  Having never visited the country before, our minds were full of curiosities about the land of sun, samba and caipirinhas.  Not only were all of our expectations fulfilled, they were exceeded day by day.
Obviously, when you first think of Brazil your mind is immediately drawn to that silhouette of Jesus standing high above the Cidade Maravilhosa, and so it should be.  What we weren’t expecting is how much more the country has to offer.  Stunning beaches in Fortaleza and Ilha Grande, waterfalls in Paraty, displays of traditinal capoeira in Salvador and the breath taking Iguacu Falls.
Having studied Portuguese at University, we were pretty confident that we already had a good grasp of the country’s culture and knew what to expect.  However, it became more and more apparent as the weeks went on that we would barely scratch the surface.  We got to experience the vast differences between the concrete jungle of Sao Paulo to the laid back surfers’ paradise Florianopolis to the colonial cobbled streets of Paraty.  Being foodies, we were so excited to uncover what Brazil had to offer: por kilo restaurants (in our eyes the best invention man has ever made); sweet and refreshing acai; churrascarias, a meat lover’s paradise; exotic fruit that you can’t even buy in Waitrose; the freshest sea food you could imagine; and the most delicious home cooked food.
It goes without saying that it would have been impossible to have had such an incredible experience if we had not had even the simplest grasp of the language.  It’s true that tourists can visit Brazil and scrape by with the odd obrigado accompanied with wild hand gestures, but if you really want to experience all the country has to offer this just isn’t enough.  Although we were skeptical,  having not used our Portuguese for a good two years after graduating, we were touched by how many people were grateful for us even trying and encouraged us to keep going.  Whether it be over a family dinner, discussing different types of fruit to trying to explain what role a Learning Mentor plays in British schools on a night out.  Without a doubt our ability to communicate, even in the smallest sense, allowed us to form friendships with people and see things that we will never forget and that you most definitely won’t find in the Lonely Planet.
Out of all of the countries that we have visited so far on our travels, Brazil is the one that has really captured our hearts (sorry but it’s true!) and we are already planning our next trip hopefully for a special occasion in the near future!! to discover more of what it has to offer.
Sara Morgan and Jessica Catteril

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