Ohhhhhhhhh minha vida! I've been here for a week now! How crazy is that?
Where do I start? Well, I spent my entire first week in Praia in the area of Tira Chapeu with two sisters. Sister Pitts from Las Vegas and Sister Muhangueno from Angola. And they are soooooo awesome! I didn't get to meet the mission President for the first couple of days because he was on a different island so I just tagged along with them until I recieved my actual first assignment and trainer.
TIRA CHAPEU oh my goodness what a culture shock! The smell is definitely not the greatest and the SUN! OH THE SUN just beats down on you for every second of every day. I totally came in thinking it was going to be dry heat but it's not! It's kinda humid here! The winds are so strong here too. 24/7 night and day I and my stuff are all covered in a layer of dirt. There are Praia dogs everywhere! EVERYWHERE. And there is a huge difference between house dogs, dogs, and Praia dogs. One of my companions literally counted 80 Praia dogs in just one hour of walking. Oh and not just dogs but there are also random goats and the occasional cow just wandering around the streets. It's pretty cool. Eu gosto. The ice cream here is comparable to gelato and the bakeries are to diiiieeeee for.
I've gotten some mosquito bites on my legs that have been swelling up like crazy (my poor delicate white skin) but the Mission President's wife gave me ointments and medicine that have all helped so much!!!
Aside from all of that though the people are AMAZING!!! Oh my goodness I love them so much! Everyone is so friendly and so open and so beautiful! There are tons of people here that have either blue or hazel eyes and it's super fixe. AAAALLLL the women kiss cheeks and it's kinda rude if you don't, so I've been like super awkward with that, but I'm trying! Something about the people here is that they all speak in Crioulo. I've only met a few that will speak in Portuguese for me and it's pretty difficult for me. I can't understand hardly anything anyone is saying ever except for the sisters because they speak in Portuguese. So during lessons, the sisters speak in Portuguese and the people will respond in Crioulo so for me I only ever understand like 1/4 of whats going on and then I'll try to teach. It all sounds so good when I say it in my head and then I start speaking and it's all broken up and mispronounced and just yuck. hahahaha. It's more about how others feel rather than how well I say it so I try to keep my head up and not be discouraged. And I'm really not discouraged! I know I'm doing the best that I can. And my Portuguese has improved so much since arriving so I know the people can at least understand me, I just can't understand them. But I love them all. They're so kind to me. I especially love the kids. Oh my gosh they're so precious!!!!!
Just a little fun fact for you all, I don't go a single day without hearing some little kid call me "China" (shee-nuh). Seriously. Sometimes I'll have little herds of children running around me yelling "chinesa chinesa chinesaaa!" IIIIIIIIIII don't even know anymore. hahaha. And then when I start speaking in Portuguese, all the adults ask me if I'm from Brazil. Hhhhaaahahah good one.
So right now I'm actually in Cova Figueira (on the island of Fogo) and I arrived just an hour ago and this is my official first area!!!! Hurray for me cause it's actually the coldest area out of all of the islands so yaaaaay! So far what I've noticed here is how clean it is compared to Praia and how GORGEOUS my view is! The ocean is on one side and the volcano on the other. So cool. My trainer's name is Sister Wilson and so far I think she's amazing! She's gonna be a good momma. I can feel it.
I love you all! Chau!!!