We Blog!

This is a space with links for our 2014 students to register and showcase their encounters in Brazil.  It’s  a space to share images and comments of their travels and visits, moments of perplexity, enchantment and epiphanies.

Hopefully it’ll encourage you to join us in 2015!!

Recife: wikitravel.org/en/Recife; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNMLsHJs2X0

Rio de Janeiro: wikitravel.org/en/Rio_de_Janeiroyoutube.com/watch?v=EQ3GOVycA7M


T.J. Faherty

Here’s a blog from T.J. Faherty,  a University of Utah student, who joined our UVU Study Abroad in Brazil in 2010 (we went to Florianópolis then).


These past several days in Recife, Brazil have been everything and more than i had expected.  My son asked me what my favorite part of this place has been so far and it is definately the beauty of this place, especially the tropical beaches.  The family i stay with lives 2 blocks from the beach in Boa Viagem, and i never miss a chance to go, even if it is to walk along the calçadão (boardwalk) and greet the Brazillians and admire the endless skyscrapers that line the beach for miles.

Despite the struggles i am having with the learning curve of the language, we are making memories that will last a lifetime. The students i came with and my professor have become my amigos, along with the families that were gracious enough to allow us into their homes.   Life is good.


When you step out of your comfort zone and take advantage of every opportunity you possibly can, more will come. The more you accept and accomplish, the more will come. Because of being here for this study abroad opportunity, I stumbled across the opportunity to work here and be able to stay 3 more months. :D I have no doubt that the people I meet and experience I gain staying longer, will only continue to lead to more opportunities. I take advantage of every one, because some people don´t ever get the chance to choose from any..

Everything about this country so far, can be summed up in one word recently added to my vocabulary upon arrival.. Aventura :) Thanks to our professora Debora, who is the most aventureiro of us all, this trip hasn’t had a dull moment yet. From beach parties to snorkeling with sea horses, to exploring chapels, museums, and the first synagogue in the Americas, to giant killer ants, portuguese speaking parrots, playing real life frogger in the streets, exploding stove tops that rain hot glass ;) to moving in with new roommates that I wouldn’t change for the whole world, it’s safe to say my expectations have already, definitely been exceeded. If the rest of the trip is anything like this past 10 days, I just might happen to accidentally miss my flight home ;) …

And the Copo de Mundo hasn’t even started yet. ;) :)

A Boa Vida :)



This week, I have officially realized why studying a language in country is really the best way. Sure, it is because you constantly hear it and are forced into situations where you have to speak it, but I think the real reason is because of the memories that come with memorizing a phrase or word. It is completely different than memorizing something out of a book or your flash cards or from hearing a teacher say it. Words I know I have gone over in class that I should know, sometimes stick but sometimes just don’t. Since I have been here, things have happened and words have been said that there is just no way I could ever forget. :) to help you understand, here are a few examples. :)
I have seen the word for crab before, and it was somewhere in the back of my memory, but it officially stuck when my family took me to a restaurant full of tanks of live caranguejos, where everyone gets to choose their own to be boiled. They let me do the honors of choosing caranguejos for every one, since it was my first time :)
I will never forget the word for floor thanks to the portuguese speaking elevator at school every day, and I learned the word Linda from all the strangers saying that to me in the streets ;) hahaha ;) I quickly learned the word for without, when I bought a bottle of water, was dying of thirst and began chugging only to end up spitting out sparkling water everywhere! “Agua SEM gas, por favor” quickly became one I won’t be forgetting any time soon. :) I memorized the verb “to leave”, through a game with new Brazilian friends that you have to yell, deixe! Before the other person gets a chance to pull it away, and have learned many swear words thanks to the World Cup hahah ;)

These are just the few that came to my mind first, but there are many experiences that happen like this every day. :) Ones that I will never forget. Unlike book work or tests, these are words tied to memories that I couldn’t ever forget.. even if I wanted to. :) and I now realize, that’s really why being in country is the best way to do it and am so grateful for this opportunity :)



I have always said that the reason I love traveling so much is because of the things you learn. Today I decided to just mention a few of those.

First off, one of the coolest and most important things I´ve learned here is how untrue stereo types really are. Also, that even if they are true, other people don´t usually ever know or stop to think about the reasons behind the actions of a stereotype. For example. I arrived here thinking Brazil was a constant giant party full of drunk, naked dangerous people, as im sure many of you do too. I mean, its Brazil right? Haha :)Turns out, I couldn´t have been more wrong. There are always exceptions to everything of course, but basically every brazilian I have met, talked to about, or witnessed drinking, really doesnt drink that much at all. Most of their “bars” are actually restaurants. When they say they´re going to the bar, they are actually going to a sit down restaurant. They order food to share, and one beer always comes with 4, 5, or 6 tiny cups. It takes those 4, 5 or 6 peoople just about twice as long to finish their shot glass of beer, as it does an American to finish a whole one by themselves. They truly just enjoy each others company and the beer is just an excuse to get together, but no one ever goes out to get wasted, only use it to socalize. It really is true, and so cool! At the first Fifa Fan Fest I went to, I arrived early to get a good spot. After we got settled in I looked around and realized how calm everyone was. “What the heck“, I thought. “Why is nobody drinking“?! I finally asked someone next to me why nobody was drunk, and he just laughed out loud. “What do you mean? Futebol, is way more important“! was all he he replied. I was blown away.
Also, when they do drink, its always a celebration. The big festival I wintessed this summer was Soao Joao, which translates to Saint John. They celebrate this holiday in rememberance of and to show gratitude for their saint. Carnival is a religious celebration, and is viewed the same way in their eyes, not an excuse to get drunk, just to celebrate. One night I came home to my family playing the brazilian guitar, singing, shaking a tupperware of beans, smacking an empty water jug, clinging spoons on dishes and drinking cachaca. Porque?! I asked. They explained that they were celebrating the birth of their new neice, that their sister in law was in the hospital and they were going to stay up drinking and singing together until she was born. I dont know about you, but to me that is pretty dang cool! :)

The next few things I have learned are a bit less serious, but still really good for me to know! Haha. To start, Ive learned that there isn´t much I hate more in this world then mosquitos.. Ive learned about 65 new ways to eat eggs, and that I can actually get sick of them. (Never ever thought that could happen! ;) ) I´ve learned how to ride a bike through crazy rushhour traffic and in the most narrow, tiny spaces and not die! I´ve learned that there are cheeses that don´t melt? And I´ve gained a totally different, new perspective and knowledge about gay people. Ive learned that the ocean is not just a beautiful place to swim, but is also a gym, a roller coaster, and a brutal lesson teacher. hahah. I´ve learned I cant live without AMERICAN ketchup and need to stalk up for my next trip! ;) I´ve learned what being 125 percent comfortable and myself around someone means and feels like through sharing a bedroom with my best friend here, and learned that cashews come from the top of a fruit!? I have also reassured the power that simply just being nice to a stranger has, and also how grateful I am for sherades hahah. Every day on my ride home from school I would see the same vender at my last turn to go home. It started with a simple smile evey night, then turned into a small wave because we both obviousy reailzed we saw each other every day, then turned into a broken conversation every night also including my amazing acting sherade skills haha. It´s been fun, but I have never thought about that guy besides the moments I´m about to pass that street, and to me it isnt a big deal to spend 10 minutes of my night laughing with this strange guy. One day I stopped for our daily chat and he told me to wait there. He went to grab something and returned with a beautifully, tacky bracelet he had made for me. It meant so much to me, and right then it clicked it was probaby just the same as my conversaitons with him made him feel. Such a great feeling. :)

The last thing I´ll mention is about the language. I´ve always known learning a language is hard, everyone knows that. What I havent realized before is how hard the accent actually is! Holy. Cow. We all tease people speaking English with a foreign accent because it sounds so funny, and I had always wondered why they couldnt just repeat what they hear and make the same sounds if they can speak the language. Wow… I was so naive! I still dont really understand, all I know is that everytime I repeat a word in portuguese that sounds so perfect to me, I  ask if it was right and always get a strait.. ummm.. no! hahah it is soo hard and is a huge barrier in becoming fluent here. Even when i know im saying the right words there are a lot of people that cant understand my accent and have no idea what I´m saying. Some laugh just like we do at foreigners, probably becuase they dont realize how hard it is either! I don´t really know how to change this becuase to me I seriousy feel like im saying it right, but at least now i know how hard it is :)
“There are many ways to gain wisdom. Traveling, is just the most fun.“ :)
-Carly Harris :)

Alright, I have to give some credit this week to Americans. After all, they did just make the best moment of my trip so far! :) One actually thought……… I was Brazilian! Hahaha :) Yep, Seriously.:) One of the American games was here so Recife was packed with them for about a week. As I was relaxing on the beach one day, a blonde hair, blue eyed guy (wearing American Flag board shorts) approached me and said,¨Oi, Tudo Bom!¨ I replied, with the same phrase, kind of laughing that we were two Americans (because he clearly was) attempting to speak Portuguese, but also thinking that would be the extent of it. I was about to ask where he was from in English, when he asked me the same (in Spanish actually) but I knew he was trying for Portuguese. I was taken back for a second, but then realized he was actually being serious!  ¨Yes! I thought. Wow. This is great!!¨ Eu sou Brasileira! I replied with a huge smile on my face, and we ended up having a 10 minute conversation in his half broken Spanish Portuguese and my just barely better speaking skills, with him thinking I was from Brazil my whole life, I didn´t speak any English, and my name was Carlita. Hahaha!! ;) I. was. soo. proud. Haha :) I finally could´t take it any longer and bust up laughing! ¨Que?!¨ He said and repeated his question. I laughed some more and finally replied in English, ¨Yeah.. I´m American dude.¨ The look on his face was definitely a moment I will never forget! I laughed a little more (okay a lot more) told him he just made my entire trip here worth it, and left him embarrassed confused and in shock. ;)

Fool the Americans, became a pretty fun game after that. ;)

Although I do also have to give a good shout out to Americans because the one guy who talked to me that I actually didn´t tell I don´t speak any English to after that priceless moment, ended up giving me his tickets to the World Cup.. :)

God Bless Murica! ;)



When i came to Recife i could say is WOW!!!  I love the beach here in Recife. I go on runs and like to enjoy the nice view of the beach. Best of all playing soccer on the beach with people here in Recife. People here in Recife are really friendly and out going. i’m enjoying my vacation here!!  I just sit back and enjoy this beautiful view.


Instituto Brennand was my favorite museum!! Going inside and looking at the history. I saw some interesting  types of collections such as Guns, Knifes, Swords. The best part was that I got to see a knight.


My biggest passion is soccer!! since I’ve been in Brazil soccer has been on mind a lot. I see it everywhere on streets, beach and TV. I’ve made a couple of friends just by playing soccer. Soccer is the most beautiful game ! Got to represent Argentina!!


porto de galinhas was bomb !! First the beach was Awesome !! we stayed at a resort. The best part was three of us from the group decided to go scuba diving. We got to swim with some fishes in the ocean ! IT WAS DOPE !!


My dream came true!! I’ve always wanted to go to the world cup! its been a dream of mine. when i went to USA Vs Germany Game I accomplished it. i was supporting USA !! My dream came true !!



Every week it gets harder and harder! I want to buy a house on the beach one day but every beach we go to just seam more and more awesome than the last! I don’t know what to do! Our trip to Natal was awesome! Lots of sandboarding, camel riding, and boating with the dolphins. Can’t get any better!


The first couple of weeks here in Recife have been a great experience. It is great to get new perspectives on something you thought you already knew. The family I live with is absolutely wonderful, and we’ve been doing a lot of field trips around Recife and some a little farther away. I never really liked the beach… but after our visits I’m starting to change my mind ;) So far I really like the city and of course I love the hospitality from the Nordestinos.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s