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What’s new?

Classes started this week and were rather underwhelming. Due to some poor organisational skills classes start before foreign students are allowed to register for classes, so we only had Portuguese class because we had had a proficiency test the week before. Even when we did sign up for classes, some modules that we wanted to take didn’t exist, but hey ho that’s Brazil for you. I also struggled with Brazilian bureaucracy trying to open a bank account because my proof of address wasn’t good enough, hopefully I’ll have more luck tomorrow.

Other than that, the Olympics started this week. Football is partly being held in Belo Horizonte, in the famous (in these parts at least) Mineirão stadium. We (the three girls from Southampton and my flatmate) went to watch two womens’ football games for the bargain price of 20 reais (about 5.50€ or £4.80) and we even got good seats just to the side of the goal and got to see USA vs France and Colombia vs New Zealand.

Today, my flatmate, two of her coursemates and I went to the Topo do Mundo, a beautiful viewpoint  1.500 meters above the Serra da Moeda. You can also go paragliding there for a few hundred reais and/or go for a slightly perilous hike, the views are amazing but the trail is very stony, I would reccommend bringing Nordic walking sticks if you have some.

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Those two events were the highlight of my week, I’ve been struggling with homesickness recently which I didn’t often get in Southampton. I think it’s hard to accept the change of personality that comes with speaking a language that you haven’t fully mastered. When I’m talking English I barely ever shut up, here I find it difficult to talk to people freely. Partly because I can’t find words, but also because I don’t always understand what people are saying so I tend to smile and nod. Everyone says that this improves with time so I just need to be patient and accept it, but it’s not always easy.

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