It was a warm September day and I was inexplicably excited. I had made up my mind that I was going to travel – I didn’t know when or how, but I knew it would happen.
I intended to do a minor in German during my undergraduate studies. I wanted to spend a year studying overseas but wasn’t sure if my parents would have let me go, but I figured that if part of the requirements to earn the minor was to spend time in a German-speaking country, they would have to let me go. Sadly, this dream never came to fruition. Granted, it was not as if I was deprived of travel during my undergraduate years, but never extended periods of time for study or work. Now that I was in graduate school, I decided that was all going to change.
My classes at George Mason were all in the evening, but I decided to make it Fairfax early one day to speak with representatives of the study abroad office. As I stepped into the office, I perused the twenty or more flyers for different programs all around the world. Peace studies in Southeast Asia, language courses in France, government and law in Argentina… There were so many options!! But not for me… In case any of you didn’t know, finding an internship as a performing artist is extremely difficult. I left the office discouraged and wondering if my dream was once again going to dissipate.
No less than two hours later, I received an email in my inbox about a program called Performing Arts Abroad that specializes in internship and volunteer opportunities around the globe. The first few lines of the email was announcing a brand new program being opened in Salvador, Bahia for an assistant orchestra manager internship. I was ecstatic! There were no doubts in my mind that God was handing me an opportunity and I latched on with both hands.
After glancing over the website (take a look yourself: http://www.performingartsabroad.com/), I called the main line and was able to speak to the director of company, Reynolds Whalen. After hearing his excitement about the fact that this program was a perfect fit for what I wanted to do, plus I was Brazilian, I considered it a done deal. I was going to Brazil.
Fast forward several months. God provided in mighty way. With the help of family and friends, as well as performing a fundraising recital (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1J2YCe5v14), I was able to raise the funds I needed for the internship. Currently, I’m sitting in the Guarulhos Airport of São Paulo, Brazil waiting for my connecting flight to Rio. I could not have done this without help, so to those that have supported financially, spiritually, and emotionally – thank you!!
I’ve already met so many interesting people. There was a young woman at Dulles who was going home to Kuwait. I almost went to the wrong gate while talking to a very outgoing gentleman who was originally from Cairo. I’ve exchanged business cards with a Brazilian woman who lives in San Diego and works for a marketing company and another Brazilian woman going home to Iguaçu. Before leaving for Brazil, I met a woman going to Paris to work with a communications company and another who returning home to Hanover, Germany, after working in the States for a few years.
Then there are the soccer lovers – they are everywhere! Everyone is wearing their respective colors and talking about how they are getting from one stadium to another to be able to catch all the different games. The World Cup is certainly going to make this trip rather interesting. Oh, and I met this handsome guy too.
This is only the beginning of my adventures… I can’t wait! Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers. They are much appreciated.