in English...

Here I will translate my blogs that are written in Portuguese, for those who want to follow. Please leave a comment telling me what you think about my writting and who you are. Your feedback is very important to motivate me to keep writting. Cheers!

3/12/11 The fable of the eagle and the chicken
"Go and fly high, bird"... I remember a friend telling me these words in Paraty. I remember my mother saying to me, after I moved to Norway:" I always knew you would go far, but I never imagined so far. "Well my dear friends, I decided to do a tribute to all those who left their homelands, comfort zone, language and land known to go overseas, thousands of miles away from where they opened their eyes to the world for the first time. This life is not easy, it's full of challenges and questions, but mostly a lot of learning, I believe that deep in my soul, that's what I came here for.
This is a story that comes from a small country in West Africa, Ghana, narrated by a popular educator, James Aggrey: At the beginning of last century, when it gave the struggles for decolonization.
"There was once a farmer who went to the nearby forest to catch a bird in order to keep him captive at home. He managed to get a baby eagle.
It was put it in the henhouse with the chickens. Raised as a chicken. After five years, this man received a visit at his home of a naturalist. While walking through the garden, said the naturalist:
- This bird there is not a chicken. It is an eagle.
- In fact, the man said. - It is an eagle. But I created it as a chicken. It is no longer an eagle. It's a chicken like the others.
- No, said the naturalist. - It is and will always be an eagle. It's heart will make it fly to new heights one day .
- No, insisted the man. It turned into chicken and will never fly like an eagle.
So they decided to take a test. The naturalist took the eagle, lifted it high and challenging it, said:
- Since you are indeed an eagle, because you belong to heaven and not the earth, then spread your wings and fly!
The eagle was sitting on the outstretched arm of the naturalist. It looked around distractedly. He saw the chickens down, pecking grain. And jumped with them. The peasant said:
- I told you, it turned a simple chicken!
- No, has insisted the naturalist. - It is an eagle. And an eagle always be an eagle. Let's try again tomorrow.
The next day the naturalist rose with the eagle on the roof of the house.
Whispered to him:
- Eagle, since you're an eagle, spread your wings and fly!
But when the eagle saw the chickens down pecking the ground, jumped up and went with them. The farmer smiled and went back to the load:
- I told you, it turned into a chicken!
- No, the naturalist answered firmly. - It will always be an eagle and has the heart of an eagle. Let's try one last time. Tomorrow it will fly.
The day next the naturalist rose early, and the peasant. They took the eagle, took it to the top of a mountain. The sun was rising and gilded the mountain peaks. The naturalist lifted the eagle in the air and ordered him:
- Eagle, since you're an eagle, because you belong to heaven and not the earth, spread your wings and fly!
The eagle looked around. It trembled, as if  feeling the new life. But it did not fly. So the naturalist held it firmly, towards the sun, so that its eyes could be filled with clarity and make the dimensions of the vast horizon. That's when it opened its powerful wings. It stood up, sovereign over itself. And it began to fly, fly high and fly increasingly upward. It flew. And never returned".

Taken from:

I have been thinking about how some people change when living abroad, unfortunately forgetting its origins, and especially where they came from and who they were. They try in every way to adapt to the new environment and look like the other "species" and end up as a strange animal, which is neither one nor another, neither hot nor cold. People with the capacity to help many people (fly high) but the consumerism, the world of fantasy and fairy tale that they insist on building don't permit them to go further. Denying reality will built nothing but illusions, which are nothing more than lies well told. Stop trying to show to the world that you are well. I believe that everyone is in the struggle for happiness, no matter where you are in the world, we are all equalIt's useless to show off your happiness and try to say that you have achived what everyone is seeking. Happiness is a state of mind and is made of moments. Moments are fleeting. Store them in your memory box for you and those who love you. Do not be silly to think that everybody loves you. And most importantly, give value to those who have known you for years. These people are your past and can help you in the present and future. They know who you were, especially if they are sincere, then it can wake you up when you're going the wrong way and tell you: you've changed. You weren't like this. I count on my friends from 2, 3, 5, 18 years ago. Please be always honest with me. Never let me become something strange. I never want to forget that I am and always will be Brazilian, loving, spontaneous, generous, emotional and with a heart easy to touch. I never want to become a person who shuts the eyes to the needy, whether for money or mainly of love. I was not raised like that, I come from a society that is generous, in which people expose their feelings and care about others. I come from a place where the poor share the little they have. Where there is a saying, "where one eats, two can eat" and "puts more water in the beans, there is one more to eat dinner here today". I come from a place where people greet the porters, and offer a glass of water to the worker who is fixing the washing machine. From where I come no one throws away food, and clothing that is tight in one will always serve to another. I came from right there where people talk loudly and exposes themselves, but where it's common the father say to his son and son say to his father, I love you!
I come from a place where people can hang out with little money in the pocket and still have the funniest night of their lives. I'm from Brazil and I'm very proud of that. Marcela Orsini.

 19/10/2011 Culture shock is the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own.
The shock of moving to a foreign country often consists of distinct phases, though not everyone passes through these phases and not everyone is in the new culture long enough to pass through all four. There are no fixed symptoms ascribed to culture shock as each person is affected differently.

The Four Phases:

1-Honeymoon phase

During this period, the differences between the old and new culture are seen in a romantic light, wonderful and new. For example, in moving to a new country, an individual might love the new foods, the pace of the life, the people's habits, the buildings and so on. During the first few weeks, most people are fascinated by the new culture. They associate with the nationals that speak their language and are polite to the foreigners. This period is full of observations and new discoveries. Like most honeymoon periods, this stage eventually ends. "When an individual sets out to study, live or work in a new country, he or she will invariably experience difficulties with language, housing, friends, school, work..."[

2- Negotiation phase

After some time (usually three months but sometimes sooner or later, depending on the individual), differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety. Excitement may eventually give way to unpleasant feelings of frustration and anger as one continues to experience unfavorable events that may be perceived as strange and offensive to one's cultural attitude. Language barriers, stark differences in public hygiene, traffic safety, food accessibility and quality may heighten the sense of disconnection from the surroundings.While being transferred into a different environment puts special pressure on communication skills, there are practical difficulties to overcome, such as circadian rhythm disruption that often leads to insomnia and daylight drowsiness; adaptation of gut flora to different bacteria levels and concentrations in food and water; difficulty in seeking treatment for illness, as medicines may have different names from the native country's and the same active ingredients might be hard to recognize.
Still, the most important change in the period is communication: those people who are adjusting to a new culture would feel lonely and homesick because they must get used to the new environment and meet people with whom they are not familiar every day. The language barrier may become a major obstacle in creating new relationships: special attention must be paid to one's and others' culture-specific body language signs, linguistic faux pas, conversation tone, linguistic nuances and customs, and false friends.
Due to the strain of living in a different country without parental support, some students might develop additional symptoms of loneliness, ultimately affecting the lifestyle as a whole. International students therefore often feel anxious and have a higher pressure in adjusting to the new cultures. This is even more valid when the cultural distance is wide, as logical and speech patterns are different and a special emphasis is put on rhetorics.

 3-Adjustment phase

Again, after some time (usually 6 to 12 months), one grows accustomed to the new culture and develops routines. One knows what to expect in most situations and the host country no longer feels all that new. One becomes concerned with basic living again, and things become more "normal". One starts to develop problem-solving skills for dealing with the culture, and begins to accept the culture ways with a positive attitude. The culture begins to make sense, and negative reactions and responses to the culture are reduced.

4-Mastery phase

In the mastery stage assignees are able to participate fully and comfortably in the host culture. Mastery does not mean total conversion; people often keep many traits from their earlier culture, such as accents and languages. It is often referred to as the biculturalism stage.

Reverse culture shock

Reverse Culture Shock may take place — returning to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as described above. This results from the psychosomatic and psychological consequences of the readjustment process to the primary culture. The affected person often finds this more surprising and difficult to deal with than the original culture shock.


There are three basic outcomes of the Adjustment Phase:
  • Some people find it impossible to accept the foreign culture and integrate. They isolate themselves from the host country's environment, which they come to perceive as hostile, withdraw into a "ghetto" and see return to their own culture as the only way out. These "Rejectors" also have the greatest problems re-integrating back home after return.
  • Some people integrate fully and take on all parts of the host culture while losing their original identity. They normally remain in the host country forever. This group is sometimes known as "Adopters".
  • Some people manage to adapt the aspects of the host culture they see as positive, while keeping some of their own and creating their unique blend. They have no major problems returning home or relocating elsewhere. This group can be thought to be somewhat cosmopolitan.
Culture shock has many different effects, time spans, and degrees of severity. Many people are handicapped by its presence and do not recognize what is bothering them.
Transition shock
Culture shock is a subcategory of a more universal construct called transition shock. Transition shock is a state of loss and disorientation predicated by a change in one's familiar environment which requires adjustment. There are many symptoms of transition shock, some which include:
  1. excessive concern over cleanliness and health
  2. feelings of helplessness and withdrawal
  3. irritability
  4. glazed stare
  5. desire for home and old friends
  6. physiological stress reactions
  7. homesickness
  8. boredom
  9. withdrawal
  10. getting "stuck" on one thing
  11. excessive sleep
  12. compulsive eating/drinking/weight gain
  13. stereotyping host nationals
  14. hostility towards host nationals
text taken from:

We are renting a room

Some time ago I suggested to rent our second bedrom. We don`t use it except to keep a mess and dry clothes. We aren`t rich and more money coming in is always good, isn`t it? My boyfriend was a bit divided... He has been living alone for many years and is used to it. He said we would loose our privacy. I argumented that would be a good financial help and that with this extra money we could buy new furniture to the house without having to spend from our income. Also, who knows the person could become a new friend. Then we had to decide if it would be a man or woman ( sorry job interrepted in the middle, will be back to translate the rest... :S - there are 2 posts in English under this one :D)
Aí veio a questão do sexo. Ele prefereria que fosse mulher e eu prefereria que fosse homem. Rsrs. Então eu resolvi a questão dizendo: não vamos determinar isso agora. Vamos entrevistar as pessoas que se interessarem e, contanto que nao seja nenhum deus grego (ou deusa), então está tudo bem. Concordamos.
Colocamos o anúncio no ontem. E para nossa surpresa, em um dia 20 pessoas contactaram a gente. Aí o humor dele mudou. Ficou super animado e já andamos pelo apartamento fazendo planos do que vamos mudar. Vamos fazer e acontecer, e o dinheiro ainda nem entrou. Rsrs. Falando em fazer acontecer, ele agendou para 5 pessoas virem visitar o apê hoje mesmo. E aí é que está. Cada pessoa um mundo, uma história. Estamos divididos entre 2 candidatos. Um e polones, engenheiro, 27 anos. Eu não pude conversar com ele mas tive uma boa impressão. Gostei dos olhos dele, e acredito no ditado que diz que os olhos são a janela da alma. O segundo tem um bom emprego e acabou de sair de um relacionamento. Ele é metade noruegues e metade ingles, gosta de cozinhar e de malhar. Achei interessante um detalhe. Quando meu namorido perguntou se ele tinha muitos móveis para trazer, ele disse que está saindo da casa da ex sem praticamente nada. Como assim gente? Disse que quis evitar o estresse emocional de separar os bens e aceitou sair sem nada. Agora me diga, que espécie de megera é essa com quem ele vivia, que deixa o homem sair com uma mão na frente e outra atrás do apartamento? Cuidado com elas, hein? Prontofalei... rsrs
Também não tive oportunidade de conversar muito com ele. Agora vou explicar o porque....
O primeiro rapaz que gostamos, o polones, chegou junto com um estudante noruegues de 20 anos, que veio com a tia. Ela por coincidencia acabou de chegar de viagem do Brasil e esta interessada em aprender portugues. ( tomara que me ligue) o rapazinho não se interessou muito pelo ape porque achou longe do centro e quer dividir com amiguinhos da idade dele. Sem problemas.
O segundo candidato que gostamos chegou junto com um senhor negro. O cara tava bem pegajoso e insistiu muito para eu escolher ele. Disse que o apartamento é perfeito e que ele está tendo muita dificuldade por ser negro. Que algumas pessoas só de olhar para ele rejeitam, que ele não sabe o que fez para Deus para ter nascido negro. Que em alguns lugares em que ele foi ver apartamento disseram: aqui não queremos negros. Olha sinceramente, achei isso estranho... Noruegueses não sao do tipo de dizer essas coisas na cara. Ainda mais racismo. Existe sim, mas ninguém grita essas coisas por aí. Em certo momento ele ficou com os olhos cheios de lágrimas. Naquele momento eu quase acreditei nele. Eu disse quase. Sei lá, alguma coisa nele não me convenceu. Quando perguntei por quanto tempo ele queria alugar ele disse que não tinha problema, o quanto eu quisesse. Que ele trabalha muito, 6 dias na semana e só quer um lugar pra dormir e que ninguém dá a ele por ser negro. Eu expliquei que não estamos escolhendo por cor mas sim quem acharmos que for melhor para o nosso convívio. Depois disso ele disse que ele nao é africano, para eu não me preocupar ( CUMA???) que ele é belga. Muito estranho... Eu disse que trabalho com africanos e que tenho amigos africanos. Ainda assim ele continuou com a cara feia para os africanos. Bem, tratei ele o melhor que pude e no final meu namorido conversou com ele um pouco. Ele pediu para a gente ajudar ele e deixar ele ficar. Meu namorado ficou morrendo de pena e acreditou 100% no cara. Eu vou te falar que ele não me convenceu. Por um lado acho a história dele completamente verossímel. Por outro, acho muito estranho o discurso dele para tocar nossos coraçoes. Pra mim, pareceu que ele usou de psicologia para conseguir a vaga. Minha resposta é não.
Recebemos também um casal frances que está morando num camping, agora imagine quando o frio chegar... Novinhos. Ela está estudando e ele tentando arranjar emprego. 2 pessoas no quarto significa 4 bundas pra cagar ao invés de 3. E para o banho. E louça, etc. etc. Em contrapartida, colocar alguém solteiro aqui pode ser complicado. Vamos ter que contar com o bom senso dos outros de não fazer nossa casa de motel. A francesinha era bastante sem noção, perguntou se eu morava aqui e quanto tempo eu ficava em casa. Quer dizer, já estava imaginando que a casa toda seria dela! Eu hein, sai fora...

Por último, uma ligação que tocou meu coração. Um senhor de 55 anos polones ligou, já começando a ligação dizendo que talvez tenha ligado tarde demais. Mora numa ilha entao não podia vir ver hoje, mas que se interessou porque sua ex-mulher e filhos moram nesse bairro e ele queria ficar mais perto deles. Que pena cara. Cada pessoa com sua história e o Hans disse que queria poder ajudar a todos. Pela primeira vez eu escuto ele ser tão generoso e fiquei muito feliz de ver que ele tem um bom coração ( claro que já sabia disso, mas as vezes tenho minhas duvidas rs) Concluímos a conversa comigo sugerindo a ele para entrar numa ONG. Ele não pareceu querer abrir mão do tempo livre que tem para isso. Eu compreendo. Mas as vezes me sinto muito egoísta por ter tanto e não dividir. Acho que dividir a casa vai ser muito mais do que pensávamos. Acho que vai ser uma lição de vida.

Spring time in Norway!

Finally spring! And I'm loving it. People are so much happier sitting in the grass with their friends or dogs, or books or whatever, enjoying the sun! Men are flirting ( I didn't know they could do that!) and women are so excited about the warmth that they show way too much of their bodies. And they do have nice bodies! I get bitchy when I see all that exhibition of nice legs. It must be a result of the whole year program of sports that they do. Norwegians love sports. In the winter time it's skiing and running. Now it's biking. I see groups of people biking together. Even I joined it and I'm actually pretty much enjoying it. I got a seasonal biking card for only 90 Kr and now I cycle around, moving faster than the people in town and loving the cold wind touching my face.
Together with the spring in the city, my professional career also started to bloom. I've got a full time job as a chef in a restaurant together with my previous teaching job. I'm working a lot but making more money than I ever made in my life. Damn I think I'm going to get rich in this country, Thank God for Norway!
Although I have no day offs anymore, it has been a fantastic experience. First because if there is something I thought I would never do in my life was this job. And if you ask anyone who has known me for a while which job I couldn't do they would say this one. Overcoming my own difficulties and fears is brilliant. I'm working with people from several nationalities- from Nigeria to Scotland- so in this package also comes a lot of cultural exchange. What else can I ask for at this moment?

Teaching has been giving me a good return and the students seem to like me. I'm definetly not the same scared girl who arrived here, I've now became much more confident in myself and that I can do anything I want also in my professional life. If I can work in a restaurant, I can definetly do anything!

But enough of talking about myself... I will now share with you some of the things that I have discovered here.
Working in a company in Norway is way too much better than in Brazil. On Fridays people normally leave the job one hour earlier and during the summer they have this wonderful thing called summer time. This is not the summer time you think you already know. The lucky Norwegians can leave their jobs one hour earlier during the summer time. If they work more than that is extra paid.
I've been to two big companies here and they offer fruits and gym free of charge to their employees. They invest in their employees health to save with insurance and sick leave. Smart and everybody wins.

A common thing to do to enjoy your free time is to barbecue on the parks' grass. They even sell one thing called one time grill. During spring I found out that there are way too much more people living in Oslo than I imagined. This is because they are all outside enjoying the good weather, making the streets, bars, parks and etc full of blond heads everywhere.
Another thing that I'm loving is all the beautiful flowers that they planted all over the city. Huge tulips are there to show people that they are happy with the spring and that they know how to enjoy very well each one of theirs year's seasons.


My first impression from the airplane was: WOW! So much water all around, rivers, lagoons... Beautiful! To complete my eyes-smiling experience, its surrounded by bright white snow covered mountains. I'm so happy to be here, to see my friend Vivi smiling when meets me at the airport! So good to speak Portuguese, talk bullshit without being understood, have a girl friend to hang out for a week! What about the gorgeous colorful houses? What about the beautiful domkirke (cathedral) Nydalen with its impressive details of almost human-sized statues looking at us? I remember the first time I saw the picture of this church in a book. I though: I want to be there and check it with my own eyes. My wish is an order and here I am! WOW! And to complete this magical moment, we sneak in inside although the doors were closed and Vivi thought the church was not opened, crazy Marcela insisted on trying door by door until one opened and we saw ourselves inside a dark church that we thought it was not opened to visitors but there was a man playing the organ seeming not to be paying attention on anyone who would come in, he was having fun with his toy! And that only made the moment even more magical! We remained in silence for a feel minutes understanding what was going on and where we were until we realized that it was one of the most special churches that I have ever visited! And that is just the first day here, I'm excited to experience more or the area and beautiful Norway.

2 months and a half in Norway :)

That's what might happens to your hair if you are exposed to a temperature of -20,5 C.
But good clothes are helpful and I could enjoy the opportunity to ice skate with my new skates!
I had decided long time ago that one day I would do winter sports. And although it took me 23 years to have my first Christmas with snow- Here I am and it was lovely. I met my boyfriends' family for the first time and had the chance to thank his mom for bringing such a wonderful man to the world. I have nothing to complain about someone who has been being good to me all the time since my arrival. And if I am here standing steel, no matter all the difficulties that I have been going through, it's because I found support and affection on his arms. Thank you my angel! More than one year ago I wrote a blog about Norway and how enchanted I was when visiting this country. And you can be sure that meeting you here, my prince, was something that I could never forget. For real. And the reason that I am here, using your computer and living in your/our home nå is that our suspicion when we first met was correct: With him/her I can live a beautiful story of love.
Now talking about my life and expectations, things are still blurred for a close future. I have been accepted at the University of Oslo- Beautiful place- But I'm still waiting for some people to answer me what they will decide to do with my life. "Should I stay or should I go now?"
I want to stay, but not everything in this world is in my hands. Thanks God! Hehehe
While I wait for the unknown close future, I will enjoy more of this wonderful continent called Europe. I will breath deeply the dry air of Oslo and the whitest landscapes that I have ever seen. I'm thankful that I got the opportunity to check these and so many other things with my own eyes, nose, mouth, skin, bones and pains! Life can be beautiful sometimes.

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