3.17.2008

Emotional Speech...

In my communications class I have to present an emotional speech. I decided to post it here so that you all can read it. I know it won't convey the amount of feeling it would if you heard it, but that's ok.

Here it is:

Good evening. I hope that you all had a wonderful week-end, and were able to get outside yesterday to enjoy the sun!

Tonight I want to talk about a word. Not just any word. Not even an English word either.

There is a word in Portuguese that cannot be translated into any other language. It is used to describe the emotion we feel when we miss something or someone. This feeling of “missing” conveys an almost negative attitude of nostalgia, knowing that we may never get that person or thing back again.

Now, in English we can say that we miss someone, or we can show sadness in not having them with us anymore, but there is no word for that sense of “missing” we feel.

The Portuguese call it “saudades”, and it clearly describes that feeling of longing or yearning for the way things were when we had that person or were in a certain place. It gives a sense of futile “missing”, that no matter what we do, we can never have those moments in time back.

Have you ever felt this way? Do you miss something or someone so much that it hurts, and everything you see or smell or hear seems to remind you of them? I’m sure every one of you has “saudades” right now for someone who has passed away.
I’m grateful to say that I have never lost anyone close to me, but at the same time I am embarrassed at how na├»ve I am in this area. I don’t know what it’s like to lose someone dear. When that time comes, however, I will be able to better sympathize with those who have. If that’s you, I am sorry for your loss.

The “saudades” that I have are not for a person in particular, but for many people, and for a beautiful country in South America, a country so diverse, yet so similar. A culture in which the extremes of poverty and luxury live side by side. This country is Brasil.

In 2005, I went on a missions trip to Brasil with 9 other people from my church. We left in November and stayed in a place near the capital city of Brasilia for three weeks. It was my first time flying, and the trip there was quite the experience. The flight was only a tiny part of what happened during those three weeks. We went to a mission, called Voo Livre, which was run by a missionary who offered free ESL and guitar classes to the surrounding community. We helped teach some ESL classes, started building some classrooms, sanded and painted walls, and did anything else we could.

I never imagined that I would get so attached to that place. We spent almost every week-day at Voo Livre, and I got to know many of the children through playing various games of volleyball and soccer with them. They were so beautiful, kind, and helpful, and even though the language barrier was huge, they slowly won a place in my heart.

All too soon, we had to leave. When I came back to Canada, I couldn’t stop crying, and I couldn’t stop thinking about Brasil and the people there.

Through e-mail, I told one of the ladies I had met there how I was feeling, and she said I could come back and help teach at her English school.

Three months after I returned to Canada, I found myself in Brasil again, and I stayed there for 5 ½ months. I went by myself, and since only a few people knew English, I had to learn Portuguese fast!

However, if I thought that leaving the first time was hard, this time it was even harder. I had solidified some of my relationships, and I had grown to love this beautiful country and the people in it.

When I came back to Canada, I had the hardest time coping. They say that you can have culture shock going into a different country, but I didn’t experience that in Brasil; I felt the culture shock coming back to my homeland! The food was so different, and the people around me did not speak Portuguese. It just didn’t feel the same!

Most of the “saudades” I felt came in response to smelling things in the air that reminded me of Brasil, or seeing people that looked like those I knew in Brasil. I have cried so much in the past two years, and I felt like I was drowning in my memories of the people there.

Thankfully, my “saudades” have greatly diminished in the past few months, but there are still times when I get overwhelmed with a great sadness, and a longing to go back. The people and country have such a big place in my heart, and I will never forget them or that time in my life ever!

I know that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives. Even though at times I feel like I will never stop having “saudades” for Brasil, I have to remember that God knows why He allowed me to go there to experience the things I did.

If you are drowning in your “saudades” for someone or someplace, I just encourage you tonight to place your trust in God. Remember that He has a perfect plan for everything; He has a perfect plan for your life, and He will guide you through it if only you let Him. Give your “saudades” to Him, and He will take care of the rest!

Love, Ash

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Ash
That was indeed a very emotional work that you prepared and I m sure it evoked a lot more feelings for you as you worked on it as well.

We all have had experiences in our lives that I am sure would come to our mind as we read this and I just want to thank you for sharing it so beautifully
XOXO NAN