This weekend my father-in-law’s sister and her husband were visiting from Terceira. My husband’s family is from the Azores the islands off of Portugal. He and his cousins were the first generation born here. Most of his mother’s immediate family is here now, but most of his father’s family is not. His father goes back every few years, my husband Marc has been back several times.
The summer after I graduated college (about 4 years ago) I went with Marc and his family during Festas Sanjoaninas. We stayed with his mother’s aunt and a gaggle of cousins for two weeks. We went to the beach, visited other relatives, walked the countryside, went to bull fights in the praca (a type of stadium for bullfights) and the street, and stayed out at night.
It was beautiful there and we had a lovely time. That is where he proposed, as well. Marc would love to go more often. He loves seeing his family and he really loves Terceira. With his uncle visiting from “the homeland” it makes us want to go back even more. We have been talking about trying to visit Portugal and Spain next summer, but maybe we will stop by the islands as well.
Besides needing to save extra money for the trip, I really need to let go of my pride and try harder to learn Portuguese. His grandmother doesn’t speak English, and neither does his family from the islands; when they get together they speak Portuguese. I can pick up on some things and can understand some basic conversations, but I have a very hard time speaking it. Even when I know what to say, I just can’t sum up the courage to get it out of my mouth! It’s completely ridiculous, I know. It’s just very hard for me, and I think it’s a pride issue – that I don’t want to sound like an idiot. Which is ridiculous as well. I know.
I have a year to get over myself and try and learn more Portuguese. Learning a language is still very hard, but I find trying to speak it even harder. Wish me luck!