The guy, who doesn't like cheese...
Peter Haldborg started studying Brazilian Studies back in 2009, and is now almost done with his master’s degree. He is currently working as the student instructor for 2nd semester students helping with their grammar and language skills and is notorious for repeatedly proclaiming: “Rather make one million mistakes and succeed once, than not making any mistakes and not succeed!”
He has been in Brazil a total of four times, each time in Rio de Janeiro. Being brutally honest he admitted he now wished he chose a different location to begin with, but as he said himself: “You create a special connection with the place when you’ve been there for 7 months! You feel comfortable and create a solid foundation, and if I went someplace else, I'd have to start all over...”. He went there twice to study, one time to travel in the area and the final time for the sake of doing fieldwork.
He told us about his experience of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro:” When I came back for my second stay in 2012, I lived with the same people as I did the first time. My ”room” did NOT include walls, doors or privacy. In other words, almost all of our guests got to see me in my undies! It was far from optimal, but you learn to be flexible in such situations, and all in all it was an interesting and in many ways enriching experience for me. It was also in Niterói I was robbed for the first time on the way home from a party. It was an unpleasant experience, but did not change my love for the city. All in all the city has some beautiful beaches, the girls are said to be the finest in the state of Rio, crime is increasing, and you have to take the ferry or bus to get to Rio”.
This summer, Peter is going to Brazil once more, but this time he will be in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais for a year to finish his area of specialization. ”There are no beaches in Minas Gerais, which the Danes find strange (we are surrounded by coast!), but their mentality (and dialect) is just top notch! "Se não tem mar vamos pro bar" is their motto, and it suits me well, haha! In other words, this is the place that I will send all my love to in Brazil!”
Peter loves practicing his Portuguese skills, and to teach his students practical Brazilian phrases and gives them advice of their future exchange in Brazil: “Don’t move in with someone, who does not speak Portuguese. And go out 4-5 times a week, be social! You will be able to learn the language much faster, if you do”.
His stories of his exchange in Brazil are entertaining and educational, and his future plans are solid: “I am going to find a rich, Brazilian woman!”, he says, followed by a laughing classroom.
Written by Juul van de Voort