12279119_10153732560354197_1208016946625161068_nHello! My name is Fernando, I am a 26 years old geographer from Brazil who has been living here in WV for one semester. I am part of a program called Council of International Programs that brings professionals from different areas and countries in order to provide us international work experience. Back home I teach Geography for Middle and High School students and while here I’ve been working in the WVU GIS Technical Center developing different activities.

In recent days I was talking to my friend Andrew Barnes telling him how much I have enjoyed my time in Morgantown and how I am amazed with the scenery, the Fall colors, and West Virginians in general. I’ve met such wonderful people who are very kind and helpful, always teaching me something about the American culture — the real one — making me feel welcomed and included. My exchange program is almost done and I will be flying out on Thursday. I have written a note about my time living here, with a little play upon the song “Country Roads.” I think people should know how much I appreciate the manner in which they have  treated me and my friends. People here should know how great they are and how nice it has been living here in Morgantown.  It’s a very simple note.


15086268_10154678070489197_278383351_nI will have SAUDADES of you, West Virginia! This year the “country roads” of my life brought me to Morgantown, in “almost heaven” West Virginia. Living in a place where “life is older than the trees and younger than the mountains” I was honored by the true American culture and not that one we have seen on TV.

Here in West Virginia I could learn more about improving myself by living in a city with such a sense of community, volunteering for some activity, helping or simply being kind with someone else. Maybe kindness is the perfect word to describe the amazing West Virginians, people who are always ready to talk to you, hear of your life back home, offer you rides even though they have never seen you before, invite you to party with their friends, make you part of their family, share their stories and always teaching you something about their culture (which they are very proud of) in order to make you feel welcomed – everything surrounded by the colors of  Fall on the trees, the beauty of the rivers and the awesome view of the Appalachian mountains.

In this city, the steepest hills (two words I have learnt living them and not just translating) are always smiling and inviting you to walk up them after a long day working or maybe after trying a “misty taste of moonshine.” Now that “the radio is reminding me of my home far away,” I can just be thankful for the opportunity to come and collect hundreds of good moments. Having this song as one of the memories I will keep in my heart, I am ready to say “country roads, take me home!”

Author’s Note: “Saudades” is a word that exists just in Portuguese, there is no translations for it. This is how we name the verb “to miss” and we use this word when we really miss something important, like a person, a place, a moment.

Cover Photo Credit: http://www.forestwander.com/ via Wikimedia

One Response

  1. Wayne D. Teel

    Glad you enjoyed your stay in WV. It is a beautiful state and I love it. After 73 years, I love it even more. Please come back anytime. Thank you so much for the excellent write-up about our state.

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