As always, my family’s kitchen is bustling with the feel of family and holidays, and tonight our sense of adventure leads us to Brazil. I would like to express my gratitude towards my aunt, this sweet and loving new member to our family. My uncle has previously been married, and new girlfriends are generally accepted with the cynicism that screams; welcome for now, but we all know soon, someone else will sit in your seat. But this time; it feels different. We are starting to let our guard down, and as we grow to love this kind, generous being, we dare hope she will remain a part of our family. So for a few years, we have been friends; me, and this woman who is closer to my age than to my uncle’s. We have many shared interests and were fast friends. One of the last times i’ve visited my aunt and uncle in Belgium, I looked at the rings they wear to show their union, and the skeptical part of me wills it to be a symbol of their love, but not a symbol that she is a permanent part of our family. So when she tells me she sees me and loves me as her niece, I want to believe her. So in the wake of this new year, I remain hopeful. I embrace this new part of my life, this new culture, these new tastes and flavours. I decipher more of this melodious language, and some of these terms become a part of my own vocabulary. Tonight our palates travel to the distant suns south of the equator, and perhaps one day, I too will see those green slopes and feel the brazilian heat on my pale winter skin.