This program gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone linguistically, personally and professionally. Over the course of two months, I went from cautiously interacting with my host family with my two-quarters- worth of Portuguese two giving detailed flag-hanging protocol instructions to a group of native Brazilians all in Portuguese and relating arrival updates to my supervisor through a crackly walkie-talkie. Flexibility and improvisation were definitely required skills, especially when, for example, my supervisor showed up two hours late to work and we had no key to enter the office or when two hundred flags need to be raised and there are only 2 volunteers in the office. In each of these and many other cases, I learned to find a "jeitinho Brasileiro" and make things work (i.e. the Village mayor was found to let us in, and we were able to recruit volunteers from another area to help us out).
The experience has certainly made me fall more in love with Portuguese and Brazilian culture. I am going to hopefully continue to maintain my Portuguese and look into what job opportunities may allow me to use it in the future. Working with the Olympics more generally has made me more excited to work in an organization that hires people from all around the world, because I really enjoyed the diverse and empathetic work environment an international organization creates.