Rachel Ueland still gets chills when she sees bugs in her house that measure larger than one centimeter.

After almost a year of culture and language study in Brazil, Rachel says she still struggles with anything in language that’s not simple past, present or future tense. She still gets homesick sometimes. She says her Brazilian cooking still leaves a little to be desired. She still depends on friends to help her get to new places in her city of several million people.

But Rachel is counting her blessings of this past year. She has made progress on the language. She has new friends and a new family in Christ. She’s learned to cook a few local dishes. She hasn’t caught dengue or malaria.