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Episódio 26: Reunited Friends (Amigos reunidos)

Por Duolingo — quarta, 26 de abril de 2023

Dois reencontros que aconteceram depois de longas ausências.

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Helena: Era exatamente meio-dia de primeiro de junho do ano 2000. E Ben Morgan tava no alto da Torre Eiffel, em Paris, esperando por um milagre.

Ben: Eight years before, while I was still at university, I made a promise with my best friend, Sam. We promised that if we ever stopped being in contact, we would meet at noon on June the 1st, 2000, at the top of the Eiffel Tower. And I never forgot that promise.

Helena: Mas Ben não tinha como saber se Sam lembraria disso. Fazia anos que eles não se falavam…

Ben: As the minutes passed, I started to worry. I didn’t know if she was going to come. And I wondered: Did I come to Paris for nothing?

Helena: Welcome to “Histórias em Inglês com Duolingo”. Eu sou Helena Fruet. Nesse podcast, você vai poder praticar inglês no seu ritmo, ouvindo histórias reais e emocionantes.

Os protagonistas falam um inglês simples e fácil de entender — perfeito pra quem tá aprendendo. Eu vou te acompanhar em cada episódio pra ter certeza que você tá entendendo tudo. Você também encontra as transcrições completas em

Hoje vamos ouvir duas histórias de pessoas que se reencontraram, ou were reunited, depois de perder o contato por muito tempo.

Nosso primeiro narrador é da Inglaterra e tem sotaque britânico. Por isso, às vezes ele não pronuncia o “R” em palavras como “before”:

Ben: Eight years before…

Helena: E “university”:

Ben: While I was still at university…

Helena: Ben Morgan conheceu sua amiga Sam Walker quando os dois entraram na Universidade de Cambridge, na Inglaterra, em setembro de 1991. Cambridge foi fundada há mais de 900 anos e é uma das universidades mais prestigiadas e respeitadas do mundo. Logo que chegam, os alunos são divididos em diferentes colleges, ou departamentos. É lá que eles vão morar e estudar.

Ben: Everyone at my college lived in the same group of buildings, and there were also places for all the students to eat, including a cafeteria, which was for more casual meals, and a formal dining hall for special dinners and events.

Helena: Além da lanchonete e do restaurante, tinha um bar onde os estudantes se reuniam.

Ben: I didn’t know anyone at the college, so I went to the bar on my first night to try and meet some new friends. Very soon after I arrived, I met Sam, and we immediately got along very well. We had a similar sense of humor, and we liked the same music and TV shows. After a few weeks, we started spending all our time together.

Helena: Ben e Sam não tinham aulas juntos, mas moravam muito perto um do outro, então eles se viam todos os dias.

Ben: We ate dinner together, went to bars and nightclubs, and spent hours hanging out in each other’s rooms, where we played music and talked. Everyone thought we were dating, but we were just very good friends. Even when we did start dating other people, we still spent lots of our free time together. During summer vacation, we weren’t able to see each other because my family lived in Belgium and Sam’s family was in England. This was before most people had mobile phones or email, but we wrote letters to each other every week.

Helena: Quando Ben começou o segundo ano, ele deu um jeito de ele e Sam ficarem no mesmo dormitório. Eles criaram um vínculo tão forte que parecia impossível perder o contato, ou lose touch.

Ben: One night, we stayed up late talking in my room. We started to chat about our old friends, people we used to know but didn’t talk to anymore. “We can never lose touch like that,” Sam said. I agreed. I couldn’t imagine my life without Sam. We decided to make sure that if we did lose touch, then we could find each other again.

Helena: Isso foi antes da popularização dos celulares, e-mails e redes sociais. Naquela época, era difícil reencontrar alguém depois de perder o contato.

Ben: Sam and I made a plan. If we ever lost touch, wherever we were in the world, whatever we were doing, we were going to meet at noon at the top of the Eiffel Tower on June the 1st in the year 2000. We made another promise, too. We agreed not to talk about the plan again after that night, not even to each other.

Helena: Os dois cumpriram a promessa e nunca mais tocaram no assunto. No final do segundo ano, eles tiveram que fazer uma série de provas muito difíceis. Todos os alunos de Cambridge precisam passar nessas provas. Quem não passa, precisa sair da universidade.

Ben: I didn’t pass all of my exams. So after the school year ended, I had to leave Cambridge. Later that year, I started at a new university more than 200 miles away, in Durham, in the North of England. I made new friends, but Sam and I stayed in touch for the next couple of years. We talked on the telephone, wrote letters, and saw each other when we could.

Helena: Mas depois, aconteceram várias coisas que fizeram Ben e Sam seguir por caminhos muito diferentes.

Ben: My parents moved from their home in Belgium and Sam’s parents moved to Australia. Then, I finished studying in Durham, and I moved into an apartment. At the same time, Sam got a new job and apartment. Suddenly, I didn’t know where she lived anymore. It actually happened — we lost touch.

Helena: Ben pensou muito em Sam durante esses anos e se perguntava se ela lembraria daquela velha promessa que tinham feito. Eles só tinham falado daquilo uma vez, e fazia muito, muito tempo.

Ben: When the year 2000 arrived, I still remembered our promise. I was working as a teacher in London, but luckily, I had a break in June, so I was able to go to Paris without missing work. So, when it was time, I traveled to Paris by myself, I rented a really cheap hotel room and watched tennis matches on the tiny television. And I waited…

Helena: Ben não sabia se Sam também estaria em Paris ou se ela lembraria da promessa que eles tinham feito oito anos antes.

Ben: On June the 1st, I went to the Eiffel Tower. I was really nervous, but I was also excited that I might see my friend again. I stood in line with the other tourists and got into the elevator. At 12 o’clock, I was waiting at the top for Sam. I walked around and looked at all the people. They were taking pictures and enjoying the views with their friends and families. I searched and waited, but Sam didn’t come.

Helena: Ben esperou várias horas, acreditando que talvez Sam fosse aparecer. Mas no fim teve que aceitar a realidade: ela não ia vir.

Ben: I was so sad that Sam didn’t come. I couldn’t believe that she forgot. Before I left, I bought a postcard of the Eiffel Tower. I wrote just three words on the back: “Where were you?” Then, I wrote my email address at the bottom of the postcard. I didn’t know where Sam lived, so I sent it to the place where we first met: Cambridge University.

Helena: Ben tinha certeza que o cartão-postal não chegaria até Sam, mas ele precisava pelo menos tentar.

Ben: Then, more than six weeks later, I got an email — from Sam! I couldn’t believe it!

Helena: Os funcionários da universidade enviaram o cartão pra antiga casa da família de Sam, e os novos inquilinos sabiam o endereço dela em Londres. E embora Sam tivesse saído daquele apartamento fazia um tempo, o correio conseguiu localizá-la e reenviar a carta.

Ben: In the email, she told me that, actually, she didn’t forget. She wasn’t able to come because she had to work, but she tried to get a message to me at the Eiffel Tower, in case I was there. I also discovered that she lived in London too! So we arranged to meet just a few days later, in the middle of Hungerford Bridge.

Helena: A Hungerford Bridge é uma ponte pra pedestres sobre o Rio Tâmisa, em Londres, que tá sempre cheia de gente.

Ben: As soon as we saw each other in the crowd, we ran toward each other and hugged. We laughed, talked, and held hands for hours. It was like we were back at college again. We asked someone we didn’t know to take a picture of us. “Is this your wife?” he asked me. I told him, “No. This is my best friend. We lost touch for a while, but we just found each other again.” Even though our reunion at the Eiffel Tower didn’t happen like we planned, we still got back in touch!

Helena: Hoje, mais de vinte anos depois, Ben e Sam continuam amigos.

Ben: Since that day, we have always stayed in contact. Sam came to my wedding, and she knows my three children, Freddie, Zachary, and Juliet. Our families get together whenever we can, even though we live far away. It’s so much easier to stay connected with friends now, with WhatsApp, Facetime, and social media. But even without those things, I know we’ll never lose each other again.

Helena: Ben e Sam planejaram seu reencontro, mas nem todos os reencontros são programados. Por exemplo, um dos reencontros mais importantes da vida de Roy Wilkins foi com um homem que ele nem sabia que já conhecia.

Antes de entrarmos nessa história, uma observação rápida sobre o sotaque de Roy. Ele é do sul dos Estados Unidos, por isso você vai notar algumas diferenças de pronúncia. Nas palavras que terminam com “I-N-G”, ele geralmente não pronuncia o “G” final:

Roy: This man could not stop looking at me.

Helena: Você também vai notar que nas palavras que começam com “T-H”, ou th, a pronúncia de Roy soa mais como um “D”.

Roy: I started to train with them.

Helena: No começo dos anos 2000, Roy estava no Afeganistão com o exército dos Estados Unidos.

Roy: In 2004, I was a soldier in the United States Army, and it was my last day in Afghanistan. We were in the city of Kandahar. I was going to get on the plane to travel back to the U.S. the next morning. The other soldiers and I were excited to travel back to our families. We just had one more mission to complete.

Helena: Kandahar é uma região no sul do Afeganistão que foi palco de muitos combates entre o exército dos Estados Unidos, o Talibã e a Al-Qaeda. Era um lugar muito perigoso.

Roy: For our final mission, we went to the desert in a Humvee, which is a type of military truck. We needed to find explosives called IEDs. We had to remove them from the area to make it safe for our troops. The explosives were all around us, but we did not know where they were. We looked for hours. Then, suddenly, I saw a bright blue light. That’s all I remember…

Helena: O Humvee em que Roy estava tocou num explosivo… e voou pelos ares. Ele se salvou por um triz e foi levado pra um hospital onde ficou dois meses em coma. Quando ele acordou…

Roy: I had no idea where I was, but I heard a quiet voice in my head. It said, “I got you.” I didn’t know who the voice belonged to or what it meant.

Helena: A voz que Roy ouvia na sua cabeça dizia “I got you”, uma expressão que literalmente significa “eu te segurei”, mas que as pessoas usam querendo dizer “eu tô aqui, te protegendo”.

Roy: When I woke up, my body was connected to a whole lot of machines, and I couldn’t move. As soon as I could, I started screaming and shouting. I thought I was still in Afghanistan, and I was afraid that I was a prisoner. Then the doctor came into my room and spoke to me in English. He told me that I was safe in the United States, in a hospital.

Helena: Roy tinha sido transferido pros Estados Unidos logo depois do acidente e não lembrava o que tinha acontecido.

Roy: I was in a lot of pain, and I could not move. I felt like something was wrong, but I didn’t know what. I remember my father coming to visit me. He told me, “Something is missing, but you’re going to be OK.” I didn’t understand, but I was too tired to ask him what it meant. Several weeks later, I realized I only had one leg. The doctors told me that they had to remove my leg to save my life.

Helena: Roy teve que aceitar que tinha perdido uma perna, mas foi muito difícil. Ele chegou a dizer que se sentia meio… pela metade depois do acidente. Mas a voz que ele seguia ouvindo, aquela que dizia “I got you”, era um consolo.

Roy: I could hear that voice in my head the whole time I was in the hospital. Every day and every night, I heard, “I got you, I got you.” But I still couldn’t explain what it meant. After a few more months in the hospital, they moved me to the VA center.

Helena: VA, ou Veterans’ Affairs, é o centro onde os veteranos de guerra que foram feridos em combate vão pra fazer reabilitação. Roy teve que reaprender a caminhar com uma prótese na perna.

Roy: I had to go back to the VA every day for physical therapy. I worked very hard for eight months to be able to walk again with my new leg. Many times, I thought I couldn’t do it. Often, I cried during the night because I was in so much pain. I didn’t know if I would ever feel OK again. But I always heard that voice saying, “I got you.” And that made me feel better.

Helena: Com o tempo, Roy se adaptou à sua nova perna e começou a se movimentar com mais facilidade. Ele usava menos a cadeira de rodas, ou wheelchair. Mas ainda frequentava o VA todos dias e começou a ajudar outros veteranos que estavam em recuperação. Muitos iam na academia do centro pra treinar, ou train. E um dia Roy decidiu ir também.

Roy: Those men looked like me. Many of them lost arms and legs in combat. They went to the gym to train and play sports every day. I started to train with them, and as I became stronger, I started to feel more like the person I was before my accident. I started to feel good about life again. I even joined a wheelchair basketball team! During the next five years, we played together and went to many competitions. Then, one day, I was training with my friends in the gym, when I noticed a group of men.

Helena: Roy não prestou muita atenção no grupo, já que sempre tinham visitantes no VA. Mas ele logo percebeu que um homem olhava fixamente pra ele.

Roy: This man could not stop looking at me. I had no idea who he was. He didn’t look familiar to me at all. He had grey hair and grey beard, and he was wearing the blue uniform of the American Legion. He smiled and started walking over to me.

Helena: A American Legion, ou Legião Americana, é uma organização pra veteranos de guerra nos Estados Unidos. Aquele uniforme significava que o homem também tinha servido em combate. Ele se aproximou de Roy e o cumprimentou. E então começou a fazer perguntas.

Roy: He asked if I was in Kandahar in Afghanistan. I said, “Yes.” He then asked me if I was in a Humvee, during a big explosion. I was very confused, but again I said, “Yes.” He then started smiling and said, “I’m the man who pulled you from that Humvee.” I couldn’t believe it. I started crying, and then he took my hand and said, “I got you.” It was his voice that was in my head for almost ten years.

Helena: O homem era Keith Melick, um soldado aposentado. Ele serviu no Afeganistão na mesma época que Roy. E ele tinha visto a bomba explodir em Kandahar.

Roy: Keith told me that when he saw the explosion, he ran towards the Humvee, and he thought everyone was dead. When he saw that I was still alive, he sat with me. And held my hand and then told me, “I got you, I got you” over and over again. He stayed with me until the helicopter arrived to help us. After I went to the hospital, Keith never knew if I lived or died. But he said that he never forgot my voice.

Helena: Roy ficou conversando com Keith enquanto esperava pra ser levado pro hospital no Afeganistão, embora depois não lembrasse de nada daquilo. E mesmo depois de quase dez anos, Keith nunca esqueceu a voz de Roy.

Roy: Keith and I talked and talked for a long time. We hugged each other and cried. He told me so much about the accident, which helped me remember a lot of things about that day. I still couldn’t believe it. That the voice I heard inside of my head for all those years belonged to the person standing in front of me! Soon, it was time for Keith to go. But neither of us wanted to leave the gym that day. We didn’t want to leave each other.

Helena: Roy e Keith se encontraram de novo uns meses depois e agora se veem sempre que podem. Eles também falam ao telefone com frequência e viraram amigos muito próximos.

Roy: Finding Keith again was a really wonderful experience. My life was so difficult after the accident, but I truly believe Keith was sent by God to help me. Today, Keith is much more than a friend to me. He’s my brother. A real brother.

Helena: Roy Wilkins mora na Carolina do Norte com a esposa e um cachorro. Ele ainda é voluntário no VA, onde fez reabilitação, e também faz parte da equipe de basquete em cadeira de rodas.

Nosso primeiro narrador, Ben Morgan, é vice-diretor de uma escola de ensino médio em Londres, onde mora com a esposa e três filhos.

Esse episódio foi produzido por Sam Walker, escritora e locutora que mora no Arizona. Aliás, ela ainda se sente mal por não ter aparecido na Torre Eiffel naquele primeiro de junho de 2000 pra encontrar seu amigo Ben.

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“Histórias em Inglês” é uma produção de Duolingo e Adonde Media. Você pode encontrar o áudio e a transcrição de cada episódio em Segue a gente no Spotify ou na sua plataforma preferida!

Eu sou Helena Fruet. Thank you for listening!


Esse episódio foi produzido por Duolingo e Adonde Media.

Protagonistas: Ben Morgan e Roy Wilkins
Host: Helena Fruet
Roteirista: Sam Walker
Editora de roteiro: Stephanie Joyce
Mixado por: David De Luca
Desenho sonoro e masterização: David De Luca
Editor-chefe: David Alandete
Editora de roteiro em português: Giovana Romano Sanchez
Edição de áudio: David De Luca e Giovana Romano Sanchez
Assistente de produção: Caro Rolando
Gerente de produção: Román Frontini
Produtora-executiva e editora: Martina Castro