How I’ve Been Learning Portuguese

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At the beginning of last year, I set out a number of goals - including learning a new language. The goal was born out of necessity, as well as a long time wish of learning another language. Sometime early last year, we found out we were moving to Brazil, and shortly after that - boom. I started this whole language learning journey. The last time I seriously attempted to learn a language was in high school. I took Spanish in high school, and following a summer-long trip to Italy, I learned to speak a little Italian and vowed to keep learning (but clearly that didn't happen, except for a … [Read more...]

Sunday Night Futebol

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Last month, the US Women's Soccer Team came to town for a torneio (Portuguese for tournament). I can't recall ever having attended a professional soccer match (is that what they call it?). In fact, the only games that have ever held my interest were my 5-year-old's U6 games. So, I'll confess - naturally I wasn't that interested and didn't exactly bother to make plans to go. But apparently with a bit of persuasion, i.e. Jace winning free tickets at work, I was game. The hubby's raffle tickets to the first game of the tournament - US vs. China, put us in one of the boxes, just about at … [Read more...]

The Zoo & The Rain

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It's been unseasonably dry this month in Brasilia. Hot and dry. The heat is expected, since it is summer, but the rainy season is supposed to last 'til February, and here we are, just barely mid-January and I haven't seen rain in days. (Granted, when the rain does come, it comes down hard. Hard with boisterous thunder that wake you up in the middle of the night.) Last month, however, was what I thought a perfect example of the rainy season. It was raining almost every day. It didn't rain all day, just parts of the day. Sometimes it was hard, sometimes it was light. But in Brazil, it's … [Read more...]

The New Normal

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The holidays have come and gone, and now five days into 2015, I feel settled. Not officially maybe, since I still have unopened boxes in the storage room, but probably as settled as one can be in a strange land. I'm having less and less of those WTF moments in our day-to-day lives and we are actually starting to plan some legit trips for 2015.  Don't get me wrong, a lot of things are still a big pain to deal with, but I feel like we've crossed off majority of the growing pains associated with a Foreign Service move. For example... Numero Um - Every shipment we've been waiting for are … [Read more...]

Leaving Rio with Some Sugar…

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I heard often that one of the must-dos when visiting Rio de Janeiro is taking a cable car up Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain). Having been atop some tall peaks many times before (like Twin Peaks, where my parents took us and every single family/friends that have ever visited us), I honestly wasn't that motivated to visit Pão de Açucar.. However... since I knew the boys would love a ride up the cable car and I wasn't not sure if my mom will be back to Rio in the immediate future, we decided we had good enough reasons to go. We took a cab from our hotel and a short 15-minute ride … [Read more...]