terça-feira, outubro 18, 2005

"oi...esta gostando do brazil? " - a comment from Nitim.

This has to be the most asked question to me here. I think just about every Brasilian I meet who figures out I am not a native born Bahiana (go figure) asks me this question. I have no idea what kind of an answer to give, other than "yes." It's like "how are you doing?" and you automatically answer "fine." I remember during high school I wasn't always fine and I hated that I automatically answered with that reply, so I made a consciouse effort to change it to "tired" because that was usually true. It was really starting to get on my nerves until I started working at PanAm and found myself asking the newly arrived gringos the same thing.

So what does one say to this type of comment?

"I lived here in a past life, so I had to return."
"Fine thanks, are you liking it as well?"
"Culture shock still hasn't worn off."
"Huh? Yeah, duh?"
"No, but I got married and had a baby, so I'm kinda stuck now."
"Yes." (unimaginative, but sometimes I just am tired of the other answers)

Semantics of the context in English don't always allow for these to make sense, but in Brasil we seem to change topics like we change position, so no one ever has done a double take.

So Nitim, yes, I am liking Brasil. It's a great country, and the longer I live here the more I realize it's like the States and the more I miss the States. Damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

terça-feira, outubro 11, 2005

Ju's is full of little noises these days. The newest one sounds a lot like a Steven Tyler scream.

sábado, outubro 08, 2005

Quote from Mila:

"We have two eyes, two ears, two nostrils... but we seem to talk more than we listen, see, or use any other senses. It's amazing how one hole can overtake everything."

I notice I'm getting down to one post a month here. I swear it's not because I don't love you all who read this on a regular basis, it's just that I'm lazy. You'll notice this week/month in Bahia has suffered the same fate. I swear I will try harder.

domingo, outubro 02, 2005

Woot! I am headed to the U.S. in December! With Ju! Followed by O Maridão a few days later.

domingo, setembro 04, 2005


An original composition by Julian.

sexta-feira, agosto 26, 2005

The way things work out just amaze me some times. Thinking back on it, if I hadn't gotten pregnant with Ju, I probably would have been hired to work before I applied to Pan American, and would never have gotten the opportunity to work in the preschool. And consequently, I would not have been seen as being misplaced and no one would have mentioned my name to fill the position of the high school English teacher that is leaving.

The possibility of it is terribley tempting for me. I started redoing my teaching portfolio, updating my teaching philosophy, and even started brainstorming ideas on class projects. I think I would be really good for this job, having an ESL background, judging from what the former teacher told me. And it would pay more, which is always a good thing. On the other hand, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I will really really miss those kids. They are loud, obnoixious, hard to control, drive you crazy, but man I love working with those ankle biters! I have gotten kinda attatched. No, really, I am attatched. No kinda about it.

So I am just going to assume that so far as the Universe has guided me to where I am, the forces will push me to where it is best for me to be right now. If they find some one else to fill the position in the highschool, well, then I'm happy with my four year olds and being a mom in the evenings. And if I leave one building for another, then I can always visit the students who were shorter than me when I need a break from those who are taller. I cannot doubt the way the energies have pushed me, because they have given me a wonderful husband and a beautiful son.

I'm really starting to sound religious....

quarta-feira, agosto 24, 2005

I have larangitis. No voice today. Which would make teaching 14 four year olds impossible for the most part, but kinda gives you a perspective on which ones actually respect you. Those who have to come close and try to understand wispered English really do want to be good. Thankfully, most of them did. Most, not all. At least I don't still fell sick on top of it.

I spent some time talking to Alana today, the new middle school science teacher from South Caronlina. She was recounting all the challenges of living and working in Brasil. I remember feeling that way, so frustrated that things just didn't work well, efficiently, or logically. I don't remember when I let go of that feeling (though I can see the evidence of it when I go back and read my blog entries from my move), but I no longer have it. All I could say was "well, that's Brasil..." I mean, it's not a cut on the country or anything, it's just a fact. Things ARE THAT WAY, there is no other way. I think the only reason people here don't get so stressed about it is because they are used to it. That is the way things have worked their whole lives, or not worked, as the case may be. They know no other reality.

There is apparently a couple leaving the school completely, on Sunday. Both adults are teaching in the middle and high school and have had so many problems from the get go, that they just couldn't take it anymore. I had thought only the woman was leaving, having heard something about issues with the nanny and such, so she was going to stay home with the kids. But today I overheard they were both leaving, or rather, the whole family was. I had just sent them both an email, saying if they needed advice or help or just to vent, they could call me, because I had been there and felt like they were feeling etc.... too little too late I guess. I keep trying to call them now on the phone, but it's always busy.

segunda-feira, agosto 08, 2005

The amount of time you spend waiting for something interesting to happen is in direct ratio with the lack of time you have to type it all out when it finally does. Such is the meaning of life too I'm sure. Maybe that's why no one has figured it out yet and lived to tell the tale.

Over the course of the first weeks of July, I spent over $250 (that's U.S. dollars) on getting Ju registered with the U.S. consulate and getting both his passports. All this in the HOPE that someone or most likely several people will pay for us to fly to the States and visit during Xmas. The amount of documentation one needs to do this was quite impressive. I brought everything from transcripts to photo print outs to birth certificates to ultrasounds... And not to mention filling out 8 or so different forms. Luckily the woman at the consulate is very helpful and nice and tolerant of the insanity I guess. They even let us change a diaper on their counter.

There is always this nice element when you are looking forward to something, especially a trip, that makes it easier to get up in the morning. I'm not sure I should be using it so much yet, since nothing is set in stone, but it certainly helps my getting up at 6AM issues. I might even be able to get up earlier and make some coffee. Yes, that's right, I am back in the habit again. Forces of nature assured it (and the fact that 4 year olds seem to have drunk a whole pot of espresso by the time they get to school at 8AM). Now maybe I can break my chocolate addiction.

Also to look forward to is the arrival of a friend of mine for an extended stay. Slowly, I think all my friends from my Portuguese class at MSU will migrate here and pass through my home. The idea of having a stable place to rest your head in another country is a nice thought. It certainly made my move down here easier. It's also nice that I am able to answer so many questions about the process. All my headaches were not in vain since I can pass the knowledge on to those in need. I feel all helpful and intelligent and stuff. You know, like... stuff...

I wish I had some chai tea...

sexta-feira, julho 29, 2005

So the first week of Pan American is over. Well, the inservice part of it, anyway. It's great fun sitting and cutting out small cardboard fruit and decorating the classroom, but I have to admit, it's been a while since I did an 8 hour day. I have been tired. On top of that, Ju is doing this wiggle all night thing and sleeping during the day, so what little sleep I could get, I'm not, really...

At least the milking myself thing seems to be working out okay. I have a 15 minute break in the morning where I can quickly go squeeze my boobs and try to prevent or correct rock formation in my chest and I can store it in the nice super cold fridge in the Canteen (what the cafeteria is called, for some reason). Then Ju comes at lunch to breast feed, and I can still find 15 minutes at the end to eat. I hope it won't take him too long to get into this new schedual. Ideally he would eat more in the evenings and at night, and less during the day. Right now, I'd rather have him sleep during the day and eat when he's with me, but we'll see how I feel about that after several weeks of little sleep.

There are many ACBEU teachers now working at Pan American. It's like a mass migration. You'd think this would clue them in that something is seriously wrong - they are loosing good teachers! But no, it seems they are only insulted.

A good friend and fellow teacher who has been a contractor for 3 years also is now working at Pan American (in the classroom next to mine, no less). She just found out she got the job this week, and notified our former workplace on Wednesday. Because her position was part time starting early in the morning, she would be unable to teach any morning groups. Essentially, what she was told was that they were going to try to hire her, but since she can't offer mornings anymore (read between the lines - she got a REAL job) that has changed. First off, there are seldome that many morning groups to begin with, and there are lots of teachers who want mornings so they can be with their kids in the afternoon. Secondly, why would her inability to take ONE or TWO groups in the morning affect the fact that they were planning on hiring her? She would still be teaching all the other sections, so other than thinking her a traitor because she would dare to look for a secure job elsewhere after being strung along not being paid 4 months out of year for the last 3 years, I can't imagine why their decision suddenly changed. What it really seems like to me was a threat. And I HATE when my friends are threatened. I wouldn't be surprised if that's what it was too, knowing how they took my notification that I wasn't comming back.

When I informed them I wasn't returning, I didn't sit around and chit chat like I guess one might do here. Culturally, I think I will always want to be more direct to the point. So I walked into the office and sat down and said "I have been offered a job at Pan American which I am going to take, so I won't be returning to teach here" - what I wanted to say was "You guys really dragged your feet on hiring me because first you figured I had no other prospects and then because I was pregnant. And while I can understand the pregnancy thing, you guys knew what financial trouble we were in and you still, even after me begging you and trying to arrange for subs, STILL only gave me one group and essential said 'screw you' - so this is my way of saying it back." That would have been so much more satisfying to say. The reaction was "Oh, that's too bad. Well, you didn't have your papers..." and I corrected "No, I did have my papers, and my legal work permit." And then it was added "... and you were pregnant..." and I conquer "Yes, I was pregnant." and then ... silence. I think it was just admiteed that the reason I wasn't hired was because I was pregnant, and probably because no one up top wanted to bother to pay my maternity leave. Boy does it feel good to nonverbally get them in some way.

So after both my, and my friend's experience, I am really irritated at the institution in general, especially those in charge of hiring new teachers. They have so many people in there, just being strung along with no benefits and no job security. From all I have been told, what is being done is essencially illegal. And now they are loosing good teachers. I don't feel sorry at all.

sábado, julho 09, 2005

Between crabby Ju and my mom visiting, and getting a new job, I have not had time to type much. Won't have time now either, because Ju just woke up. Oh well.

sexta-feira, junho 10, 2005

Just as we run into the predicament with the post office, the giant washing machine sized box (actually the box it might have come in, to be more exact on sizing) that minha sogra sent sometime in February or March arrives. Within it were hidden: a new computer keyboard, a toaster oven, and a television. I have no idea how this got past customes. From the amount of things contained in that box, you would think we would have had to pay R$1000 or more in taxes, no even considering the television... It is a mystery.

Sorting through it took over an hour. There are countless things, mountains of clothing (most of which we will give away), and about 20 onesies for Julian. I don't know what to do with all of this stuff. Right now it's just piled all over the living room and the entire downstairs smells like the U.S. (or maybe this is just the scent of things that have been mailed). Lela had great fun jumping in and out of the box. Ona and Julian are oblivious. They are a lot alike in that way.

Ju is becomming like a real person. He follows things with his eyes and even kind of has some different sounds now, beside just crying. He also whines now. Last night he let me sleep, but I woke up with a horrible migrain headache, probably caused by the yellow fever vaccine I got yesterday when he was getting his second Hep B innoculation. It felt like I ate a tomato. I should have eaten one just to taste it again, as long as I was going to feel like crap anyway...

Today I found I can fit into my cute short skirts again (how appropriate is it that a new mom wear this sort of clothing, I don't know...), but I still have a major gut and love handles to loose. The great and wise Caryn says I should do weighted side bends to loose the love handles. I hope 4.5 kilos is enough weight, since that is what ju weighs. He has gained 1.5 kilos since birth- a little over a month ago. Big boy. Big Jujube.

I will update the this week in Bahia site today. I meat to update it a few weeks ago, but forgot. I got some lovely shots on the way to the pediatrician's yesterday, so there will be lots to look at. I'll put up the old ones too, from two weeks ago or when ever it was, just for entertainment value.

quarta-feira, junho 01, 2005

Note to anyone anywhere thinking about mailing anything to Brasil:

There is a limit on tax free things comming into the country. I have no idea what the yearly limit is, if there is one, but I do know for sure that any box/envelope is only tax free up to $50. After that amount, or if the postal employees determine that the worth is over $50 when they open the box (they might), the recipient must pay 100% of the value, or something similar to that, in order to recieve the box. So in the end, the person sending it pays for it, pays to mail it, and then the recipient pays for it again.

So right now, there is a box with my name on it at Correios, that I must pay R$146 to recieve. We don't have this money. So the box will have to sit there for an undetermined amount of time. I have no idea who it is from.

sábado, maio 28, 2005

So here we are in winter. You wouldn't know it by the temperature, but it might be identifyable by the type of rain. The heat has been unusually high the last few days, yet the nights are pleasantly cool enough to use a sheet to cover one's self for a change. Not that I sleep much these days. Julian has decided night time is when he will eat real meals, as opposed to the snacks he eats every 20 minutes several times a day. I suppose I should be greatful on some level. I already was waking up that often to go pee while I was still pregnant, so small blessings: these days I don't have to get out of bed, I just have to find something to soak up the extra milk with.

Two days ago we kinda warped his schedual by going on a late night ice cream run - put him in a car seat and into a car or into an environment with a lot of noise and he sleeps like... well, like a baby. He sleeps very hard. Due to this, he slept right through his normal awake time, so he decided to make up for it at 3AM. Awake time consists of about 3 to 4 hours where he is fussy, wants to walk around and look at things, and generally makes a lot of grunting, snorting, farting, whining noises. If I don't hold him during these times, he cries and cries and cries. So 3AM rolls around and guess who wants to go for a walk in the stroller? Of course, I'm not really going to go do this at 3AM in my underware, so we listened to some NPR on the computer instead. It was actually quite enjoyable and eventually he fell asleep agaist my chest while I was sitting here, at about 6:30AM. I remember distintly writing in my blog, about this time last year, that I was going to watch the sunrise at some point here. So a year later, it finally happens. Better late than never.

O Maridão has a client comming to do a map today, so I must go set up the tent downstairs, make things look mystical. Better take advantage of Ju's mid morning nap. This is generally when I get to shower, eat, and do my own things. He sleeps almost 2 and a half hours strait. If only they weren't weed wacking the grass here since 7AM this morning, I could have napped too. Oh well.

quinta-feira, maio 12, 2005

Sorry for the long span between posts here. Julian was born May 1st, so anyone with kids can imagine what life has been like since then. But fear not, I will return with a full report as soon as I can sit here long enough to write one.

terça-feira, abril 12, 2005

Well I'll be dipped. They did publish my letter, despite not verifying who I am. Maybe there are still people I know working there.

Saturday was the Châ de Julian. It was a lovely party with a large amount of balloons blown up by Emeli, a fellow contractor at work. Time management kinda made the games a flop, but the decorations were nice. I had taught all morning (on my feet), and then cooked all afternoon to feed people. Most of the night I was in pain and very tired. I thought it was just from over doing it.

Then low and behold, Sunday morning my belly is about an inch lower than it was the previous day, accompanied by a lot of back pain and semi-period like cramps. Although it's very entertaining that it happened that fast, it's also very painful still. Even after going to the chiropractor today, I'm still feeling that dull ache in my back. If this lasts the next 5 weeks, I don't know what I will do. I'm sure he's got farther down to go still...

You can see updated photos on the belly site. I also made the photos of the châ public, but I'm not sure what good that does for anyone who wants to see them. Maybe search for akutygerdabahia in yahoo photos?

quinta-feira, abril 07, 2005

Yet another link with film footage of Saturday in E.L.


quarta-feira, abril 06, 2005

Apparently there is a video of the Spartan Riot from April 3rd. I have not yet viewed it, but for those interested, here is the link:

Another Spartan loss and another Spartan riot has been in the news. I have to say, I'm not surprised there was police presence and actions, but I am suprised that there was so much action, and so much tear gas. After reading many of the articles, I even went so far as to write a letter for the opinion section, although I doubt they will publish it, since they have to call and confirm the identity of letter writers and I am betting good money that they won't be authorized to call Brasil... In any case, since I thought it was a particularly good letter, I'm posting it here.

After having read several stories about the actions taken by the East Lansing Police, not all of which came from The State News, I have to make comment.

Having attended MSU for the duration of two degrees which included all of the “riot years,” I have experienced my share of gatherings in Cedar Village, most of which were very rowdy, but no more riotous than Carnival in Brazil (and no one here pelts us with tear gas). It is a gathering place for inebriated students to feel that Spartan Spirit, even in the face of defeat. It has been that way for much longer than our university has been known for riots. When there are sporting events, you know what happens in Cedar Village.

This us why I find comments like that of City Manager Ted Staton so ridiculous – “There was a significant amount of money spent to send a message to the crowd. They had unlawfully assembled - that is what happens when people are in places they shouldn't be.” (State News article “Top City Officials Absent for Melee" 4/6/05 at http://www.statenews.com/article.phtml?pk=29507). Everyone, including I hope, the City Manager, knows that students go to Cedar Village. It seems apparent that somewhere between the Final Four entrance celebration there and the Final Four defeat gathering, that someone other than those who gather there (an apparently who wasn’t even in the city at the time) decided it wasn’t a place students were supposed to be. Well, golly gee sir, where should they go then? To the bars that closed at 12:30? On to campus to study like good little scholars? Home to their dorms to be calm and collected? One must realize how ridiculous that assumtion is. Many had to vacate their apartments in Cedar Village due to the tear gas. Where should they have gone? Maybe if someone had informed the students that Cedar Village was no longer a place they could be before hand, the city could have saved a little money, eh?

What I really suspect happened here is the assumption that a Final Four loss would result in a similar outcome to that which occurred back in 1999. This was not a "just cause" reaction. This was a “pre-emptive” strike. And like some others so famously discussed before, an unnecessary one.

quinta-feira, março 24, 2005

Last night our shower exploded. Actually that was this morning, techinically - around 5 AM, but seeing as we had not slept yet, it seems like last night. Seeing that we (or rather O Maridão since our workplace has seen it fit to give me almost NO hours, knowing we need the money and all) has the next 3 days off from teaching due to the Easter holiday, there was a multiple friends' birthday party last night that we decided to attend. O Maridão saw this as his opportunity to party hard for the first time since graduation (especially since no driving would be done, being that our car is being fixed for countless problems), while I have come down with a cold and upon arrival was reiniciated to the fever and coughing I had had the day before. So he drank some while I rested on one of our friend's beds.

Sometime around 12 AM I felt a tad better and went to rejoin everyone. Meat was passed around, along with many bottles of beer (they even had to do ANOTHER beer run, because they had run out - when we had arrived 2 hours before the fridge was FULL of beer), and everyone seemed to be having a good time. I hung out restlessly, trying to avoid cigarette smoke, and drank an entire liter of water in half an hour. Sometime around 1:30, a birumbau appeared and a man by the name of Lorimbau began playing some traditional songs on it, over the din of the downloaded music of the computer, the portable CD player blaring something else, the television on in the "living" room right off the veranda, and everyone talking. Everyone yelling to hear eachother, will yelling the songs as well, and doing random little dances (no capoeira though), it was getting rather ridiculous. I'm amazed no one else in the building complained about not being able to get to sleep.

By the time I layed down again to rest it was after 2:30 and people were drifting in and out of the living room where I lay, trying to talk to me very quietly over all the noise. This does not work well for non native speakers, and I spent most of the conversations asking people to repeat what they had said because despite reading lips helping my listening comprehension, I DO have to hear you to understand you. Most people got tired of it quickly and went back outside where the air was more livre.

O Maridão woke me up and stumbled about around 4 AM, and we caught a ride home with his cousine (taxi's got enough of our money for one day). Somehow drunk men take longer to pee than women, and we finally got out the door and into the car at about 4:30. Anyone who has taken care of a drunk loved one will know it is really hard to do when that loved one weighs more than you, especially when you yourself are not feeling well. After some prodding, I got O Maridão to go upstairs to take a shower while I made him something to eat.

In the midst of pouring water into a glass, I heard a strange "buzz buzt buzt" sound. It sounded very much like when the street light out back was having issues with rain and sparking and sputtering. I stopped and listened for it again. Then I called O Maridão, suddenly worried that the shower he was in had blown up. He answered. I asked him what the noise was. He asked ME what the noise was. I came up stairs and he stood there dripping in the hallway while we debated what the sound had been. It was not the shower he was in. Nothing had been running down stairs except the light in the kitch and the gas stove. Nothing had been running upstairs except the hallway light. A light had been flashing in the pool area for weeks. It was now out. That must have been it, I summerized. But why could we smell it so well?

We turned on lights in various rooms, and finally happened into our own bathroom, full of smoke (this all took about 10 seconds). Some years ago, this shower head had blown up while he was in it, I have been told. Shortly there after he had an electrician come in to fix it and install a ground wire that runs all the way down the outside wall of the condo into the ground. This type of feature is almost unheard of in this country for some reason, possibley because showers don't blow up that often. You'd think when you are using a normal electrical current to heat up water that is passing over your naked body into a large puddle of water on the floor to go down a metal drain, that it would have occured to some engineer that the safety of the contraption was in question. Not so. In any case, because of our ground wire, the shower head didn't blow up itself, just the electrical part did, showering the wall in black goo and filling the bathroom with electrical fire smelling smoke. So, the ground did it's job. Question is, WTF is wrong with our wiring that in a country that showers don't blow up very often, it happened to ours TWICE? It's like a revisit to a guy I dated in highschool who's house burned down, TWICE. What are the odds of that happening?

The other pecularity is that there was no apparent reason for it to blow up. It wasn't turned on, there was no water running in it, no one had even been in there for at least 24 hours. No power grubbing appliances were being run, like the microwave, at the same time. There only power being used on the upstairs circut was from the hallway light. A 60 watt bulb. The mystery remains. Needless to say, no one is going to use that shower until I am satisfied with. And I think that's going to take someone REALLY professional (I'm talking electrical engineer here) comming in and checking the wiring. It might even involve breaking into the wall a bit. At this point I'm even afraid to pee in there, so something has to be done. And I have to pee a lot. At wierd hours.

quinta-feira, março 17, 2005

I updated it, and I am alive. But I lack motivation.

segunda-feira, fevereiro 28, 2005

Yeah, so I haven't kept that new web page updated yet. I've been busy. This week and last week there is/was testing for placement at work, and since they haven't given me any groups to teach during the week (only one on Saturday), I have been raking in the extra hours to try to help feed us. Too bad it will all be over in a week, and then I have to go back to being left out at home. The cats will like it though. They get all cute and fuzzy and purry when you spend the afternoon laying around with them.

Being pregnant gives me distinct memories of that horrible Alien movie that I saw when I was too young to see it (not to self, do not let Juliãn watch horror movies before he is 10). I can sit here and watch this lump move around under my skin. It's quite facinating, and not at all distressing, but then I remember those scenes of Sigorne Weaver and the strange moving thing in her stomach, before it shoots out of her and attacks someone. I wonder why the writers of that movie decided to put that kind of parody into it. I'm sure, somewhere out there, there were some really offended pregnant women. Maybe the writer was a guy who really wasn't happy about being father. Maybe he was creeped out by being punched or kicked by his child to be through it's mother's belly while he was trying to do something kinky. Maybe he was likening the moving thing in the belly as the thing that destroyes or takes away your life, in a symbolic sense, so took it literally here instead. All in all, it is an unfortunate comparison, after having experienced it my self. I recommend having an alien in your belly. I've heard that's what some babies look like when they come out too, like small cone heads. So the comparison goes on.

I have been in and out (mostly in) my place of work for more than 12 hours now. It's starting to get to me, especially since someone's cell phone keeps ringing in here, the same one about every 3 minutes, as if the person calling doesn't really believe that that teacher is really teaching, but that she is actually standing here, staring at the phone, refusing to answer it. I had thought to look for it and answer it myself just to tell them that who ever they are calling really isn't here, so there is not point in wasting their money and energy on calling them back repeatedly. But if I did that, I wouldn't have anything to write about, now would I? There it goes again...

Nothing else terribley exciting is really happening here these days. Maybe that will change later in the semester. I was really wanting to go eat some cake at the snack bar, but it closed early. No cake for me. (The phone is ringing again) I have replaced my caffeen addiction with one for chocolate (another great source of caffeen), so lack of cake is sort of a crisis. I'm going to go home and have some chocolate milk.

segunda-feira, fevereiro 21, 2005

Rotisserie, I have been corrected.

I was thinking of something exciting when I logged in here, but my lack of sleep seems to be affecting my memory, so I have forgotten what I was going to write. Oh well.

sexta-feira, fevereiro 18, 2005

I have become a roticery. (I don't even know how to spell that, I hope it's right.) I don't want to be a roticery anymore. Due to stretching ligaments, or rather the fact that they are so loose, they hardly hold anything together like they should now, I imagine I know what people with arthritis feel like. I cannot sleep at night. I just turn over and over (hence the roticery), trying to find a way to sleep that doesn't hurt my aching legs, make me dizzy, or crush my protruding belly. Air conditioning seems to make it even worse, and makes my nose run, so we're not having any of that either. Poor Maridão is feeling so hot these days, I might just have to pity him and go sleep in the hammock some nights. But then again, he still sleeps, even if he's hot. I'm not really sleeping at all these days. It sort of feels like the beginning of the flu, but I know this flu will last another several months, so that's sort of discouraging.

Today we are supposed to have lunch at my Brasilian mom's house. It's like an oven in there, no shade and on the top floor. You just sit there and sweat. I only bother to shower in order to cool off now, but I get hot and thirsty just thinking about being there. At least I don't have to do any dishes. Or cook.

segunda-feira, fevereiro 14, 2005

We have been having a vast amount of winter like rain this summer. At least in the last two weeks. The only difference being that during the summer, much like in Michigan, there is thunder and lightning and you have to run around and unplug everything electronic that you care about, and you should not take showers.

Yesterday, the rain came on so fast and so hard that the main road flooded, or rather the sewer over flowed. Maybe a little of both. Utter chaos ensued apparently, because most of the traffic started coming up our street in the back, including the buses, which alerted us that something was array. We wandered out to take a look and found a stalled car in the middle of a massive lake that covered the road, sewer channel (basically a ditch with a river of pee and poo, covered by some flimsy cement strips that the occasional pivete steals by night), and the newly cleared graveled area across the street. A bit farther up the street were two cars facing the wrong way for the lane they were in, not moving, as well as another car that apparently was trying to back out into traffic from a nearby parking lot and found it's self stuck in the lake. The dead car guy got out and tried to push his car out of the way, in all that brown and warm rain/sewer water, but was unable to move it much by himself. Shortly there after, a bus that was stuck behind him parked and several men got off to help him push it up onto our road and out of the way. With all that water, covering the entire road, in 7 short minutes, it all disappeared into the sewer ditch to run down and flood somewhere else, before being dumped either into a treatment plant (maybe) or into the river and eventually the ocean. As my mother would say "STORM WATER NIGHTMARE" - at least it's not such a worry that the water is warm when it hits the ocean here. The water is warm anyway, it's summer.

I finally updated the belly pictures page, so the gigantizing of my abdomen can be seen by clicking the link on the left. I'm also adding one that I hope to keep updated - very simple, just with random shots of whatever happens during the week. At least that will take less time to do. Check out the "This week in Bahia" link.

quinta-feira, fevereiro 03, 2005

I realized I married a crazy man when at a party I witnessed a half hour presentation of an improvisation song about "cofrinhos" - otherwise known as butt cracks. This consisted of each of the men getting up, singing a 4 line contribution that they made up on the spot, pulling down the back of their suits, and dancing the butt crack dance.

More stories later.

quinta-feira, janeiro 20, 2005

My sogra came to visit. Our home becomes a bigger confused mess every day.

Engrish at Salvador's airport:
Rotative parking (I think they mean temporary parking or day parking)
Lot of "axé" music at this carnaval

The book my mother sent 8 weeks ago finally showed up. Juliãn's new game is to kick me where it tickels, just as I am going to sleep. I can see where this is going. At least now I have something more to read at night when he's keeping me awake.

With the help of the sogra, we bought a couch finally. She had a serious conversation with us over breakfast, starting out telling us that she knew it was our home and we did things as we wanted, but there was something that made her very uncomfortable. I thought she was going to talk about us sleeping naked or something, but no, she meant that when people come to visit (her friends specifically), she was very embarresed that they had no where to sit. So, at the prodding of one of them (who seems to be full of shit since she told Zi that she could buy a couch for R$150 at Iguatemi), she volunteered to pay for it. However, when she saw the actual prices of couches here, I had to volunteer to pay for half or so. Here's to credit cards, and friends who are a pain in the ass apparently. The couch is a dark red color and will match very nicely with our long term plans for the room downstairs.

Zi is home now, after a day out with several friends, so I should probably go keep her company, since there is nothing else to do. At least I should get my butt out of this chair and go eat a bannana or something. Inconsolable hunger is one of those draw backs to pregnancy. I am never quite NOT hungry...

sexta-feira, janeiro 14, 2005

The baby's room is painted! We changed our minds about 5 times in the process, but I really like the results. Now, we just need furniture and stuff. I'm sure he will love the colors for some amount of time, and then sometime after 10 years old, he will hate them because they are baby-ish. And then he can paint it any color he likes. In the mean time, it's colors I like, so that's what's important now...

terça-feira, janeiro 11, 2005

I'm melting!!!!!!!! Melting!!!!!!! Melllllltttinnggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!