Hello! We're having a relaxing Sunday afternoon here. Matt has finally acquired all the ingredients for Chocolate Chip cookies, and I'm REALLY hoping they turn out okay. For those of you who know Matt, he has this cookie making down to a science, and the result is AMAZING. He used the Cuisinart to "sift" the flour, and to cream the butter and sugars, and we're attempting again to determine the temperature of the oven using the "paper" test. We also haven't found your typical brown sugar from the States--they have something here that is more molasses-y and a bit finer. Matt also had to use some higher math to figure out how much butter to use--they sell butter here by the 200 grams, but he thinks he got the right ratio. We'll let you know.
We've had a pretty good few days. We've visited another school, and so we're down to deciding between three. Matt was going to have a friend of a friend go with him to the public school to talk about getting on the wait list, but someone at the Orchestra said that Matt should just talk with the director because it's probably all political. Unless you know the right person, you won't get a good spot on the list (or even on the list), and you don't really have a chance to get in. Since we've just dropped into Brazil, not only do we not know that this is the modus operandi, but we have no connections. It really helped me to realize this, because so frequently we find ourselves wondering why it is taking s o l o n g to get seemingly simple things accomplished. So hopefully the director can help us out through his connections, and we can have some further movement in this area.
I also had the chance to go to Mangabeiras Park with the kids yesterday. It was a beautiful day, and we saw these crazy blue butterflies and had a picnic lunch. At 12:30, we were done, and went to the bus stop to take us back to the park entrance. We waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. After 45 minutes, several scraped knees, and lots of whining, I was done. I had a little family meeting and told the kids that we had to walk. Sebastian has a bit of a cold, and was feeling pretty miserable, but I promised them candy and chocolate, and off we went. After 10 minutes of walking, we saw the bus. However, it was going into the park, so we would have had to ride it for at least another 30 minutes before circling back to our entrance. I decided to just go for it. We had to stop for candy, and I carried Beatrice most of the way home, so we didn't get back until a full 2 hours after we started to leave. This is just kind of how things go here--you do the best you can to plan, and sometimes things work out perfectly, and sometimes you have to walk. For an hour and a half. With three kids. But at least it was all downhill!!
Butchers, Nationalism, and Empathy
2 days ago