Sunday, August 29, 2010

A little of this, a little of that

It's Sunday morning, we made buttermilk pancakes with homemade syrup, and I'm enjoying a second cup of coffee. The kids are drawing and playing in their pajamas. Matt has a wedding gig later today, but the rest of us are just planning on staying home today after a busy Saturday. On days like this, it doesn't really feel like we're living in Brazil. This is kind of the same routine we had in the states.

But then there are days like yesterday. The kid's school held a picnic (piquenique--love that word) at the Ecological Park. I've known about it for a while, and finally on Thursday talked to Matt about logistics. How are we going to get there? I realized that it was going to be too crazy to take two buses across town with food and 3 kids, so plans had to be made. Dora spent the night with a friend, and then I asked one of Sebastian's friends parents if they could give us a ride. They were very gracious, and even offered to take two cars to make it more comfortable. I had talked to another parent who said that we were supposed to bring either something sweet or something salty. This information was helpful, but how was it that I didn't get it? I've been trying to get on the email list at school for a while, but with no luck. Apparently information is not just sent home in the agenda (I should do a whole separate post on the "agenda") but also comes via email, but most importantly word of mouth. I often wonder just how much information I miss because I have such a hard time communicating with other parents. But that will come with time...but anyway, I assume that this is going to be a potluck kind of picnic, so I brought a HUGE dish of peanut butter brownies and some fruit, and to play it safe some sandwiches and other snacks for the kids. So I was prepared.

But when we arrived, I found out that it really wasn't a potluck. It was more like a put out your blanket and see who sits next to you and then just put all the food in the middle of the blanket. We ate coxinha (yummy little chicken snacks), kibe (a Middle eastern kind of snack), pão de queijo (the infamous minero cheese bread, made with manioc flour), hot dogs (Brazilian style, with corn, little slivers of potato chips, and a sauce), and cake and cookies. The kids pretty much just ran around, Sebastian playing soccer with his new soccer ball, Dora climbing trees, and Bea insisting that I play with her. There was an Urucum (Annatto) tree close to where we were sitting, and so the kids started picking the pods, opening them up to take the seeds out, and then they mixed it with water to make a paint. Dora painted her arm, and many of the girls painted their cheeks bright red--it was cute! Someone brought a guitar, so there was a circle of people singing and some dancing along to the music. At one point, the Capoeira teacher had some kids form a capeiora circle, and the kids sang and "danced". Unfortunately my kids didn't want to participate. Enjoy Bea's whining (be thankful you only have to deal with 20 seconds of it, because I had the privilege of enduring 7 hours); you can also see Dora's friend Mariana in the white tank top--she's pretty good!

Someone brought a keg, and I saw a few folks drinking Skol. I have no problem with people enjoying beer, and I on occasion enjoy caparinhas and Bohemia and gin and tonics and wine, but I don't know if I'll ever get used to seeing people walking down the street drinking beer from a can, drinking in the car (I've even seen drivers holding beers!!!) or bringing a keg to a school picnic. Mostly we just hung out, ate way to much, talked and then talked some more. I met some new folks, and thankfully am realizing that I'm understanding more Portuguese (the speaking still needs work). I also got to hear Dora speaking Portuguese with her friends--she's coming along quite well! Portuguese, kegs, guitars, capoeira, different food, and being content to spend more than 6 hours just hanging out--these are not things that you'd find at an American Picnic. And these are things that make me happy we are here.

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