Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy brazilversary to me

Tuesday this week marked three years since we arrive in Belo Horizonte.  

The day passed pretty unremarkably.  Matt went to work.  Dora walked to school (she now studies in the morning).  I stayed home with the other 2, but managed to squeeze in a few errands.  We had Strogonoff for lunch, which all the children like.  It is hard to find a meal that everyone likes here in the R-K household.  I took Beatrice and Sebastian to school, and then worked.  I combed through Dora's hair, because we have yet AGAIN another case of lice (the 3rd or 4th time for Dora).  I made sandwiches for the kids for dinner, and then went to a meeting at work, where I shared for 5 minutes IN PORTUGUESE about 1st Grade Music Class.  Then I came home and did dishes and laundry and went to bed.

Like I said, it seems pretty unremarkable, which is significant.  After three years of living here, we've been able to "figure out" how to do "it.'  By no means have we integrated.  We (Matt and I) are not fluent.  We are still very much strangers in a very strange land, and almost daily we are aware of just how much we don't fit in here.  But not only do we know how to do the day-in-day-out stuff, but we have figured out how to make a life for our family here.  I schedule play dates for the kids.  We call the Internet company and complain about our slow service, and after 3 weeks we actually get something accomplished.  I have learned to ONLY go to the bank before 10 am and after 4 pm to get cash, so I don't get stuck in the HORRIBLE revolving doors security system.  We have learned how to make the most of some bad circumstances (see all the mishaps tags), and we know that you should never really turn down an invitation to a party.

And what makes me proud is that we have done this ourselves.  We were not brought here by a big company that found us housing, paid for our kid's schooling, and helped us deal with the bureaucracy.  We are not married to any Brazilians, so we don't have family connections.  We are a unique situation, and we came here for unique reasons. And we have learned on our very own.  When I stand back and consider it all, I really don't know how we have been able to do it.  It really shouldn't have worked out so well.  But it has.  And it is good.


  1. :) Good for you guys! And congratulations!

  2. I think it best to find a niche where one fits in, regardless of the size of said niche. Perhaps back home you would belong to a greater number of niches, encompassing a larger amount of people; but trying to reproduce a similar situation somewhere else can be frustrating since that somewhere else is not your home. And maybe part of this mindset that I adhere to has something to do with the fact that I always kinda enjoyed being different.
    Congratulations on your three year aniversary: may many happy years follow.

  3. congrats! i had my three year Brazilaversary last month...amazing how time flies... :)

  4. Congratulations! You have accomplished a lot indeed! I think I'm mostly impressed that you teach a music class in a foreign country. Bravo!