FullSizeRender 89
We have reading challenges all month and these super cool posters…aka the former phallic symbols that decorated my room one day.

I’m not sure what I was looking for on the internet when I found it. I had been ordering these fabulous 5 dollar dri-fit shirts for my trip to the Amazon…and then maybe I thought about fish? Anyway. I got a shark costume. And it’s seriously made me happier than almost anything. I’ve been obsessed with landsharks for a long time, so this is like a dream come true to actually get to be one. CANDY GRAM.

me and my cool friends.

Friday was storybook character day at my school. October is “I Love to Read Month” and each class picks a book, decorates their doors, does activities, calculates reading minutes, etc., and then the last Friday of the month everyone from PreK-3 to 12th grade dresses up and we have a wee parade. It’s freaking adorable. Kids LOVE to dress up, and so do (most) teachers, and it’s super fun to see kids you don’t necessarily expect to get involved get super excited about something like this.

I wore my shark costume and went as Jaws from the book Jaws. Which I think is a book. But the best part was that I spent the entire day telling the students I was a bear named Mr. Bear from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The looks on their faces were priceless. You could see their little minds going “I know I’m supposed to trust this person because she’s a teacher lady, but it is very clear to me that she is not a bear.”

I had conversations like this at the picnic, trying to not pee my pants.

Child: You’re not a bear. Bears aren’t grey like sharks. You’re a shark.

Mr. Bear.
Mr. Bear.

Me: You ever seen a koala? Boom. Bears are grey.

Child: But you have teeth like a shark.

Me: Bears have teeth, too.

Child: You’re lying.

Me: I’m not a lion, either. I’m a bear. Mr. Bear.

Child: You’re a girl!

Me: ….illa? A Gorilla? NOpe. Not that either. I’m a bear.

Child: You’re cheating!

Me: Not a cheetah! A Bear!

scissors cuts paper!!
scissors cuts paper!!

For actual Halloween, we had an epic party at my friend Katherine and Tess’s house. This year roomies and I got thematic, and went as Rock, Paper, Scissors. I stole some cardboard from a student’s science faire project, threw duct tape and poster board on it, discovered how much I enjoy using box cutters, and became Scissors. Love the DIY.

ro sham bo roomies!
ro sham bo roomies!

We had a pretty great photo shoot about it and then headed to the party, where I got really excited about all the yummy food and completely disrespected my lactose intolerance while Youtubing the 10 hour loop of the theme song from Halloween.

But the highlight of the night was the annual scavenger hunt. With iphones, you can take these to a completely different dimension, and my friends and I like to do them with photos and videos of things designed to embarrass you and solidify the stereotype of crazy loud obnoxious Americans as much as we can for Brazilians in the area.

We divided into teams of six and got the list. The first place we headed was Barra Shopping, which is the largest mall in all of South America and pretty fancy. It’s always packed and last night was no exception.

Rachael ran around the mall like this! haha I love it. Excellent.
Rachael ran around the mall like this! haha I love it. Excellent.

It should be noted here that Brazil does not celebrate Halloween. It’s starting to catch on a little bit, but it’s not a well-known holiday here. So imagine a dozen adults dressed as rock, paper, scissors, an injured Neymar during the World Cup, Frida Khalo, Kevin and Spike from “Up,” the Black Swan, the Joker, the exercise troll doll, a sugar skull, etc., running through thousands of confused Brazilians singing operatic versions of childhood songs, demanding our picture be taken while trying on shoes, and generally causing a scene while everyone else is dressed quite nicely and out to dinner . . .

It should also be noted that we did all of this stone cold sober and in under an hour. It was epic.

halloween flip flops
our group trying on havaianas.

Here is the list of things we had to complete:

  1. Group picture in front of a Halloween display
  2. Group picture with a random person in a Halloween costume that is not a part of our party
  3. Video of all but one person “Butt Spelling” Halloween
  4. Group picture with a cat in the Simba pose (double points if it is a cat other then Oscar)
  5. Video of group doing “Thriller” dance to music in the tunnel by New York City Center
  6. Picture of Group looking under Lady Liberty’s skirt… extra points if you report on what color underwear she is wearing. (Part of the mall is called New York City Center and has a huge replica of the Statue of Liberty outside of it…and an Outback and Applebees restaurant. Sigh.)
  7. Video of a group member running down an ascending escalator (from top to bottom)
  8. Video of a team member double biking with a porteiro. (our security guard type guys at our apartments)
  9. Picture of group trying on shoes at the Havaiana store.
  10. Video of a group member “flying” on a broom, yelling “I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog Toto, too” (X5).
  11. A picture of group members in the playground castle in Jardim Europa.
  12. Group selfie with a Halloween themed movie or book
  13. A video of the group singing “One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater” opera style in front of Starbucks
  14. Find your nations flag and video that person singing their national anthem (1 person).
  15. chillin on the playground.
    chillin on the playground.

    Get a person not from our group to buy a piece of food from our party and take video of the transaction. (All proceeds go to Katherine) (we actually made 50 cents on this)

  16. Get a picture all group members with mustaches and uni-brows (see Katherine for face paint)
  17. Picture of group member in an outfit from Barra Shopping
  18. Video of a person trying to play and sing “Stairway to Heaven” on a guitar from Barra Shopping
  19. Picture with favorite street vender and their food.
  20. Video reenacting a scene out from a Halloween movie/ scary movie.  Brazilian Extras will give you bonus points

Here is our video compilation. The intro is Josh bowling a pumpkin down a makeshift alley to knock over corn. And I “accidentally” put in a funny video of Tess twice.

you gotta appreciate Tess's level of commitment with the facial hair here.
you gotta appreciate Tess’s level of commitment with the facial hair here.

I know some Christians have a really hard time with Halloween. And I love when churches have “Harvest Festivals” and provide that safe, witch/demon/scary thing-free environment for our kids with lots of games and candy. I had a blast at those as a kid and as an adult. I love Halloween – I’ve spent like five hours on Facebook just looking at how creative everyone is with their costumes, coordinating with their families and friends. AND ALSO CANDY.

But now it’s November 1st, otherwise known as Christmas music season, so. I’m off to hunt down my copies of “Love, Actually” and “Home Alone” and settle into my holiday mood.

And here’s a video of me and my friend, a banana, dancing to “Dancing Queen.” I will give you no context for this: