Oh man. This week. Highlights include: Rick Rolling Leana at her last chapel – I called her up on the mic, asking staff to come so we could maybe lay a hand on her and pray for her new journey, and then we played “Never Gonna Give You Up” and had a dance circle around her while kinder-6th grade looked at us like we were crazy.
Last night I blindfolded her and made her listen to headphones while we got some friends to pick us up and drive us to our fav restaurant to have a going away party. She thought we were in an uber, and with the music loud, talked loudly and said silly things. When we arrived, we made her run across traffic, still blindfolded and with music on. Then as we got to the table where our friends were waiting, we told her there were animals (insert Tess making pig noises) and I said we were going to slip her into a harness and she’d have to jump (I don’t know where I got that idea) but then we took off the blindfold and it was fun. Someone had already spoiled the surprise for her earlier in the week, but Leana did a very good job acting surprised, and I think the kidnapping helped add an element of weird. Just the right amount of people came out to celebrate her leaving, and it was just super fun to have drinks and cheesy fries on the beach and take pictures and see each other outside of school.
In the classes this week, the best moments came from second grade, where we are learning about bones, short and long ones, and how they are hard. The students have to decide if something is short or long, and end up saying “shhh . . . longggg?! shlong?” all the time and I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old so I am constantly giggling.
In other news, I think because it was my grandpa’s birthday, and he is a man that goes to the dump and comes back with more than he left with, I went dumpster diving through some trash and came upon THE GREATEST FIND IN HISTORY. And air stair stepper!! eeee!!! It is so fun. It is also very difficult. There was some dog poop on it but I cleaned it off and hauled it home and have been working on my fitness.
My roommates are leaving me next year. Some best friends are leaving to go back to where they came from. In a few short weeks, my life here will suddenly be very different. This shake-up demands a bit of soul searching.
When I look back on Brazil, much of it will be the beach sunsets, food, nights with my friends having dance parties. And if you follow my landscape and costume party-heavy instagram, or read this blog, you might get the impression that that is what my time is here – one long vacation with fabulous people. BUT. There is also a lot of wack stuff that happens. Some of is it job related, some life related. Blogging about all the stuff that is awesome helps me accentuate the positive, but every once in a while, something so WHAT THE WHAT happens and I need to talk about it. If only to remind myself to laugh at it later and remember to stay balanced and make good decisions. And the crazy is, well, crazy.
Like the fact that at one point, we didn’t have hot water for six months. During Fall and Winter here. Leana and I got mad sick. Or when I came back in August, we didn’t have running water at all for six days, and I just had to keep using my toilet, without the flush. Or that I see crabs cross the road and get hit by cars, or last week I heard strange noises at my door at 1am, finally opened it, and a cat came in and lived with me for about an hour. Or when I see people mugged in broad daylight when I go on afternoon walks.
I try keep the negative talk to a minimum. First, because no one likes a downer. Second, because it only makes me feel depressed, and I like to feel happy. Third, because my general policy is “meh. but we’re okay.” But some stories deserve telling. Again, if only to laugh later.
Our oven broke in November 2014. That’s right. I haven’t braised a veggie, roasted a chicken, baked a pie in nearly 2 years. Let’s be honest – I would have mostly been using it for cookies and brownies I don’t need BUT. Beside the point. We reported it,two or three times, but nothing happened. Then after my birthday party where I cooked my friends spaghetti, the stove range also stopped working. So my roomies and I are forced to eat out if we want a hot meal. I mostly put sriracha on cottage cheese and eat it with crackers so I don’t have to wash any dishes.
BUT THEN. FINALLY. They said we were getting a new oven! Yay! It had been ordered! It was being delivered! For some reason, this delivery would take three weeks on a truck from Sao Paolo, which is not that far away, but no matter – we would finally be able to make food in our house. I would finally stop getting judged by servers when I ordered the fajitas for two people so I could have leftovers.
Three weeks passes. Four weeks. Five. Six. We check back in on the status of our oven, anticipating the cupcakes we would bake, the Hamburger Helper I brought back from the States in January that has being left lonely on my shelves, the tacos we could fry up.
But. Apparently. The truck carrying our oven was hijacked. HIJACKED. Who hijacks an oven truck?! I just. I cannot. Moments like these take all the deep breaths and all the “do NOT throw anything” that I have in me. Sometimes I throw something. (also RIP ipod.)
I can’t let myself get started, because it spirals too easily. I’ve lived here for two years. There’s a lot to WHAT THE WHAT about. Because, firstly, it’s hard to move to a new country, start a new job, learn a new language, a new culture. And that’s just transition. If I let myself, I can get really upset. Upset at the parts so slow, so inefficient, so corrupt. Upset over parents completely uninvolved in the raising and educating of their child. Frustrated with the grocery clerk who is texting instead of ringing up my items, with the stupid traffic, with endless rounds of paperwork and government clerks needing to know my mom’s maiden name. And the constant smell of urine. THE BUGS. The heat that permeates everything for 9-12 months of the year. Electricity bills that rise 40% without warning. Alligators in the sewers that blocks irrigation. Emails unanswered, demands made without asking.
BUT. I think the fact that while I am sad to miss my friends who are leaving Brazil, no part of me is jealous. I’m happy here. I’m happy to stay here another year and see where this journey takes me. May it throw me in the path of wealthy ex-pats.
Three weeks from today, at nearly this exact moment, I will be boarding a plane to go to California for the summer. I’ve been really missing my fam and facetiming the dog a lot and chatting with friends, making plans. It will be a fun few weeks.
Then I will return to Brazil for the Olympics. Absolutely crazy. I have beach volleyball tickets and plan on buying for badminton, table tennis, synchronized swimming, diving, water polo, and more. Because like why not? I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately – a bit sorry that I’m not in the unofficial “wives and moms” club everyone else I know seems to be in. So I’m ordering tater tots and french fries every time we go to a restaurant, and I’m starting a “really freaking single, living in a foreign country, really unsure of her life choices, dating Netflix, wine on weeknights, future best friend of Olympians, spending money she don’t have” club. I’m not just the president, I’m the only member.
If you haven’t heard it, and you need to today, you can be in my club. VIP. You read my blog, and I like you. You should know that a costume is required for entry. But no worries – I have many a costume for you to borrow.