Sunny Days!

It’s been rather wet and gloomy for the past week and a half or so. It’s also been a bit chilly — nothing too cold, but I’ve pretty much been living in the two pairs of jeans I brought and the one sweater I have here. Today is the first day that it’s gotten out of the 60s in a while and the first one without rain or at least very angry looking skies. I think this trend is supposed to continue until Sunday. Then it will be stormy again. It is Spring, I guess. Today is really low-key for me. I slept in until about 9:30am and then got up and had a leisurely breakfast and spent some time reading. Then I caught up on my to do list. I’m here alone today, well not really alone, Avô and Tia are at home and Olivia and Saulo are around, but Giselly and the boys are out and Josefina and Edir are at work. I’m enjoying the time alone and the wonderful sunshine.

Sunshine!

This is right outside my bedroom window. Isn’t it pretty? I love all of the color here in Brasil. I’m so happy to finally see a beautiful blue sky. Giselly’s house is in the background. I must admit, I’m not half as good at remembering to take pictures as my mom. I’m trying to get better at that though — I’ll make sure my battery is charged and ready to go for this weekend!

Here are some random observations that I’ve made since being here…

-Dishwashers are extremely rare and for all intents and purposes, pretty much are non-existent here. And when someone does have one, it’s about half the size of our dishwasher at home.

-Dryers. They don’t have them. They hang clothes out to dry and then iron EVERYTHING.

-There is no central AC except in malls, some office buildings, etc. They have fans and sometimes small window units. This is odd to me considering the sweltering temperatures of the summer.

-95% of the cars are small and look alike no matter what make and model. My little Toyota Camry would like a boat next to most of the cars here. I haven’t seen a single mini van.

-This one is obvious, but it’s so true. Soccer is a national obsession and passion. I haven’t met a single person who didn’t have strong opinions about their team. They get pretty serious about this sport.

-Driving. I still don’t quite understand the rules of the road. It’s spastic and chaotic on the one hand, yet everyone seems to know and understand what’s going on anyway. You can’t turn right on red here and almost everyone obeys this law, yet they run red lights all the time. People are freaked out about speeding because of hefty fines, but if someone is in their way and they are in a hurry, they’ll go over onto the left side of the road and speed by everyone else and go on their merry way.

-Electronics are expensive. An 8GB iPod Nano is $R 580,00 I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that. Gosh, I should sell mine while I’m here…haha, wait, that’s a good idea…

-So is Haagen Daz icecream. $R25 for a pint. Craziness.

-They have incredible fruits. I’ve been spoiled forever. Mmm, manga, banana, passion fruit, oh yum. It’s all right there ready for me to eat whenever my heart desires. It’s so delicious. The bananas are different here. The bananas that we eat in the states are called banana d’agua and they don’t eat them here, they just use them for cooking. We eat smaller ones that are delicious. I like them much better.

-Juice. There is juice everywhere. I love it. Avô makes fresh orange juice. It’s so good. I’ll never drink store bought orange juice the same way again. Then of course, there is every kind of juice that you can possibly think of stocked in the refrigerator just waiting to be poured into a glass and enjoyed.

Well, I better go. I have so much homework to work on. I have to write my personal history and compose a letter to a friend telling her all about my time here so far — all this in Portuguese. Plus, I have to memorize a lot of vocabulary and master the past tense and memorize all of those irregular verbs. Whewww.

Later,

JJ

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