Monday, June 05, 2006

Festive Weekend and Family Internationalization (Updated!)

Updated with photos

My brother and his wife arrived on Friday to visit us for a week before they head to China, where he's going to work for at least two years as a forest engineer for a Sweedish paper company. It's great to have them around and it's the first time they visit us here in the U.S. together (my brother spent 3 months with us in Massachusetts back in 1996-97, but he never visited again).

On Friday we also received some "bombastic" news, to use my brother-in-law's own expression - my BIL, the one who lives in Maryland and whose wife is expecting their second son in two or three weeks - received a phone call inviting him to go work in Lebanon!! He hasn't decided yet whether they're going or not. The decision is a really difficult one for them because he’s been working here in the U.S. for only one year (he was previously a student) and he was hoping to go abroad only in four years or so.

The multiple-birthdays party we had on Sunday was very fertile ground for all conversations about life abroad. My mother- and father-in-law just moved to the U.S. from Brazil, my brother and his wife are moving to China, my husband's maternal uncle who came by as well is moving to South Africa in a couple of months with his wife and youngest daughter, and now my BIL has a decision to make about moving to Lebanon or not. Wow. At the end of the day my mother also shared her (and my dad's) own experiences of their three years abroad in France, back when I was born (you can read some more about this in my 100 things post - part II).

I guess the most "boring" people at the party were my husband and I and my younger brother- and sister-in-law who live in Texas. We were just talking about business and (me and my SIL) about graduate school in literature -- which were nice conversations, but much less exciting than talking about going to live in China, Africa, or the Middle East!

The party itself was a lunch or "luncheon," and I cooked three kinds of pasta and me and my mom made two different vegetable dishes with zucchini and spinach. We also had fresh veggies, salad, strawberry lemonade, and guaraná Antarctica (this is the best brand of the Brazilian soft drink guaraná). I had bought a canopy or "tent" to put outside (see picture above) and we ate in the backyard since the weather was perfect, pretty cool and with no sun (only later in the afternoon). Later we came inside to sing Happy Birthday to my son Linton, my father-in-law, my husband, and my older sister-in-law and we had cake, no-bake lemony cheesecake (I'll post the recipe some time) plus tortilla chips and home made salsa (people usually love my homemade salsa :) My sister-in-law took care of the decoration again one more time, and she was brilliant as usual as you can seein the photo below.
It was a fun day. The kids (Kelvin, 4, Linton, 2, and my nephew who is 20 months) played outside a lot and had a lot of fun with Linton's presents afterwards and all adults enjoyed being together, realizing this was a very rare family reunion, given that we have no idea when all of us will be spending time together again since we're spread out all over the globe!


Sandra said...

Lilian, wow, very international family! My husband grew up in Lebanon, and a large part of his family still lives there, some in Beirut and some in a refugee camp in Tripoli, but I've never visited there. What city will your brother be moving to in China?

Lilian said...

Sandra, my brother is moving to Beihai, which is in the province of Guang Xi (if I spelled it right) in Southwestern China.

Sonho Meu said...

Oi querida,
passei pra dar um alosinho pra vc.
Ando num corre corre tremendo.

Zee said...

A festinha foi boa!!! Aqui também teve festinha, mas bem simples! Vieram dez crianças!!!

Juliet said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time with your family. I;m sure it isn't very often you get to all spend time together like that. You truly are an international family!

Alice in Austria said...

oh wow, you are one mobile family! I think it's wonderful! Think of it this way: once they move to Africa/China/wherever, you get to visit them there! ;)

Happy belated birthday to Linton!!

Alice in Austria said...

P.S. I'd love to have the recipes of those 3 different kinds of pastas!!!! :)

Rene said...

The party was great fun, yummy food, cute decorations, and beautiful weather. (I won't see those kinds of temperatures again here until October.) It was also nice to get to see a little bit of Philly and to finally meet your brother and his wife. So what are we doing for our birthdays? :)

The Lioness said...

So much peripatetic living is making my head spin. That used to be my life, I don't think I miss it. Too hard being an immigrant at times.

And do you know, I actually like the other Guaraná beter, what's it called? Rajá? Something kingly, no? help!