Friday, August 31, 2012

Spotify is the bomb

& I will probably get premium once I have a new phone.

Today I just put the name of one of my "favoritest" Brazilian singers/songwriters (I love so many, but I have a soft spot for him for whatever reason): Ivan Lins and they have his latest release from just a few months ago Amorágio (not a real word in Portuguese, based in amor, love) -- a review here.

I didn't even know he had a new album! I didn't have time to go shopping for music or groceries when I was in Brazil... sigh...

I'm so excited Spotify had quite a lot of Brazilian music!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I just wish, I really do, that I could blog more. Other than that (and of course little things of life that go wrong but which are meaningless in the grand scheme of things like the laundry list of the previous email)... I couldn't be happier.

Seriously. Yesterday and today I haven't been as blissfully, walking on clouds happy as I was on my very first day of teaching (Tuesday). And that day was crazy in that I had tons of technology challenges in class and out. I spent almost 2 hours until I finally figured out how to access my email and was finally able to drive the 70 miles home.

I can't really explain what it felt like after I taught my "teleteaching" class and it went just fine and then I had to do my 10 minute walk to the building where I teach my other classes... It's a beautiful campus. Certain parts of the landscaping/gardening remind me of Longwood Gardens, seriously!

I had been so anxious about the long-distance, technology-mediated class, but it's fine! It really is!

And then I went on to teach my live, flesh & blood students and it was just soooo great!! Everything went wrong with technology in the class, but I still managed to pull out a pretty good first class.

The truth is I enjoy teaching and I think that language teaching fits ADHD-me just fine. Maybe someday I'll be centered enough to teach literature and culture in a way that won't make me feel like I suck 100%, but language? (which is so easy and which basically anyone can teach, no degree needed, only being a native speaker of a language -- something that is seriously frustrating if you think of spending 10 years to get a phd in something I'm extremely passionate about and then teaching what? Language?) Anyway... yeah, I think I'm good at it and I can feel happy and fulfilled doing it.

There are other important elements that make me happy and I'll try to blog about some of them separately. Having "benefits" helps a lot psychologically too. It reassures me that my work is valued, even though I'm not paid that much.

I want to try and write a series of "catching up" posts in the next few days. Then I'll write a post to "wrap it up" at the end.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

And So It Begins...

This is the post that I would have written on Monday, had I had time to blog, but I was frantically trying to prepare my "tele-teaching" class and freaking out about it and everything else. I'm writing it at 3 am, but scheduling it for tomorrow morning. ;)

Guess what? I was a pile of nerves because most everything that could go wrong on Monday during the day went wrong. And there were several things that went wrong on Tuesday as well.

I'm sure that's NOT how things will normally go, though, so I will take this rocky beginning as a sign that things will be just amazingly great once everything is sorted out. (that doesn't sound like me at all -- the realistic pessimist that I am, but I know it's the truth!)

After I decided to wash and blow dry my hair and I finally packed my things (clothes & necessities for overnight staying) the car frustrations started (more on said car in a future post): I couldn't get the trunk to open, I was hot without air conditioning (car doesn't have it) and I was upset at having my hair in the wind all day long.

These were nothing, though because I realized as I got the car keys and started driving away that my office key was in the other car's keychain, with my husband! And I also had mistakenly taken his laptop's power cord and needed to give it back. Of course he was teaching, so I couldn't talk to him.

When I was approaching the university the lady who is substituting me called, completely lost. I changed my plans (to get gas & the computer power cord I'd forgotten at the study abroad meeting) and went to meet her and take her around campus so she could get ready to go with me teach the first class (I got the class started for her, put a DVD & left).

Guess what else happened? The department secretary was sick (maybe pneumonia), so it was very hard to get everything she needed to get started -- an office key, the key to the classrooms where she teaches, etc. After some time we finally got into the office, I got her the books and I printed out the handouts. When trying to edit the syllabus, though, I realized that all the changes her daughter had made to help her were gone in the PC we were using. Sigh...

It was past 3 pm when I got on the road, needing desperately to get to new university to get a parking pass and to try and meet with people in the department. And... there was debris from an earlier accident on the road (glass jars/drinking glasses truck upturned, filling the road with shards of glass) which caused a considerable traffic jam. :(

In conclusion: I was able to get the parking pass, but not to go to the department. I still walked around and timed my walk from one class location to another and then went to my friends' house where they fed me a wonderful meal!

On Tuesday I got to the university early to go to the teleconference room and the class was surprisingly great. Even greater were my in-person classes afterwards! The only problem was that I spent several hours trying to figure out how to enable and access my email account and I finally got it with our dept.'s secretary's help! It was past 4 pm and I finally headed back home (70 miles).

I stopped at Costco & WM again and I couldn't wait to get home when not even 15 miles from home I hit yet ANOTHER huge traffic jam, this time due to road construction. It took me 45 minutes to get home. :(  So spent almost no time with my sons before they went to bed.

And my oldest has asthma right now... K has been managing just fine! Cooking for the boys, etc. So I know in my heart that my days, though packed and intense and full of driving, won't be as crazy as these past two.

At least I hope!!! And so it begins... my crazy adventure in "super commuting" (not really, I know that to be called that it has to be like 300+ miles, at least according to Time magazine ;)

Because I have two syllabi to write...

... I obviously need to blog instead. :)

I mean, really need to share with you lots of things that have been happening in this CRAZY week since we returned from Brazil.

There's a backlog of posts that I want/have to write no matter what, so I want to get started with this one. Just for you to have an idea of the craziness since we arrived at the airport and were picked up by my husband...

... we went straight to two grocery stores a Korean one & Trader Joe's (remember -- we had SEVEN suitcases piled up in the back of the minivan);

... I spent 35 minutes at home hugging my cats like crazy and beholding the WRECK that 3 weeks away with no lawn mowing will do to your lawn (it becomes an unkempt mess -- never again!), while K started mowing, I went to the university for a useless meeting (study abroad) and then I stopped at Costco & Target;

... Next morning I headed to new university to catch the last day of orientation (the mandatory part, YAY!), go to a reception & dinner (while missing my kids' first day of school). I stayed overnight at my friends' and went to another meeting the next day, got my ID and had to come back home without my parking permit.

.... Friday I was so tired I had to nap in the middle of the day, on Saturday I had to go help out the lady who's replacing me at the university (out of the goodness of my heart, but this is something Brazilians will do for one another, it's just a natural thing).

.... Sunday was the kids' school picnic and while K & I needed desperately to stay home and work on our syllabus we took turns staying at the school for a couple hours each.

.... Monday I'll have to blog about later, but I went to new university & stayed overnight. I came back Tuesday night & Here I am, early  morning Wednesday... needing sleep and writing syllabi, but... lo and behold, blogging... :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

They decided for me...

I lost sleep a couple of nights (as in being awake until very late talking to K, I don't really ever have any insomnia, thankfully) while we were in Maceió, daunted by the amount of work and the effort it would take to organize the study abroad.

I was really stressed out that this whole thing would distract me from my new job and be a big nuisance. K talked me into simply thinking of it positively, as a valuable experience and one more line in my CV (oh, BTW, as far as publications go my CV is really bad, but I have a short translation of mine that will be published soon, a little thing, but so exciting!). So I had reconciled myself to doing it in spite of the clear disadvantages of such a serious responsibility.

That's why about 45 minutes after I arrived home after 1.5 month away I left to go to a mandatory meeting for the study abroad organizers. After the meeting, which dealt with complicated budget submission, I was called to talk to the director of the programs and he told me, very apologetically, that my department the the GenEd department had decided that I couldn't do the program because of my new job with another school.

I was taken aback and slightly upset/disappointed, but then I realized that they had actually given me a "gift" with this decision.... I was now released from the responsibility and the work and I can concentrate on teaching and my new job. YAY!! Talk about good timing in the end. It was definitely one of those cases of "lemons becoming lemonade).

So... yeah, one less thing in my plate which now feels so much lighter!

Busy, But Happy

I will try to blog more about the new job soon, for now, suffice it to say that I've been busy

(and I haven't unpacked ONE suitcase yet of the seven who await me. Or cleaned my house, or anything, 'cause I've been away from home in the past 2 days),

but I'm busy and very happy. I think it's truly an awesome opportunity and I hope it does become something more permanent. 

OK, sorry for the suspense, but there are other things I need to share/blog about, OK?

First Day & I wasn't there

My sons' first day of school was today, but I couldn't take them because I had to drive to an orientation event at my new job. :(

I can't believe that my oldest son is 10 and in 5th grade!! I almost cried as I read Anjali's post about her daughters going to school too (our kids are the same age).

I had a great day, though and I am really really motivated to start my new job. I'm not even that worried or stressed about the "tele-teaching"!

I do need to go to bed, though, but I wanted to register my sons' first day of school here as other people have been doing in blogland and fb.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

At her house *poof*

poof! (email me if you're too curious)

Please don't make revealing comments on this or future posts or I'll have to delete them, OK?

Happy There, Happy Here: The "Well-Adjusted" Immigrant

K has an uncle who immigrated to the U.S. a couple of years before we came here to study (with his help). This uncle tells everyone who will hear that once you emigrate the only place you're happy again in your life is in the airplane, when coming and going, since, according to him, when you're in the new country you will always miss the home country and vice-versa.

That is not what I feel like at all!

And my friend Ci couldn't believe me when I told her that I loved being in Brazil and really enjoyed living here and that I didn't mind going back and forth.

There's a caveat to this whole discussion, though! And I realized it a couple of weeks after I had talked about this with Ci: I am fully happy with the way my life is now. I live here for good and I visit Brazil and spend extended periods of time there (1-2 months).

This afternoon, when we were driving home (summary of our slightly complicated return home later in this post), my husband "hit the nail on the head" when he concluded that the reason why he enjoyed this visit to Brazil and why he wasn't constantly comparing both countries during the visit*  is that now we know we're staying for good, we're finally "settled." I couldn't agree more, although I think I had been in this frame of mine a bit longer than him, even before the final "settlement." (I think that becoming a resident kind of settled the matter for me, back in 2008).
*I haven't done that in years now.

So... when I posted a rare (for me) facebook update tonight, I decided to write jokingly that maybe I am a "well-adjusted" immigrant, and I think I am! This thought makes me very happy. I've come a long way since "blogging changed my life" back in 2006 and my feelings of being an "accidental immigrant" (we still are, only more adjusted) from 2009.

P.S. Our trip almost too a turn to the disastrous on Sunday morning, when K decided to call the airline to ask for a vegetarian meal. He was returning the same night as us (Monday), only on a different airline, arriving at a different airport about 1.5h later than the boys and I. However, AA had changed his flight without notifying him and now he was going to arrive at after 4 pm yesterday afternoon.

After that discovery, chaos ensued! K found out from them that the earliest he could arrive would be at 1:30 pm and I started getting frantic at the possibility of being stuck for about 4 hours at the airport having just sooooo much to do. He asked them to make the change, but then he realized that he could fly on that same night (Sunday)! K called AA again and they said that this would be a possibility.

However, there was a serious impediment to that great solution! :( Brazilian law requires that when a child travels abroad with only one parent, the other parent needs to provide a written and notarized authorization for that child to travel and we hadn't done that for the boys because we were supposed to go through Brazilian immigration together in the airport.

After lots of back and forth calling notaries in the area (all unavailable since it was a Sunday) and the federal police (responsible for immigration in Brazil), we figured out that his signature could be notarized by "similarity" rather than signing in the presence of the notary. What a relief!!

But we still had to go and pack his suitcases and make sure he had everything he needed to travel. We managed to do that on time and K3 (his younger brother who was visiting with his family) was able to drive him to the airport. PHEW!!!

The poor guy traveled all night Sunday and all day yesterday and arrived at his brother's house at 5 pm, but this morning he got to the airport just in time to pick us up so we could do some shopping and drive back home. Saved by a signature! (he already had his signature "registered" at this particular notary (cartório), so they notarized the signed paper even without him on Monday morning).

OK, this is a really long post already, so I'll stop!

Airport Blogging/ Computer "Conversion"

Our plane to Washington D.C. is boarding in just a minute, so I have to hurry and blog quickly -- wifi is just excellent here in Toronto.

The trip from Brazil was fine and now I can't wait to get back home -- in spite of all the cleaning, the weeding and the work that I have to start doing right away...

And, there's something else, I think that I have finally decided to switch to Macs.

OK, ready to board, more later!

Monday, August 20, 2012


My son will read this post tomorrow and I will edit or delete it depending on his feedback, since he has full control over the stories I post about him. Let's hope he's OK with it. ;)

It was nearly impossible to document my youngest son's first and second tooth losses (his bottom middle teeth) because he would refuse to have his "windowy" smile photographed. This changed with the way more visible top teeth, mostly because we took thousands of photos during this trip and because it's nearly impossible to avoid showing his "big window."

There is a funny story about the way one of the teeth fell during our trip which I hope my son will allow me to permanently share here.

One evening the boys were having dinner at my in-laws' house with my father-in-law's twin brother, his wife and daughter Carol. I had to leave to go have a haircut and when I came back Carol, who was sitting right next to L, had this hilarious tale to tell.

They were eating pizza when suddenly, L very discretely and matter-of-factly turned to Carol and said: "I think I just swallowed my tooth!" (he also quietly shared this news with his brother who was sitting on his other side). Then, L touched his gum with his finger and wondered, "Hmm... is it bleeding?" "Nah..." he concluded, "it's just the tomato sauce!"  And he kept on eating the pizza. : D
At the wedding the next day.

2012 Brazil Trip Math

To be updated as I remember more stuff, just for my own reference

  • 2.5 years since our last trip to Brazil
  • 48 days away from home (boys & I) - a lot, but our average stay
  • 14 days spent at my parents' house (very little compared to previous visits)
  • 25 days away from home (K)
  • 6 days spent at my parents' house (K)
  • 7 Brazilian states my parents & I drove through/visited
  • 5 Brazilian state capitals visited
  • 7 flights taken by the boys & I 
  • 2 teeth lost by youngest son
  • 11 mosquito bites on my left calf/leg (and a few more on the right) [probably from Friday night]
  • 7 suitcases full of stuff taken back home (close to 70 lbs each -- Brazilian travelers get a higher allowance as required by Brazil's laws)
  • 16 years since K had last had a meaningful conversation with our dear friend C
  • 8 hours he/we spent talking to her nonstop
  • 111.33 lbs (50.5) my weight at the end of the trip, the most I've ever weighed in my entire life while not-pregnant (please don't get mad at me, I've always been way underweight, weighing from 92-97 lbs most of my life.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Out of the Northeast

The Northeastern Region of Brazil is like a different country. It's hard to explain and it's the middle of the night, so I'll leave that explanation for another time. Suffice it to say that I married into a Northeastern family, so I've learned to love most things from there.

This is only the third time I've been to the Northeast (Nordeste). The first time was a quick trip with our choir back on September 1994. We went to Bahia, which is a place that has a lot of characteristics all its own -- we visited the city of Salvador (NO, it is NOT El Salvador, the country, OK? It's the capital of the state of Bahia, which is pronounced Bah-ee-ah, "ee" being the strongest syllable).

Then, there was the "epic" Northeastern tour in our honeymoon, Dec. 1994 - Jan. 1995. Oh, yeah, and my dear friend Mimi will be quick to point out that we spent part of our nearly one month long honeymoon/vacation with his whole family. Yes we did, and SO WHAT? I can tell you more about that some other time (you can ask in the comments).

In any case, in our honeymoon/vacation we visited: Recife, Natal, São Luís, Fortaleza and, again, Salvador (my favorite!) -- all state capitals. 

This time, only 17 years later, I got to know another city, Maceió, the capital of Alagoas. I also re-visited Recife and we had a whirlwind afternoon trip to João Pessoa, capital of yet another state, Paraíba. I also visited another city in my husband's birth state of Pernambuco -- Caruaru.

Anyway... there is still a lot more to visit in the Northeast and I hope that someday I will get to it, but I'm happy I got to see new places on this trip. This afternoon we flew back to São Paulo and left the Northeast behind.
Some photos for you...
Olinda, PE
Olinda, PE, church from 1500s
Porto de Galinhas - PE
Reefs at Barra de São Miguel - AL
Pernambuco countryside

And this is nothing, really... I hope I get to share more. If only I could have a few more days here in São Paulo with real high speed internet (which is WAY better than what I get in where I live in Virginia)! I could stay up all night, but that would ruin my day tomorrow... what a temptation!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Goodbye London, Hello Rio

A facebook friend just shared this great image from Nathan the Nerd's Tumblr site -- direct link to post here (I suppose he created it/ has copyright to it and I hope it's OK to share it):
I also hope that Rio's Olympic Games in 2016 won't become a huge problem for Brazil the way the Athens games were/are for Greece. I worry particularly about the process of "gentrification" of the city that will probably occur (displacing poorer populations from areas closer to the city and thereby distancing them from their workplaces) and the rampant corruption that can occur in infra-structure works of this magnitude. Let's hope for the best for Rio 2016 and Brazil!

nah... they lost

and we wasted a beautiful morning at the beach and will get to the beach only at noon. :(

too bad...

It's just what one of my facebook friends posted yesterday, "silver is the saddest medal."

And apparently it was the first final in which a team was winning 2X0 in volleyball went on to lose the game (I heard the commentators say that, I don't know if it's true).

Nerve-Racking/ Dramatic Men's Volleyball

Yesterday Brazil's women volleyball team beat the U.S. in an incredible come-back to win the gold medal (I wanted to blog about that, but couldn't find the photo I wanted, maybe I still will), but this morning the Brazilian men are having a hard time beating Russia.

There were two match points in the third set and they almost got it, but Russia went on to win the 3rd set and might win the 4th so they go to a tie-break set. Sigh...

I'm not too confident that Brazil can make it and it's just too nerve-racking for me to watch. Sigh again.

Maybe a miracle will happen and they will beat the Russians in the 4th set now, but I'm not counting on it!

Updated to add: it's going to the 5th tie-break set. I don't think Brazil will win. If they do, 
great... GO BRAZIL!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Cliffs in Gunga Beach

Gunga beach, close to the city of Maceió (state of Alagoas) has (fortunately open) access through private land -- an incredibly huge coconut tree plantation. Once at the beach, for about 15 bucks per person one can take a buggy trip to see seaside cliffs made of multi-colored sand.

Some photos for you... (we finally have wireless, YAY!! Thanks K3 for the router)

 Some of the colors of the sand.
 Edited to add three more photos.

Friday, August 10, 2012

At least I tried

I tried to post photos to the blog, but it didn't work out. :( (the 3G internet connection fell through).

Maybe I should have saved the photos in lower resolution, I can still try to do that.

I promise to keep on trying, OK?

too intense for words

this is the most overwhelmingly intense trip I've had to Brazil in 16 years... (insert exhausted sigh here).

We're doing OK (K got better while I was away with my parents last weekend), but I'm more than a little stressed out about what awaits me when I get back home. A meeting on the very day I get back (about the study abroad), orientation at new job the next day and a departmental meeting the following day (not to mention getting ready to teach in only a few days).

Meanwhile I'm here stressed out about the whole study abroad thing and the distance teaching thing. I know I just need to relax brace myself and face everything. Sigh...

OK, but back to now... in addition to the bad internet access that prevents me from writing, the experiences are so intense that they make it hard for me to post.

From a day-long road-block protest by homeless people on the road we were traveling on and which altered our travel plans for the day.... a visit to the eerie and oh, so sad, site of this abandoned boarding academy where many people in the family went to school (the place where my in-laws met, where my aunt, uncle and dearest cousins lived back in the 70s and where K went to school for one year)...

... to beautiful beaches and schools of fish on a coral reef.

Not to mention the horrible and stressful highways and historic places visited last weekend.

I want to share some photos, but I'll write other posts for that. Let's hope the 3G network by "Vivo" works!

Thursday, August 02, 2012


I shouldn't have been whiny last night, since this morning we woke up to three different channels of the Olympics in HD & a lady who was being interviewed and who's coming back tomorrow to help around the house for two weeks.

As for "the Internets," I think I'm ok with being online for a limited time each day.

I'm sure we'll figure something out regarding the car & travel situation, K is slowly getting better (and we're keeping his fever under control).

Now... if only the sun would shine! ;)

(it's rainy season here in Maceió, so we can't complain about that).

I'm going for a walk with my mom and I will take my camera, OK?

P.S. I already visited the language school and I think everything will work out very smoothly for my study abroad next year. I couldn't be happier!!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

São Paulo as Seen from the 21st Floor of a Morumbi Apartment

The following photos were taken from the next to last floor in a high-rise in the fancy Morumbi region (bairro). Morumbi, as this academic article discusses, is at the same time one of the richest parts of the city and the place where its second largest slum (favela) -- Paraisópolis -- is located. I photographed the favela too, so you can see it below. (Paraisópolis is obviously a very ironic name, since it means "Paradise city").
(I took the photos from our friends' apartment)

A shower with a view
I started taking photos after enjoying this view during my really long shower (because of the view!):
 Another shower view:
I was really surprised at how close the (artificial) lake is. I went to a house adjacent to this lake to tutor two middle-schoolers in English as my very first paying job. The photo below was taken from the balcony, not the bathroom window, though:
In the background one can see the Southern (most prosperous) region of São Paulo city and the buildings of "Paulista Avenue" in the very back. The "favela" (slum) is in-between the buildings on the left-hand side of the photo, see more below.
 Zooming closer to Paraisópolis:

 The more "prosperous" side of the favela (mostly brick buildings) below, center:

The more miserable looking part (from what we can see with my zoon lens, obviously!):
 The last two photos, more of Morumbi's high rises:
I took more, but I think they make more sense for people who know Sampa well. How do you like these? You and I were like, since the weather was amazing in Sampa on Sunday and it was awful on Monday -- I was so glad I'd taken the photos when I did!

P.S. I hope my MIL doesn't pay for her hotspot connection on the basis of data sent!! :(
(I know nothing about this stuff, but she probably pays a standard monthly fee... ;)

I need A LOT of patience right now, folks...

This is one of those posts I shouldn't be writing and I know it.

It involves next of kin. As far as I know only two people in this category read this blog and I'm sure they'll fully understand (hi A & K!). In any case here it goes, I shouldn't be writing but I am.

There are some aggravating factors to the situation... K is really sick right now, poor thing, he caught the d--mn virus from me. He only got up from bed to eat dinner and play some games with the boys because the ibuprofen finally kicked in after nearly two hours and lowered his 102.2 fever. I know the fever will come back in the middle of the night and I'm already planning on how to deal with it -- I'm pondering whether to hit it with ibuprofen again or alternate with acetaminophen. I might do the former. Oh, and I'm still not feeling that great (coughing a lot) and I'm deadly afraid of making both of my poor parents & my youngest son sick, which would be really unfortunate! (I forgot to share that my oldest was mildly sick over the weekend, with a low fever).

OK, the three main problems we're facing in NE town in addition to the above: no internet, only my MIL's hotspot which I won't want to/can't hog & will probably use only at night if she'd not using it; we don't know if the TV (cable, 'cause it's digital HD) is working and I only started watching the Olympics yesterday, but I love it and want to try to watch at least some of it (though certain things one can only watch live online and -- ha!/ :( -- no internets?!); no car. I mean, FIL can use his brother's car until the 9th, but that doesn't help much considering that we are 8 altogether. More about the car trouble below. The last problem is that our hosts are exhausted after 2 weeks in the Middle East and we all seem kind of lost right now. I'm hoping that I'm worrying for nothing because it's just our first night here, but I'm sad to admit that I'm not very optimistic.

Add to all that the fact that I feel pressured and stressed about my DUTY to be working here to organize the study abroad... I feel like it would be easier with internet, but, whatever. I also wish K were feeling better so I could just go visit the language school tomorrow while he took the boys to the beach.

oh, why is the car a problem? Because the beach three blocks from the apartment is in the middle of the city and not very clean (e.g. my mom thinks the boys shouldn't play in the sand in it) and in order to go to gorgeous beaches we need to travel some.

there's a fourth problem which is a frequent one for us (the first time was Dec. 2006 when we spent 10 days at the beach after my youngest BIL's wedding and it was tough!! because there were 12 of us!): no domestic help available as the hosts had planned/expected. I don't really mind, but... I'm really laid back about food and cooking and cleaning, but I know they're not.

OK, I think this is enough and I hope to soon come back and report that things are going great and... my greatest wish! ... share photos of beautiful green sea that I can't wait to see (horrible horrible pun!).

P.S. I have some funding from my grant to travel so I can plan side trips for next year and K thought it would be best to do these trips right away (my parents, K & I would go and leave the boys with the other grandparents), but now he's sick and we didn't contact a friend in whose house we were hoping to stay... so... I hope these travel plans get sorted out soon so I can be more relieved and calmer. And I'm definitely going to the language school tomorrow. Wish me/us luck!!

PS2 I have a plan, I will try to post some photos to "displace" this sensitive/whiny post soon!

The City of São Paulo from the Air

Thanks to K for taking these photos when he was landing on Friday... (I know! You're not supposed to! But... I'm glad he did!)