The eldest member of our US-based Miranda Family, comes to Brasilia! Or, as the kids like to call him, their ‘Abuelito’ 🙂
Here, joining the kids for some well-deserved Easter Egg Hunt fun, organized for the US Embassy community:
Moving on, we’ve decided to join the Mirandas & the Nogueira Lima families: we all headed up to see the Brazilian part of the family in Fortaleza – taking the American ‘Abuelito’ to go visit the kids’ Brazilian uncles, aunts, cousing and grandparents? All aboard, heading to the Northeastern coast of Brazil for Easter Weekend! 🙂
Back in Brasilia, how about start the weekend fun for our second guest, with some typical feijoada, caipirinhas and tropical fruit juices, while listening to traditional “chorinho” [samba] and Bossa Nova? All by the lake Paranoa side, watching the weekenders riding their boats, jet-skis and kayaks… Table for 16 people, please!
Considering making and keeping healthy friendships [in our case, our expat fellow friends] are the most important part of this ever-changing life, a few images from a night with friends, celebrating life, friendship, birthdays and good food! One of the pictures here is a ‘multi-collage’… guess which!
I know I haven’t been the greatest blogger recently – life finds its way of escaping us, somehow…
In any event, a close friend, and now, a brand-new WP blogger, just published her first impressions about their assigned city – Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. I’ve written about this place before, the city I tend to call ‘my-own’, despite growing up as a military/government brat here, back in the 70s, 80s… and departing away in the 90s…
Brasilia has a very special place in my heart and in my life – that’s the reason this blogpost is here. My congratulations to the newest WP author, and my best wishes for The Wegener’s Wanderlust, which I leave you all here with her beautiful pictures of Brasilia and the sunset on (the artificially-designed) Lake Paranoá. Enjoy! 🙂
A little over a year ago, my husband and I moved to Brazil. When friends and family first heard that we would be moving to Brazil, they immediately assumed we would be in Rio de Janeiro and were likely envisioning their next vacation on Copacabana beach. We had to break the news to them that no, we weren’t going to be in Rio, nor in São Paulo. Instead, we’d be going to the center of Brazil’s vast country, to live in its capital Brasília, a city that has only existed a mere 56 years.
Brasília is surrounded not by the beach, but by a tropical savannah region known as the cerrado. Yet its defining characteristic is the layout of the city–depending on whom you ask, it resembles either an airplane, a bird or a cross. The main ministries and government buildings are located on the Eixo Monumental, which runs west to east; on…
Well, the Olympic Games have come to Brazil… and our family has been very fortunate to have been part of these magnificent events.
Obviously, not the easiest task for our host country, but nevertheless, a pretty enjoyable experience.
How beautiful is the main host city, Rio de Janeiro? Here are a few shots I took from the “Cidade Maravilhosa”, while they were still getting ready to receive their guests:
We do live in Brasilia, the capital of the country. We normally go to Rio for work (believe that?). Between games, social events, cheering… our children showing up on global social media channels (okay, I’m bias, but isn’t this 8-year-old girl the best representation of the sports fans??), our diplofamily made sure everyone would have great life memories from the Rio2016 Olympics.
Not much of a “talk-about-politics” person. In fact, not at all. Recent events have made me change the way things are perceived. Frustration and dispair have left a dark cloud over this country’s unique lanscape…my frustration has kept in silence, a wise choice in times like these. The social media covering the recent events has left people feeling sad, hopeless, frustrated.
Dark times ahead? Only time will tell. “My political party is my country”. Meanwhile, people go out claiming for a better nation.
After three long years, our family is back to the celebration of “Festa Junina”. Three years ago, when we left Recife, Pernambuco, our oldest kids bid farewell to their best friends, and embarked into the new adventure: La Paz, Bolivia.
Bolivia’s assignment is now over, and since mid-July 2014, we’re been living in Brasilia. The Fall Harvesting celebrations have reached the capital of Brazil, and once more, The Lima-Miranda Family will embrace their mixed roots, and enjoy the very first “Festa Caipira” from 2015, at their children’s international school.
Stay tuned for more updates on photos, which should describe how our family planned to display their best “Caipira Attire”!
Original Post 
Last day of school. Bidding farewell to best friends… Hopefully, one day, they’ll be together again! ♥
2012 is almost over! A very intense year, in many levels, scenarios… Our family moved several times throughout the year… we got to live in 3 different countries, and now, we’re happily settled in Nuestra Señora de La Paz, capital of Bolivia. Right now, looking back at 2012, and preparing the ‘retrospective’: popular posts, popular searches/forums… good discussions… got a lot done this year, when it came to blogging, sharing our experiences, challenges regarding parenting, multilingual living, cultural adjustments… work… expatriate and family daily life….
Before I get a chance to pull together the ‘highs and lows’ of 2012, I remembered last year, Wordpress came up with a great initiative for all bloggers and readers: the year in blogging… That said, I thought it could be a great way to get ready for this year’s review. Post write-up is both in English and Portuguese, since we were living in Brazil, at that time… Maybe, if I’m gutsy enough, I could try to prepare this year’s review post in English and Spanish (Bolivia’s official language)?? 😮
2012 is almost over! A very intense year, in many levels, scenarios… Our family moved several times throughout the year… we got to live in 3 different countries [Brazil, USA, Bolivia}, lived out of suitcases for a long time; kids had to say goodbye to their dear friends, and say ‘hello‘ to the ones becoming their new friends and teachers, adjusting to a new school, new cultures, and now, we’re happily settled in Nuestra Señora de La Paz, capital of Bolivia…
At this moment, looking back at 2012, and preparing the ‘retrospective’: popular posts, interaction with other bloggers, popular searches/forums… good discussions… Good therapy, some may say – and I’m glad to agree 😮 – when it came to blogging, got a lot done this year, sharing our experiences, challenges regarding parenting, multilingual living, cultural adjustments… work… expatriate and family daily life….
Before I get a chance to pull together the ‘highs and lows’ of 2012, displaying my gratitude to the readers, commenter, frequent visitors, who always enrich this blogging journey, I remembered last year, WordPress came up with a great initiative for all bloggers and readers: the year in blogging… That said, I thought it could be a great way to get ready for this year’s review. Post write-up is both in English and Portuguese, since we were living in Brazil, at that time… Maybe, if I’m gutsy enough, I could try to prepare this year’s review post in English and Spanish (Bolivia’s official language)?? 😮
Here’s this blog’s ‘first year’s review’ , according to WP: [Anxious to know what’s in store regarding 2012’s review, as well as the plans for 2013!]
For some reason, according to the WP blogging annual report (shown/posted yesterday), today I’m sharing the post that got the highest number of unique views (over 2,500 views in one day, September 2011), surpassing the one that’d been Freshly Pressed (about children and folklore in Brazil).
I had no idea that “directing” the photo shoot of my husband jumping into the paradisiac Blue Lagoon in Jericoacoara (Ceara, Brazil, one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, according to the NY Times), could be so intriguing! 😮
[Portugues] Depois que o jornal Washington Post, em 1994, incluiu Jericoacoara entre as dez praias mais bonitas do planeta, a pequena aldeia de pescadores, 300 km ao norte da capital do Ceará, mudou bastante. Jericoacoara não é simplesmente encantadora pelas suas dunas, praias e lagoas, mas também pelo seu vilarejo tranqüilo. O lugar era uma antiga vila de pescadores e até hoje conserva as ruas de terra, a arquitetura antiga e principalmente a paz de uma cidade que se esconde atrás de enormes dunas. O nome Jericoacoara deriva do tupi-guarany: yuruco (buraco) e cuara (tartaruga). Buraco das tartarugas, que seria uma referência a uma praia onde acontece a desova das tartarugas marinhas. Além de tudo isso, Jeri, como é chamada pelos moradores, oferece diversas opções para prática de esportes como windsurf, vela, trekking, cavalgada e outros.
Walks along the beach coast are one of the best ways to temporarily, leave reality, trading urban stressful images for exquisite coastline sites, immersing into natural beauty… Here are a few examples of nature’s hand, samples of the flora collection observed during one of our walks along the Monte Serrote, located at the National Park Jericoacoara (environmentally protected area, APA). Typical flora representatives are Caatinga and Cerrado.
Found a post I never published… don’t know exactly how it happened… and such a beautiful place, a paradisiac beach, surrounded by… nothing! Just unique natural beauty… the spot some 12 years back I met the one who’d became ‘my guy’…♥ Oh, well, these shots were taken during our ‘solo trip'[no kids!]
Sometimes, even memories fall thru the cracks… 😮 Glad I found it! With you all, the Flora of the Jericoacoara beach, in Brazil! This is the place some 12 years back, I found the one who’d become ‘my guy’… ♥
A short stop for a well-deserved home-leave with family, and, now, we’ve been at our newest post/assignment for almost 3 months… Memories for our departure from Brazil? Many, but this post summarizes it. Four months ago, this photo was chosen to represent Brazil, and its unique landscape. Here is the original post. Enjoy…
Four months have gone since we left Brazil…
A short stop for a well-deserved home-leave with family, and, now, we’ve been at our newest post/assignment for almost 3 months… Memories for our departure from Brazil? Many, but this post summarizes it. Four months ago, this photo was chosen to represent Brazil, and its unique landscape. Here is the original post, and my appreciation to the country gifting us with such beautiful memories!
What an honor! Great gift for our departing family – we leave Brazil with our heart filled with emotions and wonderful memories. The best way to celebrate our departure is knowing we’ve contributed to a fantastic project: one of our travel photographs will be part of the Picture the World Project.
The Departure Board website has a great initiative to create a gallery of wonderful photos, one from each country in the world. I am so honored to be nominated to offer a photo from my collection to represent Brazil. What to choose from? I went with nature – one of the most beautiful beaches my ´Brazilian eyes´ have ever seen! 😮 The picture chosen for the website is the one presented earlier – a unique orange-toned sunset, overlooking the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean…
Just like the Atlantis, the Fernando de Noronha archipelago has caught the imagination of travelers for centuries and many urban myths are associated with this gloriously surreal island. With its powdery beaches, lush rolling greens and crystalline azure waters, Fernando de Noronha is a tropical paradise of sublime beauty that is steeped deep in mysticism and mystery. The archipelago – named after a 16th-century Portuguese nobleman who may never have actually set foot there – exists in the proud Brazilian imagination, as well as a beautiful group of a main island and several islets. The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, with its 20-something volcanic rock islands, pictured here. Made up of one 11-square-mile chunk of volcanic rock and 20 smaller islands, three degrees south of the equator, 220 miles from Brazil’s north-eastern coast, Fernando de Noronha’s claim to fame is its diverse and rich ecosystem. Here’s another reminder of the archipelago’s beauty, now during the early morning hours:
It’s my duty to nominate two people to submit photos of another country. I would like to nominate Heather, from The Wandering Drays, who has moved with her family to Egypt. I would also like to nominate Carla, from Carla Runs the World, currently in the Philippines, and getting ready for their next move in January 2014, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!
Thank you so much, Catbirdinoman – “a nomad, a pilgrim, a vagabond, a wanderer… who’ve discovered the art of living and working abroad, and now is hopelessly addicted”, as she likes to describe herself – for the nomination! 😮
In Brazil, Father’s Day is honored during the second Sunday of August, and it’s common to have the celebrations throughout the whole weekend, offering parents and children an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company at length. In honor of Brazilian Father’s Day, here are a few black and white images of the important fathers in my life: my own dad, who can currently appreciate the physical proximity to his American-Brazilian grandkids, always on the move; my husband, wonderful father of our three children, and my husband’s dad, who’s become a second dad to me, unconditionally accepting me as part of his family, in a quasi-adoptive manner, as the daughter he did not have (and later this year will have two “daughters“, when my soon-to-be sister-in-law enters the family in the Fall!). Here, to all the dads out there, Brazilians or not…
For starters, the husband: the best dad our kids could’ve asked for. A lot of commitment and willingness to learn…
welcoming our second daughter
Following, my husband’s father, my second dad:
And here, my dad. The person with whom I share not only a total lack of coordination for sports, but also, an inexplicable passion for Science and numbers. The one who taught me how to count, is now counting my daughter’s little fingers…
The best recipe for a good time at a new posting/assignment: making friends. Interesting… already mentioned that here… Last week’s theme was about friendship… and a while back, about togetherness… Why not have a bit of all? For this week´s WordPress Photo challenge, a tribute to friendship, close friends, and the will to be together, for the long, long haul!
Family day trip to Cabo Branco, in the State of Paraíba. Hidden in one of the Norteastern Brazilian states, it’s possible to discover this ‘gem‘, the geographic place, corresponding to a cape on the Atlantic coast of Paraíba state, which forms the easternmost point of the American continent, five miles southeast of João Pessoa, the state capital. It is surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches bordered by flat-topped forms of sedimentary strata called “tabuleiros“, which rise sharply above the beaches to heights between 150 and 500 ft, and enjoys abundant rainfall. The name of the State comes from the combination of the Tupi words pa’ra (river) and a’íba (unsuitable for navigation). The Ponta do Seixas, on Cabo Branco beach, where, according to a traditional saying, “the sun rises first” is the land of the sun indeed, and of an enviable shore — but also of other historical, ecological and cultural beauties.
We got to see the famous lighthouse of Ponta Seixas, and enjoy the idea of being by the farthest East of the Continent.
A Ponta do Seixas é o ponto mais oriental do Brasil e da América continental, localiza-se na Parte Leste da cidade de João Pessoa, capital do estado da Paraíba, a 14 quilómetros do centro da cidade e 3 quilômetros ao sul do Cabo Branco, que já foi considerado o ponto mais a leste do continente e que devido à erosão marinha que ao longo dos anos fez com que suas ondas desgastassem o Cabo Branco e depositasse estes sedimentos na Ponta Seixas (fazendo-a aumentar) e passando a ser atualmente o ponto mais oriental das américas.
Do alto da Ponta do Seixas, erigido sobre uma falésia, fica o formoso Farol do Cabo Branco, no formato de um pé de sisal, de onde se tem uma bela vista da orla e do oceano Atlântico. Muitas pessoas confundem a Ponta do Seixas com a falésia do Cabo Branco. São duas formações geológicas diferentes. A ponta é que representa o ponto mais a leste da América e não a falésia do Cabo Branco. A ponta do Seixas é uma estreita faixa de terra mais ao sul da barreira que se prolonga para o leste.
Taking advantage of the opportunity to teach the kids a bit of Geography:
Brazil is famous for its ´mystic´places… Some believe, some others, don´t… Another well-know ´mystic place´ is the country´s capital – at least, unique on its beauty and touristic sights… Believing or not, all the sites are great for visiting, and for learning about culture, tradition and stories…
From Recife, Pernambuco To Juazeiro do Norte, Ceara, Brazil Distance: ~ 309 miles or 498 km
The city of Juazeiro do Norte in the state of Ceará has approximately 212,133 inhabitants, with an area of 248.56 km2, resulting in a very dense population for a city in the interior of Brazil. Juazeiro do Norte is becoming a center for artisans, with a large vocation for the production of souvenirs and mementos. One of these mementos is the little rag doll or “boneca de pan”, whose primary materials are cloth scraps, corncobs, thread, needles, cotton wadding, and a lot of imagination. The city has become famous for its religious pilgrimage. Here is a little bit of historical background, from Wikipedia:
“Juazeiro do Norte is best known as the base of the charismatic priest and politician Padre Cícero (Cícero Romão Batista) (1844-1934). A pilgrimage in his honour takes place every November, attracting thousands of followers. It was initially a district of the nearby city Crato, until a young Padre Cícero Romão Batista decided to stay as a cleric in the village. Padre Cícero was then responsible for the independence and emancipation of the city. Because of the so-called “milagre de Juazeiro” (“miracle in Juazeiro”, when Padre Cícero gave the sacred host to the religious sister Maria de Araújo, the host became blood), the priest was associated with mystical characteristics and began to be venerated by the people as a saint. Today the city is the second largest in the state and a reference in the Northeast region thanks to the priest.”
Find below a series of peculiar images from this mystic city, a site visited by tourists all-year around – religious or not…
Definitely, not betraying our favorite Sushi & Sashimi Tuesday evening place, not at all! I’ve mentioned it before here, and one of their specialties, but, this time, wanted to share a few images from a different experience: authentic sashimi (while marlin), prepared at a friend’s boat (one of the local yacht clubs) – our deepest appreciation to Mr Jeremere! 😮
Today I decided to have fun writing, revisiting my long-lost past in research and natural sciences, as well as, a result of the ongoing inspiration (or should I call it “daily challenges”? :o) my current Physical Science students offer… The topic I chose to revisit, showcases one of the family’s trips to Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, while husband went to visit the Wind Power Park.
A little bit of background: A few years back, a drought in Brazil that cut water to the country’s hydroelectric plants, prompted severe energy shortages. The crisis underscored Brazil’s pressing need to diversify away from water power.
Brazil’s first wind-energy turbine was installed in Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, in 1992. Later, the government created programs to encourage the use of other renewable sources, such as wind power, biomass, and Small Hydroelectric Power Stations (PCHs). Such stations use hydropower, the flagship of Brazil’s energy matrix, which comprises around three-quarters of Brazil’s installed energy capacity.
High energy production costs, coupled with the advantages of wind power as a renewable, widely available energy source, have led several countries to establish regulatory incentives and direct financial investments to stimulate wind power generation. Brazil held its first wind-only energy auction in 2009, in a move to diversify its energy portfolio.
The Brazilian Wind Energy Association and the government have set a goal of achieving 10 gigawatts of wind energy capacity by 2020. Let’s just hope. Renewable resources: the greener and cleaner, the better!
O Parque eólico Alegria é um complexo de propriedade da Multiner, localizado no munícipio de Guamaré, no Rio Grande do Norte (RN). O complexo refere-se aos parques Alegria I e Alegria II.
This week’s WordPress photographic theme is “Summer“. Considering I had a few “pics to spare”, from our sort-of-large collection of paradisiac places in Brazil, here’s a second part of the original post… Hope you all enjoy the images as much as we did! 😮
Traveling could be seen as a passion. No matter if it’s for work or leisure. Photography is another passion, trying to capture, as much as possible, some of the unique sights visited during the several trips throughout the Northeastern region of Brazil. This is another post from the “Collecting Brazilian States” segment.
Sediments from the São Francisco River give Sobradinho Lake coloring that changes from brown, to golden tan, to green. The lake is located in the northern part of the Brazilian state of Bahia, already showcased here on a previous post.
Created by the construction of the Sobradinho Dam (“Represa de Sobradinho“), the reservoir itself is the largest in Brazil, covering a surface area of 4,225 km2. It has a mean depth of 8.6 m and a maximum depth of 30 m. Watch below the concrete bridge/platform being lifted, to give passage for the large ships, transporters and storing units! Really something!
Paraiba is one of the prime Brazilian states, situated on the Atlantic Ocean in the northeast region of the country. The state is famous for producing leather goods of various types.
The capital of the state is rich in historical monuments as well as contemporary buildings, many of which are great examples of baroque-style architecture. Nevertheless, the greatest enchantments are still related to the sea. In addition to the beach of Cabo Branco, with its beautiful, unique lighthouse, the beaches of Tambaú, Manaíra, and Bessa are among the most urbanized on the coast and known for their lukewarm waters.
In the capital of João Pessoa, old meets new – a great example is the newly developed Convention Center.
The modern, newly designed Convention Center, ready for 2014!
We are always trying to collect unique images from our host city. Downtown Recife encloses several little architecture gems (shown here), gifts from the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutchinfluences. In the world’s largest Catholic nation, the Recife synagogue has become an important symbol of the Jewish heritage in Brazil. It is one of the main stops on the city’s tourist circuit, located at the Rua Bom Jesus, old town Recife and its archives attract Brazilian and foreign historians.
What is Motherhood? I’m still trying to figure the answer out… some days I just feel like we’re “getting by”, instead of living… other days, are simply wonderfully perfect…. and, most of the days, are plain regular, filled with lots of “mom!!! come here, please!!!” or “mom!!! she took something from my bedroom!!!” or even, a gibberish cry that could mean anything from hunger, pain, to simply: “mom, hold me in your arms…”
Anyway, here are a few shots from this past “Mother’s Day (weeklong celebration)”
Learning Math and having fun while doing it? Humm…
The heart on the wall saying: “MOM”…
School all decorated for the ‘mom-players’
Another activity for children, organized by our kids’ school. And why this? A different way to honor and motherhood, celebrating Mother’s Day, showing the children’s appreciation for all the heartfelt work and effort every mom offers freely…
Learning Math and having fun while doing it? Humm…
Another activity for children, organized by our kids’ school. And why this? A different way to honor and motherhood, celebrating Mother’s Day, showing the children’s appreciation for all the heartfelt work and effort every mom offers freely… This time, all the moms were involved, as well! First graders had the opportunity to enjoy quality time with their moms (it was Mother´s Day Week at the School!), show their knowledge of the ´strategy game´, creating links with real mathematical situations… all that while playing with their classmates! Could it be any better? 😮
There has been an ongoing interest in blue crab fisheries in the northeast of Brazil since the 1960’s, when the state of Alagoas recorded an average annual yield of 57 tons. Being a Biologist and a teacher, I became curious to find out a bit more of this intriguing wild population… official or unofficial literature on the activities of blue crab fisheries in Brazil are scarce, but this resource is known to be the bycatch of several fisheries. There is great fishing potential for the species of the genus Callinectes, since blue crab fisheries are still mostly artisanal, located in small fishing communities scattered along the Brazilian coast. 😮 Now worries… there’ll be no Science over here, though, only interesting snapshots of these beautiful creatures!
Due to blue crabs’ productivity and socioeconomic importance, they’ve been constantly monitored and evaluated, with the purpose of maintaining sustainability, ensuring the continuing existence of the fisheries. Here, a quick sample of their “protected homes” 😮
Sunday is always for food… what about, let’s say… dessert and drinks?
Our “quasi-Mexican creative juices” are constantly boiling, and when there’s time to “experiment something new in the kitchen”, I’m all for it! This time, snapshots from two quick ideas:
One Mexican drink, “Paloma Cocktail” and one dessert, “Margarita Cupcakes”, all “adjusted” to our reality here in Brazil (it’s not always possible to find the perfect ingredients for that perfect recipe – also, I’m far from perfect, when it comes to cooking/baking/mixing, but I’m pretty venturous for trying to make something intriguing, interesting, or, at least, cool-looking…) 😮
How to make the “Paloma”?
For a refreshing, thirst quenching cocktail, the Paloma is definitely at the top of the list and it’s a favorite in Mexico. It’s a light, fruity drink with a fizz and one of the smoothest tequila drinks out there. With a splash of soda instead of a grapefruit soda like Squirt (or, in our case here in Brazil, “Sprite”!).
Fill the glass with ice and add the tequila and lime juice. Top it all off with a splash of Sprite. (need to share this with another fellow blogger, who loves “Brazilian challenges“!)
The original recipes for the margarita cupcakes may be found here: Margarita Cupcakes and here Margarita Cupcakes – I had to “adapt” a little, making the frosting myself with lime jello mix and chantilly cream – “Brazilian-style”, but it worked! 😮
Sharing great tips from a friend, Julien, from the Expat Blog Project, who, driven by her passion for discovering new cultures, and herself being an expatriate for several years, launched the Expat Blog project seven years ago. Her goal is to gather all the expatriates’ blogs throughout the world on a unique platform. Expat blog is mostly aimed at sharing experiences of people living abroad. According to Julien, she’s always thought that the real life and experience of expatriates could really help those people wishing to start a new life abroad.
So now, that expat platform is announcing the launch of two functions which would greatly help expats and soon-to-be expatriates. Definitely, a great resource, for any moving/relocating plans…
What’s Expat blog? It’s a web portal launched in 2005 by expatriates, for expatriates. Its ambition is to help people living or willing to live abroad, wherever they are from or would like to go. Expat blog is the most active online community of expatriates, with 420 000 members from 206 countries and 400 big cities.
Who is it for? For all the people living or wishing to live abroad. It is a platform of expression and exchange, an information source about expatriation.
How does it work? The website offers various tools to help expats and potential expatriates:
– discussion forums
– expatriate blogs directory
– photo albums
– business directory
New features : Jobs and Housing sections, focus on Brazil!
To meet the demands of expatriates and soon-to-be expatriates in Brazil, Expat blog has launched two new dedicated spaces: a jobs section and a housing section. They are aimed at helping people in their job and accommodation search, two essential steps when expatriating.
The idea is to get access to job offers in Brazil, wherever you are. You can have access to the Brazil job offers, per job category and job contract. You can also create your CV and contact potential employers.
The Brazil Housing section enables you to look for or to offer an accommodation: rental, sale, flat share, flat, house… it’s up to you! You can see pictures of the apartment and get in touch with the person via Expat blog (need to be a member of Expat blog to post an ad).
And here, from a previous post, when we began preparing for our countdown, but still feeling the need to share tips with other expats planning on moving/relocating to Brazil:
We’re on countdown mode!
Time has gone pretty fast, but I feel like we still have a lot to do, a lot to see and experience… Lot of planning on my horizon, as well… we’re less than six months before we pack our bags and head out, in preparation for our next assignment. In the meantime, found some time to do some research, ask around and prepare a simplified list of “tips” for expat women living or planning on moving to Brazil.
FIRST: A great blog, listing several expat experiences in Brazil, thank you, TheTaoofMe for working on this fantastic list! 😮
* * Resources for the “cosmopolitan woman” * *
American Society of Sao Paulo http://www.americansociety.com.br/
The Society exists for the following purposes: To promote and maintain friendly relations between the United States of America and Brazil, to provide for the celebration of days of remembrance such as Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, and other holidays traditional to United States citizens, to receive and entertain officials and visitors from the United States, to aid United States citizens and their immediate families who are destitute or have insufficient resources to meet emergencies or other essential needs, to aid and assist newly arrived United States citizens by providing information which helps orient them in their new surroundings, to promote charitable, social, cultural, and athletic activities of interest to the U.S. community in São Paulo.
Associação Beneficente Internacional Women’s Club Porto Alegre http://br.geocities.com/iwcpoa/
Participation in our Club has given the members the opportunity to meet an international group of people with varied interest, customs, cultures and languages, to learn more about Porto Alegre and the Brazilian way of life. Some have found that special friend to help through the difficult adjustment in a new country.
International Newcomers Club – Rio de Janeiro http://www.incrio.org.br
The International Club of Rio (InC) is a non-profit organization comprised of individuals from the local and expatriate English-speaking communities.
International Women’s Club of Paraná http://www.iwcpbrasil.com.br
The aim of the club is to provide opportunities to meet informally, exchange ideas and make new friends as well as helping newly arrived international families settle more easily in their new life. The club is open to expatriate women and their families that are new to Brazil, Brazilian women who have lived abroad for at least three years (within the last 10 years) and (English-speaking) Brazilian women whose husbands are foreigners.
Macaé International Women’s Club (MIWC) http://www.miwc-br.org
A non-profit, volunteer organization offering friendship, guidance and service to women establishing residence in Macaé and surrounding areas. Furthermore the Macaé International Women’s Club provides opportunities for charitable activities and humanitarian assistance to our community.
Newcomers Club – Brazil http://www.newcomersclub.com/br.html
An English-speaking group that is designed to give you the opportunity to meet and develop friendships with others who live in the same area.
The American Society of Rio de Janeiro (AmSoc Rio) http://www.americansocietyrio.org/amsoc/default.asp
This organization celebrates American traditions, hosts themed parties, and supports local charitable projects. The group is open to all nationalities and offers opportunities to volunteer, meet new friends, and network through group events, including a Speaker Series. Their Ambassador program links new members with those who have lived there for many years.
American School of Campinas (EAC) http://www.eac.com.br
pre-K to 12, co-ed
Follow the American curriculum. Recognized by SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and have an excellent program of studies. We have in our community children from all over the world.
Images captured during one of our visits to downtown Recife – historical “Recife Antigo”… Ponte do Imperador (“Emperor’s Bridge”), an example of the several cultural footprints from the old Portuguese days in Brazil…
So, Mother’s Day is for family. It’s a family day, for decades making Hallmark’s top sales, because, people need to say how much they love and cherish their moms – in writing, if all possible! Give it up to the greeting cards’ industries – they’ve got it down. And they’re right: Mother’s Day is for fathers, and sons, and daughters, and… for soccer! Again, this year, Mother’s Day Sunday will be celebrated with… soccer??!
That’s right. Our city, Recife, is completely immersed into the whole “soccer team passion”, and the two most important clubs are playing today, for the championship…
Last year, Mother’s Day was the first-legged game. This year, it’s the final match, so, here are my “motherly impressions” of this not-so-common way to express their love for their Mothers Soccer Teams!
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Impressions from last year’s Mother’s Day Weekend: the two teams facing each other… We stayed at home… safely watching the matches!
After a full week of ‘motherly celebrations‘, the weekend arrived. A dry weekend – the rains, which recently have scared and confused the population, seemed to have ceased. Good news. The city needed to get back into its routine. And with the arrival of weekend, came the excitement of enjoying quality time with the kids, watching them perform the little songs learnt in school, find the opportunity to have that long-lost face time with husband to chat and catch up… That’s right, here in Recife, Brazil, Mother’s Day Sunday just happened to be the first game of the “two-legged” championship final. Here is an idea on how exciting things may get when we’re talking about soccer in the Northeast of Brazil. The two competing teams arrest Sport Club Recife, the favorite, and the bearer of five previous championship victories. Its opponent: the Santa Cruz (“Holy Cross”) Soccer Club, the underdog, who today tried to pull out a miracle: win at the opponent’s ground.
Santa Cruz Futebol Clube, or simply Santa Cruz is a Brazilian football club in Recife, Pernambuco. On February 3, 1914, eleven young men aging from 14 to 16 years founded a football society. Because the boys used to play football on the streets by the yard of the Santa Cruz Church, the club was named after that church, which is situated on Santa Cruz Street in Recife. The first official meeting of the members was at 2 Mangueira St. In this meeting they decided the position of each member, the name of the club “Santa Cruz Football Club”, and society’s colors. Sport Club do Recife was founded on May 13th 1905, when Guilherme de Aquino Fonseca, from Pernambuco, returned after a season estudying in England. He got deeply interested in the British football, so, with some associates in Recife, he had the idea to create the club that would eventually become the greatest club in Brazilian’s North and Northeast Region. Sport Club Recife’s clubhouse is located in Praça da Bandeira, in the Ilha do Retiro, district in Recife. The club’s big structure has a number of areas, such as tennis courts, volleyball and hockey quarters. There is also a big aquatic complex, a training center and the house of all “rubro-negros” (red-and-blacks): the Adelmar da Costa Carvalho Stadium, commonly known as Ilha do Retiro.
Today’s match, the first one of the 2-legged final, happened at Sport Club’s home. It was a home game for Sport – who lost! This small victory tonight made the Santa Cruz’s gain new hope: hope that everything is possible, and miracles may happen – at least in Brazil. At least in Soccer.
And, if my Mother’s Day celebration had to include a couple of guest friends home for the game, so be it. If the price (if any!) for having a peaceful in-doors Mother’s Day Sunday was to rejoice my two boys during the match, I’ll take it. At the end, Mother’s Day is about family, and being together with the ones you love. Even if surrounded by loud screamers and over-excited kids.
Next week is the “final-final”. The second final game. And it’ll be on Santa Cruz’s grounds. I hope I have the same pleasant Sunday I had today: surrounded by my “amateur soccer fans”. Won’t care for the full house. Won’t care for the screaming at every wrong or crazy pass… Won’t really care for who wins or looses – just wanna hold on to this “Mother’s Day” feeling for another Sunday. Happy week to us all and good luck to both Santa Cruz and Sport Club!
How to be a full-time mom of little kids, capable of helping them with homework despite the baby’s high pitch crying, not forgetting to devote some attention to the hubby, and yet trying to look good and stylish according to the Brazilian trends? ? I know, pretty hard, right? We all try to be the “perfect woman-wife-mom”, fully committed with school activities, extra-curricular schedules, reserving some quality time for the growing family, keeping up with friends, being a committed professional…
Sometimes, it’s just too much… And then, you remember: you’re still a girl, and you’d like to (once in a while!) to look good, trendy, fashionable, stylish… not for your friends, your partner, your colleagues at work – but for your OWN SELF.
The question: how? You don’t have a whole lot of time for any pampering, and you’re not willing to spend a lot of money. Hummm… The answer: just give your hands/nails a make-up… a few minutes later and, voilá! The beauty of living in Brazil is that one is over-exposed to whatever is trendy/hot…. Why not try something new? And, I gotta say, I went for the nails thing… why not a different color a week? Why not try something metallic (see the pictures below, thanks to Lu Tranchesi, and I’m in love with it! Easy, quick, simple, and very, very affordable! Why not go for something different, just for the fun of it? And be a “very trendy & cool busy mom”, even if it’s only for a week! 😮
How to do it? Simply get your favorite nail polish (or the one you’ve got handy!), borrow some glitter from your kids, and sprinkle a gentle layer of glitter powder over the freshly coated nail… Just like that! Was it easy? Absolutely! Wanna try it? Let me know how it goes! 😮
The city of São Cristóvão is located 25 km from Aracaju, capital of Sergipe, another northeastern state of Brazil, and the Praça de São Francisco (shown here) is the reason why the site is a holder of a World Heritage title.
The cobblestones are originally from the Philippines, and it’s the only city in Brazil with that type of street stone!
It was founded in 1590 and is considered the fourth oldest city in country. With fast and easy access from the state capital, what was before called he “capital of the Province of Sergipe del Rei” is now registered at the Institute for National Artistic and Historical Heritage – Iphan – preserving its colonial architecture, which delights any curious eyes and souls. A UNESCO World Heritage Site– and, so close to us! 😮
The large Praça de São Francisco presents an architectural group formed by the Church and Convent of São Francisco, during the seventeenth century, which today houses a beautiful Baroque building that was the first hospital in the province of Sergipe, as well as the Historical Museum, where the old Provincial Palace hosted Dom Pedro II, while visiting the city in 1860.
This architectural complex of Praça de São Francisco was recently recognized by UNESCO, and awarded a World Heritage Site title.
In the Carmo Square visitors will find the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of Black Men, built by the Jesuits in the eighteenth century.
The saint, who lends his name to the church, was the target of devotion of the slaves. At the Praça is also possible to find the Church and the Carmelite Convent, and the Museum of ex-votos. In the Convent, now home to Benedictine nuns, one of the attractions are the delicious cookies made by religious and fought over by tourists!
We try to travel as much as we can, work permitting! 😮
Other historical cities from the northeast of Brazil:
This is an experiment in blogging motivation from the folks atWordPress.com. Every week, they post blogging ideas and tips to help you get the most out of the blog. This week’s photo challenge from WordPress is Unfocused. According to Sara Rosso, from WP, “Unfocused”. You may curse or cheer this week’s theme. We’re looking for that picture which is unfocused. It may be completely intentional, or accidental. You might have thought about trashing it, but in the end it definitely conveys something“.
At least, from my very own point of view. Last year we got amazing views and unique snapshots from La Luna, but this year… not so much. Last night, after having all three kids in bed, their morning school backpacks ready, I was doing my regular ‘night round’, going around the house, checking windows, locking doors… when, while checking the sliding glass doors [which lead into our apartment’s veranda], there it was – Miss Luna, again, prettier than this past Saturday… I hope I was able to get a few good shots [had to use an old camera, since husband is out of town with our “good camera”]. Pictures taken, off to bed: “Good night, Moon…”
In case you missed it, yesterday was Super Moon night. And it was also Cinco de Mayo…
At the end of the afternoon, a very shy, though gigantic moon, kept hiding behind the dark clouds, refusing to come out and share with us its full glory… and we kept waiting, but no success… we then realized, there would be no super moon over the northeastern coast of Brazil,like what we were able to witness last year, from our beachfront setting… Disappointment? Maybe, but then plan B kicked in: its Cinco de Mayo, with or without the magnificent moon! Let the party begin, and, if the moon is too shy to show us it’s grace, the party could continue until the other star – the sun! – would greet all the party people!
And so, enjoying good food, good music and great conversation, a Brazilian-Mexican Celebration went through the night… Happy Cinco & Happy 2012 SuperMoon!
A ‘super Lua’ e o Cristo Redentor, no Rio de Janeiro, na madrugada deste domingo (Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)
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Here, from last year’s unique impressions:
Just wanted to share a few pictures with you all. The Supermoon, seen from our apartment, in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, on March 20, 2011.
Feel free to use and/or share the photographs, just remembering to indicate the source! Thanks!
Nome histórico: Forte das Cinco Pontas. Designação popular: Forte das Cinco Pontas. Nome de tombamento: Forte das Cinco Pontas. Outras designações históricas:
Forte Frederik Hendrik;
Fortaleza de São Tiago das Cinco Pontas;
Forte Frederico Henrique;
Heinrich Trots Den Duivel (Desafio Ao Diabo);
Vijfhuck (Cinco Pontas);
Fortaleza de Frederico Henrich.
Muralhas desgastadas, fossos secos e aterrados, paliçadas em grande parte caídas pela deterioração das madeiras, foi este o quadro que apresentava o Forte Frederick Henrich, quando da chegada de Nassau a Pernambuco. Logo pode Nassau constatar a pouca defesa que em tais condições aquele forte poderia oferecer; e se tratava de um importante posto, pois era o único capaz de garantir água no caso de um cerco à cidade. Mandou alargar e aprofundar os fossos; construir uma contra-escarpa na face externa do fosso; alargar e elevar as muralhas; e do lado do mar, construir uma sapata. Posteriormente ampliaram as defesas externas, com a construção de novos fossos em direção ao sul.
Quando da Restauração Pernambucana, o Forte das Cinco Pontas foi a última fortaleza a ser conquistada pelas tropas luso-brasileiras.
Foi ainda no Forte das Cinco Pontas, onde se encontrava aquartelado o general Sigismund Von Schkoppe, que foram elaborados os termos da rendição das tropas holandesas. E a 28 de janeiro de 1654, na Campina do Taborda, o general Francisco Barreto de Menezes, recebeu oficialmente os termos de capitulação, quando ficaram definidos os moldes da evacuação dos holandeses de Pernambuco.
An old detention house, closed in 1973, was transformed under Brennand’s supervision (read more about this visionary, collector and artist, here), in a shopping mall.
The architecture has been preserved, and the cells were occupied by dozens or small shops, selling local crafts.
Even where interior walls were removed, to allow a little bigger shops, the look was maintained, only two lifts give a dispensable sign of modernity and comfort, in contrast with the strong grills in the center of the building, and one may find beautiful wood work, resembling the ones found in the colorful nearby city of Olinda.
Throughout the galleries it’s possible to find several different examples of the influence of Master Vitalino, when it comes to lively arts and crafts.
Excellent musical and dance performances often take place right outside the building. The Casa da Cultura is an excellent place to obtain tourist information and start an acquaintance with the region’s cultural arts.
Brazilian Labor Day. Long weekend – 4 days with no school, but a great opportunity to spend time in family… Here are some of the ways our children like to spend their “school-free” time: one of their favorites is playing scientists… Growing colorful crystals, creating a magic wand made out of gel… understanding water movement through a ‘diy PET bottle tornado‘! 😮
We’re very thankful for the endless possibilities of “home science fun”! Even the ‘grown-ups’ enjoy the fun of making pizza… while kids are ‘traveling through the worlds’ presented by story books… Something else to do? What about spending a couple of healthy hours at the pool?… lots to do, thankfully! But being outside is definitely, the all-time winner! A must-do, for our 3 kids! 😮
The best recipe for a successful Sunday: Gather friends and neighbors around good food, great conversation, games (for the children) and wait for the relaxing sunset…
This is the authentic image of a genuine Mole Poblano… The recipe is not mine, unfortunately… Its preparation and execution are all credit to two of our lovely neighbors, both are Mexican families currently living in Recife due to work relocation. Click here for more images and their recipe! This past Sunday our Mexican neighbors brought to our place a quasi-Mexican fiesta, including delicious deserts, and we’ were happy to host [and still embarrassed for not knowing how to cook as well as they did!) 😮 … making sure everyone finished their plate!…and getting ready to wait for the calming sunset over the sea! Also, check this other post out. It’s about honoring the Mexican Culture, from another fellow blogger, passionate by Mexico, good food and cheerful celebrations!
“From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekai begins.
Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered. [Find Icarus at the end of this post!]
The word Varekai means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai.”
I’d like to state my “big thank you” for the Show’s production, it’s official website, from where these quotes are borrowed. We were fortunate in having the opportunity to watch the “trupe” in Recife, Brazil, during their last presentations. What a treat! Enjoy the images! [photographic shots were not allowed during the show/performance, but permitted during the 25 min. interval, and at the outside areas…] Most of the photos presented here were taken with our camera. Some pictures (all indicated as such) were borrowed from the Cirque du Solei official website and/or its official Fan Page. My deepest appreciation!
This past week, husband had the opportunity to enjoy its perfect architecture, while facing very long working days at the Capital, a lot happened in Brasília during this past week, including the meetings for the Open Government Partnership.
From the partnership goals: “It takes political leadership. It takes technical knowledge. It takes sustained effort and investment. It takes collaboration between governments and civil society. The Open Government Partnership is a new multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP is overseen by a steering committee of governments and civil society organizations. To become a member of OGP, participating countries must embrace a high-level Open Government Declaration; deliver a country action plan developed with public consultation; and commit to independent reporting on their progress going forward.
The Open Government Partnership formally launched on September 20, 2011, when the 8 founding governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States) endorsed an Open Government Declaration, and announced their country action plans. Since September, OGP has welcomed the commitment of 43 additional governments to join the Partnership.”
I’d stated before my deep admiration for this city. Unique and beautiful, in every single way. Brasília is part of who I am, and who I’ll always be…
This past week, husband had the opportunity to enjoy its perfect architecture, while facing very long working days at the Capital, but this talk will be left for an upcoming post – a lot happened in Brasília during this past week.
For now, I’m dedicating this series of posts to him, showing my deepest appreciation for this efforts in bringing back home (daytime & nightlight) pictures of my hometown, during his quite scarce free time… 😮 This first post will be about the dream of a visionary man, and the idea of constructing a cathedral resembling two hands together, reaching up…
Image Source (left): “aboutBrasilia.com” Brasilia is without any doubt a singular city, different from all others; even those ones considered moderns and planned.
For such special city, an equally singular Cathedral was designed and built. On 12th September 1958, the Cathedral’s cornerstone was laid. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia is an expression of the geniality of the architect Oscar Niemeyer. In 1960, the Cathedral’s structure was finished, and only the 70 m diameter of the circular area and the 16 concrete columns were visible. These columns, having parabolic section and weighing 90 t, represent two hands moving upwards to heaven. The Cathedral was dedicated on the 31st May, 1970. At that time it had already the external transparent window. Four bronze sculptures 3 m high, representing the Evangelists, can be seen at the external square in the entrance of the Temple. These sculptures were made with the help of the sculptor Dante Croce, in 1968. Inside the nave, three sculptures of angels are suspended by steel cables.
The smallest angel has 2,22 m of length and weighs 100 kg. The medium one has 3,40 m of length and weighs 200 kg. The big one has 4,25 m of length and 300 kg weighs. The sculptures were made by Alfredo Ceschiatti, with the help of Dante Croce, in 1970. The nave stained glass is made of 16 pieces of fibreglass. These pieces, in colours of blue, white and brown, were fixed between the concrete columns, in triangles of 10 m of base and 30 m of height. They were painted in 1990 by Marianne Peretti. Having an oval form, the Baptistery has its walls covered by a panel of ceramic tiles painted in 1977 by Athos Bulcão. The local architecture is completed by a bell tower. Its four big bells were donated by Spain.
Continuing with the series of posts about the singular city of Brasilia, and again, very grateful for all my husband’s efforts in bringing back home pictures of my hometown, during his time at the Federal Capital…Today, the City of Brasília, the “Capital of Hope” (Capital da Esperança, in Portuguese), as it’s known by all Brazilians, celebrates its 52nd Anniversary. One man, a visionary, was responsible for its creation/construction, a former President, Juscelino Kubitschek, known as President JK. This post is dedicated to his memory and the city of his dreams. Find below images from the JK memorial – the external building and its interior:
“The man had guts.. Moved the capital away from the mobsters, created a social system that worked – he had an unfortunate ‘accident’ that ended his life but cemented his legend. His visitors included much of S.America’s leaders, European heads of state, ministers of state of Canada and President Eisenhower of the USA. They came for the commodities, but remained friends for other reasons. Brazil has been an ally since before WWII and committed and lost mariners to support Western freedoms. Friends continue to remember who helped pay for the freedom. The collection of artifacts from JK’s and his wife, Sara’s personal effects and those items they touched in the course of their professional lives provide a colourful narrative of gentil and caring people intent on helping the people of Brazil. JK was a conservative man. His clothing demonstrates a focus on the essentials – not frivolity. Gifts to the president are similarly modest and suggest his support was not purchased but rather was what was important for the country at the time. Woven into the details about JK – the man, is the story of the design and creation of Brasilia. Evolving sketches, photo images document many of the design choices made by the Niemeyer team, who purpose built each of the major components of the city’s buildings, roads and services. JK lays entombed in granite on the second floor of the museum, surrounded by a stone rotunda where visitors can enter and pause over the man who created the new Brazil. In contrast to the rest of the dramatic exhibit, but in keeping with his nature, his resting place is solemn and remains reverent despite the comings and goings of many school children and tourists outside the rotunda. The JK Memorial is an essential part of a visit to Brasilia – a city that is completely different from any other and one that changed the perception of Brazil to the world.”