So today I decided to stop at the grocery store at the end of my walk so I armed myself with an empty backpack, some Reais, my tunes and my much needed “thumbs up” since that is the only kind of communication I am successful at here in Brazil — they love to give you the thumbs up which in essence means everything is A-OK — which is not to be confused with the apparently not universal A-OK symbol, since here if you flash that rounded circle of thumb and pointer finger, you are actually calling someone an “asshole” — thank god that little tidbit was in our Welcome Brochure! I had a good 3 mile walk and then stroll through the grocery store where I only got minimal stares for my backpack and athletic attire (look out for another post in the near future about what the Brazilians wear to work out here — it looks nothing like what I had on today — I just need to get up the nerve or practice my spy shots in order to capture someone in this outlandish attire!) I had to carefully select what I was buying since I had to haul it all home but as you can see I got all the essentials!! (dinner, dessert, popcorn for a movie and toothpaste to keep those teeth nice and healthy since I don’t think we will be visiting the dentist here!)


Welcome Home (AKA – A casa de muitos banheiros)

Welcome Home (AKA - A casa de muitos banheiros)

We have finally moved into our permanent residence after 2 and half weeks in the hotel (and 8 weeks for Brian!) — We were all so ready to move (I sense the roll of eyes but living in a hotel really does get old after a few days — we knew the room service menu by heart and our key cards needed to be reset almost everyday and plus the constant maid service caused such a disruption lol!) Anyways we happily packed up the Shaggy Van with our few suitcases (and a lot of dirty laundry) and headed over the bridge to our new home in Lago Sul… Wow — it was worth the wait! Its huge and beautiful and yes it is the house of many bathrooms — 8 to be exact! (we only discovered the 8th one on our 2nd day in the house lol — its outside on the side of the house– (I guess if you can’t make the additional 3 steps to walk into the house and use the downstairs bathroom, it will come in handy!) Oh and the laundry room is bigger than my living room was in the states lol — and it sure came in handy for all that dirty laundry from the hotel! I will post a video shortly once we get all our shipments and actually “move” in but in the meantime I will be hitting up my creative peeps on how to stage this house — I mean what do you do with a rounded wall in a living room that is probably 1500 sq feet?

Meet John Kerry ( aka “my camera phone sucks”)

So the Secretary of State, John Kerry, is in country and came to the US Embassy for a meet-n-greet this morning… kind of a pep talk for the State Department and a chance for us expats living overseas to have a little taste of “american celebrity” and you know that much needed pat on the pack for our service to the country — I know you are wondering what my contribution is but after to listening to Sec. Kerry this morning, I feel pretty damn important – which brings me to my next point.. I need (because I do such a good job of serving my country lol) a better camera phone– if you haven’t noticed (although I don’t know how you couldn’t unless you haven’t had your eyes checked in a while — hmm, which I haven’t done either — but I digress-) poor Mr. Kerry and in fact most of my recent posts are quite blurry… its not that I am a bad shot — although my boys swear my hands shake when I take pictures – but I think my dinosaur of a phone (Iphone 3– yeah, I even had a girl in Old Navy ask me where I found this antique and if it really worked!) probably is only like a 1 pixel (is that even possible?) or something and needless to say, no matter how hard I steady my hand, the pictures are pretty damn blurry which might also explain my somewhat blurred view of how important I am to Sec. Kerry!

Have I found my “saviour”???

So if you know me, you know my somewhat complicated addiction to Diet Coke and despite the continued harassment, I mean love and concern, of friends and family and living in third world countries where water is usually in short supply – let alone soft drinks, my day is not complete without that satisfying sip (ok several sips, er, cans) of Diet Coke! Here is Brazil’s answer: Guaraná Jesus: a Brazilian soft drink produced by bv0, a Coca-Cola bottler based in São Luís. The drink is popular within the region, reportedly outselling Coca-Cola, and is made from extracts of the guarana plant, which contains caffeine (sometimes called “guaranine”), theophylline, and theobromine. Lago has noted that “Every Brazilian knows that guarana is a stimulant and that means it stimulates everything”. The drink has a pink color, a cinnamon aroma and a very sweet taste, and is marketed with the slogan “the pink dream”.
I love the name but not sure if even this “Jesus” can save me from my love affair with Diet Coke…

“Ball” Playing in the Park…

Okay so I have heard that you have to watch the volleyball players in the park – everyone said its so neat to watch because they play like soccer — No hands, every other body part is used besides their hands… Interesting enough until you realize that they also play in their speedos! Seriously, there were several games going on at once and yup, everyone was kicking the ball so gracefully with just a tiny speedo on. You got to love this free spirit of the Brazilians — only time will tell if my boys get the “balls” to embrace this aspect of the culture….

The worst text a parent can get at 10 o’clock at night…

The worst text a parent can get at 10 o'clock at night...

I have been warned that critters abound here in Brasilia, and while I have been scratching what I am telling myself are mosquito bites for the last week despite having looked up every possible critter besides mosquitos that it could be — have you ever seen a chigger???– I was horrified that I was being confronted with a possible truly disgusting critter infestation…. After a thorough examination — the whole nine yards, flashlight, comb, tweezers on hand for back-up — much to everyone’s relief not a critter to be found — just some good old fashioned dandruff, have I mentioned how dry it is here?!! Looks like we might have to infest in some humidifiers for the dry season and a big Costco bottle of Head-n-Shoulders!
Now about those bites on my legs……

And thou shall be called…..

And thou shall be called.....

So while shopping in the market we came across this booth with posters you could buy with your little boy or girls name… I know two people who seem to be having some difficulty picking a name so I thought you could get some ideas from these posters (fyi Ana with various middle names seems to be as popular as Lauren is in the United States, lol) I picked one that you might want to consider… and not because it’s my favorite beer….