"Você tem que se desapegar do problema, minha filha." he told me.
"You have to let go of the problem, my daughter." (minha filha is a way of referring to practically any female here. Mom, don't worry!)
So, I tried my best to "desapegar-me," went to the altar and I made a promise that I would stop complaining about our apartment and appreciate it for what it was, which really was a great, cheap, find in a pinch and was in a perfect location for us to start our Brazilian life together, especially since we had neighbors we knew close-by because Humberto had to travel from time to time and I was really nervous about being left home alone in a city I didn't yet know very well.
Well, whaddya know. Weeks after I did this, Humberto told me that we would start house hunting as soon as I was on vacation!
Our new place, at least so far, is perfect. We're still waiting on a lot of the kinks to be worked out (a new toilet, the broken windows are on their way to being replaced....) but it's the best house I have lived in besides my childhood home. It's HUGE. 3br, an office, 2 bathrooms, a "quarto da bagunça" (or the junk room which is supposed to be the maid's quarters, but since we don't have a live-in maid, it's my junk room!) a GIANT living room and dining room and a good sized kitchen. We have a wrap around porch and a front, back and side yard! Tons of trees including coconut palms, starfruit and papaya! There's also a tree we are still not sure what the fruit is... it looks kind of like a giant cupuaçú and no...it is not jaca. To help me take care of all of this, my maid starts on TUESDAY! Finally!
Ice has transitioned to being an outside dog with no problems! He loves patrolling the yard, alerting us to visitors and passer-bys and rolling and digging in the dirt all day. (Humberto bought all new sofas and as a result, Ice is not permitted in the house unaccompanied by a human and we are pretty sure he has already made the distinction that he cannot jump on the new couches, he only tried twice and after some stern, "NÃO!" he hasn't tried again!) We also have grass, and it is that interesting Amazonian grass that doesn't ever grow really high, and since the house was abandoned for a while and while it was occupied, I am sure the people didn't take much care of the landscaping, we have incredible black soil due to all the trees. I cannot wait to start gardening!
Speaking of Ice, when I took him to the vet the other day for his second vaccination, I complained to the vet about how none of the spot treatments seemed to work against ticks and I was worried about him getting sick again. She let me know about an injectable treatment against fleas, ticks, and all sorts of worms and I have to say it has been a lifesaver. He has been tick-free since! I basically spent every other night petting him in order to find all of the ticks and pulling them off of him (which he didn't like at all, as you are probably aware of.) So, if you have a pup in the Amazon that is always full of ticks, ask your vet about the injectable complete anti-vermes treatment.
We had our first barbecue yesterday because of the Libertadores game... Flamengo and a team from Potosí, Bolivia. Interestingly, we didn't even watch the game, we had such a good time hanging out on our porch with old friends and new friends! I recently met the wife of one of Humberto's old friends who also migrated to Orlando for a few years while he was there. She is really nice and I am looking forward to getting to know her better. My little network of friends outside of the family is starting to grow and I have a feeling that as soon as I step foot onto the campus of ULBRA, that network is going to blossom.
The only downside about the new place, we are still without internet, I had to send my MacBook to Cuiabá for repairs so I am also without my own computer and that's about all for right now! Installing internet is just about the most painstaking process here in Brazil and I'm getting ready to call and complain again.
On a business note, Humberto made another sale to China which makes us both really happy and I am hearing through third-parties about how they heard about me teaching English, and even about a doctor who is promoting me like crazy in the local hospitals, trying to get me a nice big class together! I think 2012 is going to be the year that I do something I never dreamed possible: I am going to be 100% self-employed! This is liberating and exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.
And, in closing, I am going to leave you with the best PSA I have ever seen in my life. Since we are getting ever-so-close to Carnaval (which, btw, I do not like Samba, Pagode, Axé or Forró that much so... I'm not all that excited about it....) Rede Globo (the biggest communications monopoly that exists on the planet, I believe) has put out the BEST PSA about not peeing in public.
The lyrics go:
"Tá com vontade de fazer xixi? -- Do you feel like you have to pee?
Não faz aqui, não faz aqui -- Don't do it here.
Tá com vontade de fazer xixi? -- Do you feel like you have to pee?
Não faz aqui, não faz aqui -- Don't do it here.
Nosso bloco a gente vê -- Our block (community) we can see...
É cheiroso, é maneiro -- it smells good, it's cool (I have never heard this word, but that's what google translate says it means...it must be Rio slang)
Tô falando pra você -- I'm telling you
Lugar de mijão é no banheiro" --The place to take a big pee is in the bathroom.
And that's all for now, folks.