segunda-feira, abril 9

My Easter Weekend

Well, what can I say. It was incredible. I originally was getting all depressed about yet another holiday away from my family, but excited to experience Easter in Brazil (a holiday that I had not yet experienced here). I had been seeing the giant chocolate eggs taking over the grocery stores over the past few weeks and my anticipation continued to build as I thought about devouring one all by myself on Sunday whenever I had to make a stop to buy milk, bread or laundry detergent. I was reminded of when I first started dating my husband in 2009 and he brought me a giant chocolate egg. My grandmother and I spent weeks and weeks eating it and BOY was it delicious! Mainly children and boyfriends/girlfriends exchange these types of goodies, plus they are super super expensive here so needless to say, I did not get one this year. However, I am planning on stopping by the grocery store today or tomorrow to buy one at discount since Easter is already over ;)

The Eggs are hollow chocolate with chocolate candies inside, typically bon-bons and other goodies!
The whole weekend started on Good Friday (which is even better in Brazil since it is a holiday. Read: NO WORK!) and we went off to the farm. My in-law's farm to be exact. We had a few beers, relaxed, grilled some huge delicious fish and had a great lunch. Afterwards we went off to Humberto's cousin's farm where we spent the day swimming in the river and riding down the small waterfall in an innertube! Ice Finally lost his fear of swimming and swims all over! He got swept downstream a few times since the current was pretty strong but he paddled his way to the riverbank to run back up and try again! He's gotten extremely strong over these past few months and he had fun showing off his strength. He even rode down the waterfall with Humberto in the tube!

After all of that excitement I laid in a hammock by the river while the rest of the crew worked on the farm. I picked up a super inspiring book called Encontrando um caminho by Koji Sakomoto and practically finished it. I read a few chapters more than once as well as it is a really interesting book about self-realization and how to find true happiness. Unfortunately there isn't an English version but if you speak Portuguese I highly recommend it!

Ice and I spent the rest of the day playing fetch (which he still sucks at... He prefers to take all the sticks and such and make a nice pile of everything that I throw for him to fetch instead of bringing the same thing back to me every time. He's not as eco-friendly as I am, I guess.)

Later that evening while talking with my friend's uncle (and admiring the giant moon) we came up with the idea of hiking up a nearby hill (it was really big!!!) to sit on the rocks on top and look down at the city since we had nothing better to do. We had a BLAST. We got up to the top super sweaty and hot, but within minutes a nice breeze started to come through and we had fun taking pictures and being goofy, relaxing and finally simply sitting in silence looking at the beautiful valley surrounded by hills, the bright moon, the beautiful clouds and the simple fact that we were able to be in that location, at that moment and appreciate nature and the presence of some great people.

(Pictures of the outing to come....)

On the way back down, we ran into  a tatu or armadillo! Amadillos are popular in the rural areas as a food source and I had never eaten one (and I'm always complaining about that! You can't buy armadillo meat in the stores, though, because they are a protected species, of course, but I just want to try it at least ONCEEEE!) Anyhow, Humberto and my friend's uncle tried to chase it down (Ice enjoying the hunt to the FULLEST) and unfortunately for us (and fortunately for the tatu) he found his way back to his hole and was safe out of reach. We got home, fully exhausted after 1am and I crashed in bed until 10am! Ice was so exhausted when I got up to go say hello to my friend's grandmother and drink a cup of coffee with her and her husband (my morning routine when I am at their place since I normally get up earlier than the rest of the crew who stays up until 3am playing cards) that I thought he had gone on an adventure. He normally follows me over to her house without me even calling but as I was drinking my coffee I realized he was nowhere to be found. When I went back home I found him sleeping soundly on the porch, completely unaware to the fact that I was there. Poor buddy, all that swimming, running, playing fetch and mountain hiking wore him out!

The rest of the day we spent at our friend's farm, helping put together their fence and clearing out the old corn fields so they can plant grass for horses and cows. (By WE I mean everyone else. I continued to lay in the hammock by the river with Ice and only helped when it was necessary! haha!) I spent a lot of time thinking about my current goals and objectives (since I have realized I finished off my Pre-30 Bucketlist I had made in college (with the exception of saving a ton of cash...) I managed to write a few personal development goals and am still trying to decide what types of professional goals I would like to achieve in the next 5-10 years. I feel that I won't be able to decide that until Humberto and I really decide where we want to be living in the next 5-10 years since going back to the US is looking like more of a possibility, especially when we think about our potential future children. (We don't like Brazilian schools at all and don't even want to consider that option, however, home schooling is out-lawed here in Brazil, so we put into an interesting situation...). Needless to say, there was lots of thinking going on Sunday afternoon....

Later on, we had a huge lunch of stuffed grilled fish (MmmmMmMmMm!) and then went back to my in-laws later in the evening for churrasco and to watch the famous Fantástico, the most popular Sunday News show on TV in Brazil. I hate Brazilian news becuase I think it is largely manipulated by the government. They always show a few cases of corruption that are being taken care of, a few bandits that were caught, some suggestions on how to stay safe, make money, and stay fit and usually end on some type of documentary from British or American TV that takes you off to a far-away destination. It helps lesser educated Brazilians feel that the political problems are being taken care of (which I doubt any real improvements are being made) and that they are going to be okay (financial and personal security as well as personal health) and then makes them ooh and aah as they look at different places in the world and forget about the real problems. I might be being too pessimistic, but I think it's a big hoax.

After we got home around 10pm I worked on my lesson plans for today knowing not many students would show up (since in Brazil all holidays are extended longer than the official calendar dates...) and here I am now at the University working on my blog and some translations, getting ready to eat lunch. mMmmMmMmmmm.....

What did you do this Easter? Brazilians? Americans? American-Brazilians? Did you get any Chocolate Eggs? :)

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