Mi lernas esperanton

Most of my days are punctuated as follow: wake up time, school drop-off and pick-up times (during school year – it’s summer vacation now), lunch (noon), goûter (the kids’ afternoon snack, usually around 4PM), supper (7PM), and the kids’ bedtime (around 8:30PM). At which point, I exhale loudly and announce that my shift is over! haha. As you can see, I am at the service of my children, hubby being quite self sufficient. Thank you, darling. Around these landmarks of my days, I sometimes manage to do some cleaning around the house, I cook and bake when I feel inspired, and these days I do a lot of gardening (there is a small piece of dirt at the back of the house which I dream of transforming into a piece of tropical paradise)… But, I have found that I feel the most satisfied the days that I manage to spend  time on my personal projects:

Practice my languages. I have started using Duolingo daily to refresh or improve some of my Portuguese, German, Spanish, Italian or, lately… learn Esperanto (!). Yes, I know, there must be something wrong with me. Despite being the most popular constructed language in the world, it only counts one or two thousand native speakers, and maybe 2 million learners of the language worldwide. When am I ever going to use that??? But I suppose I am indeed addicted to learning languages!

Practice the piano. When we were living in Rondônia and Goiás, D had to lead most services without any sort of musical support. Our voices are strong, but singing a capella gets tiring very quickly, especially if the congregation cannot hold a note. Unfortunately I had not practiced the piano in years, so I have slowly started to train again, to be able to accompany the liturgy someday when needed. In our new church, we are very lucky to have a couple of good musicians. That’s great, but I still want to be able to help. Plus, music is therapeutic. I always feel happy after a good practice session! 🙂

Do some physical exercise. I rotate between 30-40min of aerobics/dancing, or 30-40min of elliptical, biking around the neighborhood, and/or walking back and forth to school or to one of the parks with the kids.

Getting ahead on some sewing or crochet project. I have been planing on opening my own little Etsy shop for some time (like every crafter out there, it seems), maybe I will finally get to it soon.

When I do manage to fit two or three of these things in my day, I feel like I won the jackpot; I am in a better mood and I sleep better!

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Incompatível

Hello there! Long time no see! (ha ha, as if)

September already. Still no word about if or when we will be moving this year. We were hoping to pack our bags and leave this place before the rainy season is upon us, but I honestly just want to be out of here NOW. Is it too much to ask? D is having a hard time too. People here seem to have expectations of a pastor that are not in line with the way things should be. Theologically. Sure Theoretically one can try to adapt as much as possible, but in the end we are the way we are. Our personality, upbringing and education is not something that can be undone. In our case all of these are simply not compatible with the vast majority of the population of the region where we live here in Northern Brazil. Not to mention that we both refuse to play the hypocrisy game that people here think is “polite”. For example, they refuse to be critical of anything to you face. If you dare express some negativity about a situation, it “isn’t right” to say so. Only among themselves. Nobody is perfect, but how is being fake supposed to be a good Christian example to anyone?

Hibiscus

Yesterday hubby gave me my first driving lesson. I have to learn to drive with a stick. Unlike North America where most cars here have manual transmission! Why, oh why?!! What a pain in the *! In our first years we were hoping to buy an automatic car one day, but we’ve realized that we will most likely never be able to afford one. First of all, cars here are much more expensive than in Canada (compared to salaries). Second, automatic cars are rare AND much more expensive than the manual ones. So, yeah. I’m learning how to drive again… The boys were in the car with us and we went to the (almost deserted) airport parking lot to have my first “lesson”. In between my (exaggerated) screams of despair (when I stalled) and shrieks of joy (when I got the transmission change), the kids asked when we would get into the plane… Soon my little ones, God willing very soon!

Orchideas

At home everybody is fine and healthy, which is the most important. However I still don’t feel “at home”, which translates to daily frustrations. The other day, I was wondering if we still had the “Complete Works of Shakespeare” somewhere. I realized that some of our books have been packed 4 years ago and are still in boxes… After looking though half a dozen boxes, I did find the book, but how I hate this! I’d like to buy some nice shelves (simple but nice, real wood, custom made) and unpack all my music books beside the piano, and all my favorite novels in a “reading nook”. Ah, the plans I have in my head !

I am still looking longingly at the real estate ads in our “future” town. We hope to buy what they call a chácara which loosely translates as “country house, or farmstead”. It’s basically a house that has a bit more property than a town house. I can’t think of any comparison because in some cities there are actually some entire neighborhoods comprised of chacaras… Which doesn’t make sense if you think of chacaras as country houses in a city neighborhood… Anyway. In our case it would very probably be in an un-developed part of the city because I simply don’t want to live in an apartment. Not with three children who need to run around. Not now that we live in a country where the climate allows you to enjoy the outdoors all year round. I want enough room for some chickens (fresh eggs!), coconut, papaya, lemon and blackberry trees, a vegetable garden, a tree house and maybe a couple of dogs. Dream, dream, dream…

Incerteza

Depuis que nous avons vu une lueur au bout de tunnel, l’éventuelle possibilité de déménager au courant de cette année (et le plus tôt sera le mieux), nous avons fait nos comptes, vérifié nos économies et j’ai jeté un oeil (ou deux) dans les annonces immobilières… C’est devenu ma nouvelle obsession. J’ai repéré quelques possibilités, enfin surtout une, et je vérifie chaque jour qu’elle soit toujours disponible. Le choix sera-t-il toujours le même dans quelques mois quand nous serons prêts, sur place, et qu’il n’y aura plus aucune incertitude ?

On en rêve depuis des années. Acheter notre propre maison. Une maison pas trop grande, mais suffisament pour nos trois petits enfants qui deviendront grands. Car si on devient propriétaires on compte bien s’installer et s’enraciner. Puis D a aussi besoin d’un bureau car il prépare souvent ces sermons à la maison. Le plus important pour nous quand mème est le grand terrain parce que la maison, même moche, peut être racommodée. Le terrain en revanche ne peut être agrandit. Et dans ce terrain on veut avoir des arbres fruitiers (cocotiers, papayers, citroniers et orangers) et je veux toutes les couleurs de bougainvilliers et toutes les plantes exotiques que j’adore. Une piscine serait bien aussi, après tout il fait assez chaud dans ce pays pour en profiter tout au long de l’année, mais ça vraiment j’ignore si cela sera jamais financièrement possible.

Pourtant la maison de nos rêve semble être là, dans les annonces immobilières. Elle est à la limite de notre budget (des négociations seront nécessaires), à la limite de la ville (route non goudronnée), maison moche (avec potentiel), mais grand terrain avec une belle vue et *retenez votre souffle*… une piscine !