My first week in Brazil

Hi all!

I just wanted to give everyone some updates about my time in Brazil so far.

I arrived just before the Easter holiday and Norma prepared Easter
baskets for all of us!  I guess she has prepared these "ninhos"
(nests) since they were kids. I also found out that it is very
traditional to give chocolate and chocolate eggs to all of the family

On Good Friday it is traditional to eat fish because they do not eat
meat on this day. Every Easter they have "bacalhau" (codfish), which
is Alfredo's favorite meal.  He was very happy for me to try it!

On Easter Sunday, we went to Norma's mother's house and I met Pedro's
aunts and uncles from his mom's side (Norma is 1 of 7!!!). They all
told me they were so happy that I could come with Pedro and that they
hoped we wouldn't have to be apart anymore <3.

This past weekend we went to the sítio. This is their grandfather's
farm in São Bento, a small city 1.5 hours from their house in São
José. They told me that they used to spend the entire summer vacation
there with all of their cousins when they were young. The main house
has 6 rooms, and there is at least 2 beds in each room. It's a very
old house, but they have taken care of it. There is a small creek
"riachinho" that runs beside the house (almost exactly like the one
next to ours!) that holds water all year long. When you wake up, it
sounds like it's raining, it's beautiful!

While we were staying at the sítio, we also went driving around São Bento to see a famous rock on top of the mountains called "pedra do baú" meaning sort of a rock chest from it's square shape.  On the way home we stopped at an "horto florestal," a park with gardens, and walked around.


 Pedro and I have also been exercising together regularly.  I need to,
especially because Norma is happy to have me eating well here! We have
been playing tennis and running on the path around their condominium.
I've surprised myself, as I'm able to run the complete 2 mile path
without stopping!

Pedro is starting at Samsung today and will be staying with his dad at
their apartment in São Paulo. This will be my first week staying in
São José dos Campos without him :-/ .

I've had a few interviews, and after all of them I have received
positive feedback; however, since their semester just started in
February, there are not many open classes which still need
instructors. Hopefully I can work part time somewhere and maybe do
some tutoring as well. Let's see!

Meanwhile I am studying Portuguese and I'm amazed by how much more I
understand and speak compared to the last time I visited!  I did go
through a Portuguese language book while I was in Korea, and hearing
it constantly is helping my listening skills tremendously.

I am attaching a few pictures (I haven't taken very many since I
arrived...I guess I am trying to convince myself that I'm not on
vacation anymore!)

I hope you are all doing well!  I will update more next week.

Beijos e abraços,