Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We gots the innernets.

Finally! Now I can catch up on what everyone else in the world is doing, and get busy ordering stuff. After a few rocky weeks, we are settling into life fairly well here in Brasilia. The kids are making friends at school and marveling at how different everything is. For example, their school bus has an aide in addition to the driver that rings the bell when they arrive at our house, then holds the door for them as they climb into their leather reclining seats to watch an American movie or Spongebob in portuguese. The cantina at school is an all-you-can eat buffet of tasty, healthy food. I may never have to pack another lunch. Their class sizes are small, about 20 kids, and they have a full-time teacher’s assistant in each room. They also get an hour for lunch, although the younger kids spend most of that time playing soccer futebal.  Jack thinks an hour isn’t enough, what with all the lovely, um, students to chat with and whatnot. His social life is very busy. This past weekend, I was busy wringing wet clothes out  (thanks to a broken washing machine), while Jack was at a party at the Dutch Ambassador's house, being served pizza by private chefs.  Grace noted that one thing hasn’t changed from America, in that 8 year-old boys still only talk about butts, farting, and poop.

Here the kids are on their first day of school. Seamus is in the picture because he matches with his khaki hair. I briefly considered humiliating him with a navy polo shirt on top, but I’ve put him through enough in the past few months.

I have lots of pictures of the house, which I’ll save for another day (it’s not that interesting, anyway, white walls, zero decor, lots of Drexel Heritage furniture).  We actually like the house very much. It’s one of the oldest houses in the embassy pool, but it’s a mid-century prairie house style, which we really like. Five bathrooms and four good-sized bedrooms, plus the maid’s bedroom which Jack plans to turn into a music room. That’s right, no live-in maid, although we do have someone lined up to clean once a week. If you leave one drop of food anywhere, tiny little ants swarm, so everything has to be super clean. Also, the dirt here is red clay and it gets everywhere, and now that I gots the innernets I can’t possibly be expected to clean all these floors on top of my busy schedule of social networking, taking breaks, and ordering stuff. And if it sounds like I’m trying to justify having a maid and a gardener so I don’t sound like a spoiled ass, believe me, I am. 

Our favorite feature of the house is the huge, beautiful yard and gorgeous view.  There are many nooks and crannies in the yard to hide in and build forts, and plenty of critters to watch for out there. Now that we have figured out how to make Spongebob broadcast in English, though, I imagine the little darlings will be occupied for a few days while they get their tv fix.  Seamus has been trying to catch the lizards and monkeys that hide in the trees every day. Mitch likes the built-in bbq, but I prefer lounging on the patio with a beverage of one kind or another. You’ll notice everything is kind of brown with lots barren trees, since we are in the dead of winter here. It hasn’t rained a drop since we arrived and I’m told it won’t rain for another few months.  There are no pics of the exterior of the house, for security reasons, but rest assured, our house is the one you want to come to in the event of a zombie invasion.  Anyhoodle, here is our lovely backyard:

A tire swing! And perhaps the best thing we stuck in our suitcases was the iPod (which has our entire music collection on it) and a sweet little Bose sound dock, so we can enjoy tunes on the patio while Mitch chars dead animals and I applaud him from my lounge chair.

Who needs a snowy winter? Every few days, these dead giant palm leaves fall and the girls use them as sleds on the little hill. I tried to explain/pantomime to the gardener that I didn’t want him to get rid of the palm leaves and I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m insane now, plus he still threw them out.

Pretty much all we do around here. The relaxing, I mean. Not the drinking of wine.
Oh, who am I kidding?

The kids playing Shawshank Redemption, and the elusive American teenager plotting ways to get his siblings to do his bidding.

This mural is on a wall in the backyard. I will talk about this at a later date. I recently found out that the characters depicted are the Black Eyed Peas. So. Yeah.

A lovely place to read a book.
Or a few Kindles.

And a few photos from our arrival in Brasilia:
Twelve giant suitcases, six carry-ons.  No barf bags were used in the making of this trip.


Camille said...

Yay! You're alive AND you have the interwebs! I'm so glad. Day = Complete.

Lisa said...

Your outdoor space is amazing! Glad your back online.

k @ there is fun to be done said...

Congrats on your internet! I just got mine today so I am excited with you!!! The new outdoor space looks lovely! Enjoy! Cheers!

Daniela Swider said...

So glad you finally got your internet!!! The porch and the yard look lovely! Can't wait to see the inside of the house.

Heather Dray said...

Oh, innernets delight! Love the photos. Drink more wine! Welcome home. PS, I don't think a biweekly (as in twice a week!) cleaning is unreasonable. You've got some serious net surfing to do on that back patio! And if the housekeeper happens to also cook, so be it.

Sadie said...

Yay for the internet! And OMG am I jealous of your backyard - AMAZING! I agree with Heather - I've discovered that twice-weekly housekeeping is much better than once-weekly.

Liz Amen said...

Oh yes, the world wide interweb is fascinating! Tell me that your washer is fixed..if not, it's wine time at Casa Del Wow! I beg to differ, btw, about which is the oldest house in the rotation because i believe that my Jetsons meets the Bradys home is certainly funkier.. wow, tho we never got a mural. Color me let's go get some caipirinhas!!! Glad you're here! Liz

Bfiles said...

your backyard is so beautiful! Glad you're back to the world of internet. We're stealing ours and I have plenty of access but it feels illicit...
Your kids are so cute in their uniforms! hope it all goes well for them so you can get back to your ordering and lounging.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! You’re part of the Weekly State Department Blog Round Up for August 19.

Jen said...

Yay, you are back!!!