I do get out of the house two days a week to go to language training at the embassy, and I've met some lovely people. My house is sparkling, thanks to our new cleaner (sent over by one of said lovely people), who even rolled up the toothpaste tubes in the bathrooms and cleaned out my refrigerator. The kids thought it was hilarious that she arrived dressed up nicer than I ever look (not saying much-you can take the Pacific Northwest out of the girl...). I've also been taking lots of walks on the path along the lake which is filled with walkers and joggers, none of whom you can pass without exchanging the "bom dia!" greeting. It always puts me in a better mood, if only to affirm the fact that I have at least mastered two portuguese words. Fitness is pretty big in Brazil, especially while wearing next to nothing. This morning a young, verrrrry fit, Brazilian men's group of some kind was standing on the dock in their teensy Speedos, working out after having just finished a swim. I'm pretty sure the swelling in my nose will go down soon from walking into that tree. I don't know why they planted it so close to the path.
It still hasn't rained and everything is dusty. The kids are getting bloody noses from the dry air, and the dog is constantly filthy from the dry, red dirt that is everywhere. Olivia has taken it upon herself to give him a bath every week, which basically amounts to just getting him wet enough to turn into a furry mudball and then letting him run all over the house flinging said mud everywhere.
We're becoming familiar with all sorts of new creatures. Unfortunately, they always seem to appear in the girls' bathroom. They've taken to shutting the door and stuffing a towel under it at night. We don't have a terrible problem with ants, but the ones we do have are strong. I've seen one carrying an entire Golden Graham and another carrying a piece of popcorn across the floor. I always feel bad squashing them after witnessing their herculean efforts, but I don't want them to go tell all their friends about the family with messy children who drop food everywhere.