Whew….we made it! We arrived in Sao Paulo as scheduled with a happy little traveler in tow (who slept all the way on the plane!) and have been (barely) surviving without internet for the past 2 weeks (almost 3 but who’s counting at this point? It apparently takes 5 appointments for people to show up and install internet – did I mention I don’t have much patience?). But, finally, we are connected to the world again so expect updates more frequently. How did everything go, you might wonder? Well, here is a quick recap….
Leaving DC was a lot harder than we imagined as it was difficult to say good-bye to dear friends we made. We then spent a few days in NYC since John had consultation work and enjoyed catching up with old friends before we set sail South. The flight to Brazil was pretty uneventful except for the fact that I actually got to watch an entire movie by myself while Luca and John slept (it was a small miracle!). As mentioned, Luca was an excellent traveler although we certainly received plenty of “those” looks as passengers seated close-by to us boarded the plane and realized they were sitting next to a little one….but, we (well, Luca) showed them they had nothing to worry about!
We arrived here in the middle (ok, end) of summer so we’re in shorts and t-shirts and definitely not longing for the snow we left behind. It’s been about 2 weeks now since we arrived and despite the beautiful weather with lots of sun, the transition here has been (and continues to be) hard – in some ways, a lot harder than we imagined. For one, the disparity between the “haves” and “have-nots” is apparent everywhere you go and as is custom for many Latin and South American countries, those better off live more or less locked up behind prison-like walls and security. All this security takes a lot of getting used to….and, I am still not used to it. On some days it feels as if I am going from one prison (our home) to another (someone else’s home or the consulate). Further complicating life here is the fact that going out and getting around is pretty difficult especially with a baby. We are not allowed to drive our car for the first few months (bureaucratic regulations) so I can either take Luca out in the stroller although there are not many points of interest in our vicinity to walk to (or good sidewalks for that matter) or we can go by (pretty pricey) taxi but then I need to juggle a baby, a car seat, and a stroller around with me. So, taking a taxi to go to one of the many parks or explore different parts of the city by myself with Luca is pretty much impossible as is grocery shopping. This leaves us spending most of our days home alone….
But onto the news that everyone has probably been curious about (drum roll, please)….we have a crawler and a cruiser….yes, it’s true….Luca made his crawling and cruising debut on the day we arrived in NYC just in time to help me pack and unpack all of our suitcases (great timing!) although he still prefers to walk (so it’s a good thing we managed to bring his Lion walker with us!). He’s settling in nicely here (new favorite activities include reading books on his own, shredding magazines, eating us under the table, and getting in and out of cabinets and drawers). He definitely draws lots of attention when we go out for walks (yes, he soaks it all up!). And since Luca likes to keep us on our toes, we were the lucky winners of a new round of sleep and nap battles and another “mommy is the greatest – don’t ever leave me not even for a minute” attachment phase (yes I know, he’s also dealing with lots of change)…did I mention we’re all still figuring things out here?