I’ve been hesitating on whether or not to announce that Luca’s first word is, indeed, “Mama” since he initially started saying it for pretty much anything. But now, I think we can safely say that he knows that “mama” means me and it’s very cute to hear him say it (over and over and over again). To John’s liking, he’s also getting close to saying “Papa” but he’s not quite there yet. Oh, and it seems like the little trouble maker is also freely giving out hugs these days – I myself earned 4 hugs this morning just by doing puzzles with him….(yes – insert those “awwwwws” now).
We also have a few very busy weeks ahead of us. John is doing a “job swap” (no similarity to the TV show “wife swap”) with a colleague in Brasilia next week so we are driving (yikes!) to Brasilia this weekend. I am not too excited about the 12-hour road trip but at least that means that Luca and I will have our car when John is working so we can explore the city, parks, and zoo. We have been to Brasilia before and it’s a fascinating city with amazing architecture and design and we’re looking forward to catching up with friends there as well.
In true fashion with a real life “swap,” we will be staying in John’s colleague’s apartment and she will be staying in ours (unless of course she wants to be closer to where the action in Sao Paulo is in which case she will stay with another colleague since we’re so far geographically removed from any type of nightlife activity for single officers!). Every time I mention this swap to family and friends outside of the FS life, they think we are crazy for a) swapping jobs for a week and b) allowing people we don’t know well to stay in our apartment or we in theirs (in reality, we know the officer coming here but even if we didn’t, I honestly would not think twice about this….yes, this is the community of FS where you really wouldn’t think twice about doing things like this!).
After the week in Brasilia, we drive back to Sao Paulo and are here for a few nights before we head South to Florianapolis in Santa Catarina State. John was asked to go there for work for a few days and Luca and I (along with a friend and her son) took the opportunity to go with him. After all, Floripa (as the city is known here in Brazil) is a beautiful island with a very European (speak “clean”!) feel so who’s to say no to a few days of lounging at the beach? And then to make sure that John will get something other than work out of this trip, we added 1 week of vacation to drive up North along the coast and head inland to …. get ready for this …. the Brazilian version of the German Oktoberfest. Santa Catarina State has a large German (and Italian) population that during the month of October is busy celebrating lots of festivals. And yes, we know… we will be taking a toddler to Oktoberfest (we need to make sure Luca learns about his German heritage or so is John’s excuse for schlepping us there!). So, a few busy weeks lie ahead but we are much looking forward to seeing more of the country (and what better way than with a looooong road trip?).