One year ago today, Tom and the pups and I arrived in Sao Paulo. Hard to believe. Time has simply whisked past. A quick twelve-month and we feel pretty adjusted here, no longer the deer in the headlights we were when we arrived.

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We’ve easily adapted to living in a towering condo, speaking a new language, adjusting to big-city traffic, and learning the customs and mores of a different country.

As I’ve written in numerous posts, we are happy here, enjoying and adapting to life in a city unlike any where we’ve ever lived. It’s fast-paced and dangerous, tropically humid and physically wearing at some moments, chockfull of new sights and new tastes, and we’re having a marvelous time.

It’s hard to be separated from Aubrey and Scott, and Mom and Dad and Lois, and family and friends, but this is an adventure and a huge opportunity for growth for each of us. Simply put, I think it is God’s plan for us for the time being, and I’m resting content in that knowledge, even while missing our loved ones. I still look outside and can’t believe where we live!

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The one thing that makes this place so amazing for me is the people. We are thoroughly enjoying the Brazilian people we encounter: from the old lady who walks among the cars, selling dish towels but giving only advice when you pay for one; to the building cleaning and security staff, who enjoy pretending to ignore the pups in the elevator, all the while secretly wiggling fingers and whispering sweet nothings to them; to our once-a-week maid who watches over me and regularly warns me about safety, such as dealing with strangers or cooking beans in a pressure cooker; to our new friends, who delight in sharing with us local restaurant discoveries and family time.

Despite the fact that each of these people knows and readily admits that the country has a long way to go in overcoming rampant corruption and poor education policies, they also each have an innate sense of hope and eager expectation for their future. I find that so appealing.

We’ve also made some great friendships with other ex-pats (American and other), who have enriched our lives already. Some of these will likely be lifelong friends, and you can’t place too great a value on friendship.

So, despite the negatives of living here (cost, pollution, distance, and the sticky heat…no, I have not yet acclimated), and the constant onslaught of reminders of the dangers lurking just around the corner, I’m glad we’ve come, and I look forward to the next two years, as we improve our Portuguese and, therefore, can interact even more with the locals, and as we travel and experience more of this country’s graces. Obrigada, Brasil, estamos felizes de estarmos aqui.

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