Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Smiling the week away


It's been a gorgeous week. I'm loving the weather, which is fairly fresh and sunny... a balmy 23°C (75°F) and as Kippy put it, life is good : )

Over the weekend, Jurgis got his cousin in Lithuania to join Geni, the site I am building our family tree on. Not only did he join, but he edited some of the family links. I'm thrilled! It didn't stop there. I thanked him for joining, copying and pasting the Lithuanian into his guestbook. I know the words, but there are a zillion accents on those two words - Ačiū už. He replied saying he was impressed with my Lithuanian and did I know that in Lithuania, my name would be Karina? I confessed to copying and pasting, but the 'Karina' just about blew me away. For some time now, I've been working on a writing project. I wanted a name that was similar to my own and our family names, yet different. The name I chose? Carina. The sheer co-incidence of the name I chose so long ago and what he said my name would be in Lithuania struck me as... well... amazing : ) It's a beautiful name.... at least, I think so.

Today, I had a lovely day. Everyone (or mostly everyone) seemed to be smiling. It took me a little while to realise it was because I was smiling. Ain't people grand? There was one old man on the Metro who couldn't stop grinning every time he looked at me, as though we shared some or the other secret. That was until my student announced that his boss has just come back from Mexico, while nervously eyeing out the sealed building with its air conditioning. I scolded him for not warning me, as we could have had our class outside in the gorgeous sunshine. "Oh? You teach outside too?" His face was comical. I've taught in odd places. Outside works ; )

By now many of you have been exposed to Kippy's 'positive actions' blogs. The other day, she posted a '9 Elements' blog. I read it, as I do all of her blogs and went to the site she referred to. While I was there, a spark of an idea started flickering somewhere in my consciousness. I went to bed with thoughts swirling in my mind. This was all happening in the US. Why couldn't it happen here? I wrote to Michael Chase, knowing the chances of him coming to Brazil were slim to say the least. I've written e-mails in the past and the most I usually get is an add to a Facebook account an a newsletter. Michael replied to my e-mail and I was awed by how down to earth, genuine...  and simply good and positive he was. What a great way to start my day. I went off with a skip in my step. I hope to work with him in developing lesson plans that I can use here... sharing his teaching of kindness. From the videos I've seen, he's a great teacher! As I put it to him, I live in a vast, impersonal city with its population of 20 million. What a challenge. If I can make a difference just in one little corner... I'll be happy : ) So I smiled... and smiled some more... and people smiled back. A woman's reaction when I gave her a seat on the Metro made it worth it. I hadn't seen that her arm was bandaged. She was tired and very uncomfortable. It felt good and right. Simple little things. I have always felt bad because I wasn't in the position to pay someone's toll booth fees or buy someone a meal, but the little things like this sure do make a difference... at least, I think so.

Maggie posted a link which also presents a challenge.... a complaint free world. Ok, so the site sells bracelets, but wouldn't it be a great challenge to see how long we can go without complaining? I don't use the word 'challenge' lightly either. I'm terrible with complaining!

"If you don't like something, change it.
If you can't change it, change your attitude;
don't complain."
Maya Angelou

Oh and the meerkat? Just an old photo I took at the zoo. I love the expression on his face : )


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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Just say 'no'

just say no

I was reading an article this morning on Gringoes.com, a site for foreigners living in Brazil. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject:

By Simone Costa ErikssonApril 16, 2009

As a Brazilian working for the international community, I am very often asked ‘why can Brazilians not be trusted?‘. In general, when attempting to interpret any cultural behavior, the first and most advisable approach would be to avoid generalization, but what if it happens too often, especially, through the eyes of foreigners? In that case, the safest explanation must be based on well-known intercultural theories: the concepts of contextualization and communication style as well as the cultural meaning of trust.

Nothing better than to start with a real & sincere testimonial from a reader:

"I am an American who has been very involved with the Brazilian community in the Boston area for 10 years (my husband is Brazilian, as are many of my friends). I really love the warmth of the Brazilian people, but there is one thing that always makes me sad: when my Brazilian friends make plans with me and then cancel at the last minute (or when so many of them promised to come to our wedding and then didn't show up!).

I don't understand why they agree to plans if there is a possibility that they won't be able to make it; if I make plans with someone, I will turn down all other offers that arise later, because I have already made plans; I will make sure I have already done everything else I need to do that day so I will be available for my friend.

But my friends will often cancel at the last minute with excuses like, "sorry, I have to work," or "sorry, it is my father's birthday." If I had to work or it was my father's birthday, I wouldn't make plans for that day in the first place! This hurts my feelings every time -- it seems that my friends don't value or respect my time or my friendship.

What can I do besides stopping to be friends with these people?"


This case exemplifies the focus of our discussion as being only and restrictedly referring to social behaviors and circumstances where people could perfectly say ‘no, thanks‘, but deliberately postponed the ‘no‘ answered until the last absolute minute, but still could not say ‘no‘, instead, chose to give an excuse. If you come from typical western societies (North America, North Europe & Australia), you would probably sympathize with our reader and ask ‘Why, on earth, couldn't these Brazilian people just say ‘no‘ and avoid hunting her feelings, right?

Wrong. In collectivist cultures, people have a hard time to say ‘no‘, because a ‘no‘ means almost a ‘bad word‘ socially speaking; giving an excuse sounds almost better than to say ‘no‘ (believe it or not!); it is ‘too direct‘ for those people raised to value preserving social relations above all. For the Brazilian ears, if someone is postponing giving an answer, they are probably doing the best they can, not to say a direct ‘no‘, and it might even mean they have tried and considered attending the wedding until the last minute. The intercultural term used here would be direct/indirect communication style.

Another explanation would be: while trying not to say ‘no‘, they have given ‘hints‘ or early justifications which already signed that the answer would be a ‘no‘ (that probably only another Brazilian would have understood). Something contextual, a non-verbal & unspoken message was probably given to suggest that the answer was going to be a ‘no‘. However, for a Brazilian way of reasoning, unless someone says ‘yes‘ there is no commitment, the fact of being invited does not necessarily mean a commitment. In this case, the intercultural dimension would be low/high context culture.

In case the explanation above seemed too theoretical and unreasonably, a more practical way to deal with this kind of intercultural misunderstandings are:

- All intercultural communications involve unspoken social rules and meanings, so never assume nor interpret someone from another culture based on your own cultural values. In other words, whatever it is obvious in one culture doesn't mean it is obvious in another culture.- Before making any interpretation, conclusions & judgments in an intercultural situation, you must always confirm and clarify the intentions and values behind it. That is, stop being friends only with those that intentionally mean to disrespect or not value your friendship.

The funniest thing, about this discussing on intercultural differences, was to be told by a foreigner: ‘foreigners living in Brazil seem to adopt this same characteristic of cancelling or not showing up (after they have lived here a while). My opinion on this is that there is so much happening here all the time that it is difficult to keep track of all your commitments...‘ . Or maybe, cultures slowly change the meanings and values of social behaviors!

This article confused me. I can understand why Brazilians would avoid saying 'no', but there are many polite ways to refuse without saying 'no'. For example, "I'm so sorry. I'd love to attend the wedding, but it is my father's birthday on that day." Closer to the event, a simple, "I'm sorry. It slipped my mind that my father's birthday is on the same day. In the end, we're living in a global society where intercultural communications can be a minefield. We, as foreigners need to adapt to the local way of working, but at the same time, Brazilians need to adapt too, as they deal with overseas clients and employers on a regular basis in business. In general, it is up to all of us to be clear and concise in our dealings with people who aren't of our culture to lessen the possibility of misunderstanding.

What do you think?

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I'm trying... I'm trying...

But I seem to be fighting a losing battle. We had a long weekend. I was home. Do you think I spent that time visiting blog friends? Nope.

See... it's like this. A time back, our internet carrier was hacked. Yep... how's that for security. They went pretty much belly-up for a while. We could access nothing on the net and when we could get on, it was at 1 or 2kb/second. The problem was apparently nationwide. Since then, our internet has been on in fits and starts. Some people are saying that the service is back in full swing, but we're having to reset our modem a few times a day. I clear caches every few pages I load or I get the stupid Telefonica "This page does not exist" notice. We now have a little system. Load the page. Page doesn't load. Clear cache. Load a different page, which, naturally, doesn't load. By then, the original page might load. Grr!!

I have been reading though. My mail tries constantly to send and receive, so I've been getting the e-mail alerts of the blogs. Getting to where I can respond has been another matter. I'll keep trying. Now... I'm going to try and post this. Fingers crossed...

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Saturday, 18 April 2009

Saturday thoughts

pelargonium buds

Well... sort of. I found tortillas in our supermarket the other day. Today I got a recipe for making tortillas that actually looks doable. Now the question is what to do with them, other than toasting them and making mock Dorito things. What is your favourite way to enjoy tortillas?

On a side note, I found a few things this week that really got me riled:
  • an English 'teacher' colleague comes up to me and says, "I should talk to you. I need to practice my English." Argh! Good to know I'm valued for something... y'know... my magnetic personality and all that
  • same English teacher teaches one of my students in regular school and proceeds to complain about him (note that she didn't remember his name) and speaks of his dyslexia as though that makes him a retard or something. I wanted to read her the riot act. I may still do that. Way to go... earning the respect of your peers. My student can't stand her. I wonder why. This student has far better English than the teacher in question. Go figure
  • director of the school disrupts my class to tell me that she noticed that my delinquent class is behind schedule. Yay... go me. My students sit looking at us with saucer eyes. When she leaves, they proceed to blame each other on who disrupts the class the most. Got to love them. They're great kids really, just badly mismatched
  • the student who brought that on is a) Never in class and b) Never says a word and doesn't participate in any way. She was worried that she hadn't done enough of the book to be able to pass the upcoming tests. Well, no duh... if you don't do anything in class, you're not going to be ready. She is in an upper intermediate course and doesn't know how to say, "I don't understand"
  • men who feel that beating a woman is a manly thing to do - 'nuff said
  • someone who thinks that typing a business e-mail in caps lock is professional
  • I'm a sap. I go to confront someone on a serious work related issue and end up feeling sorry for them an the issue never gets dealt with

All that aside, it is a glorious day here... warm and sunny, but fresh. I rather wish all of summer was like this. I have a long weekend ahead of me. Tuesday is a public holiday, so the schools are closed on the Monday. Banks and supermarkets are open, though, so I'll be able to get some errands in. I might even fit some more sewing in this weekend. That would be good.

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend!


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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Daily adventures in Lala Land

shopping light

I had to go into town today to get my worker's book. While we were there, we were to pick up Tat's account cards, which she couldn't get last time, as she only had a copy of her identity and not the original. We try not to carry originals, as they're well nigh impossible to replace if stolen.

The day started out well. We were halfway down the road to the bus stop when Tat saw the bus coming and flagged him down. We were thrilled when he actually stopped. That is so rare. Aside from me grouching because there were old folk standing and teens sitting in the reserved seats, the trip in was uneventful with Tat and I discussing elder respect in various cultures.

Our first stop of the morning, just beyond the gypsies (they camp out and pounce on you on the bridge to the right in the photo), was Shopping Light, one of São Paulo's weirder shopping centers. I wanted to pay clothing accounts and Tat would collect her cards at the same time. She ended up not getting the cards today, as she didn't have her proof of address and proof of income with her. It's always a paperwork song and dance, it seems.

Shopping Light used to be the head offices of the electricity department and was called the São Paulo Light and Tramway company (or something to that effect). The structure is a square 'doughnut'. There is no courtyard or anything in the center... there is nothing, actually. On two levels, the escalators go across this 'nothing' area, which isn't even done up. It looks like the back of the building. It's odd, to say the least. We decided on our way out to smile at everyone to see what reaction we get. Thus far... odd stares ; )
We went on to the Dept of Labour (or whatever it is called). The glare off the sidewalks was prohibitive. We hid our smiles behind screwed-up eyes. The process of collecting the book went smoothly, in spite of the fact that the poor guy working there looked a little lost.

The sun was baking down. We were hot and sweaty and looking forward to getting into some shade. Around us, many were wearing jackets and jerseys. These Brazilians are crazy.

On our way back to the bus stop, we were again crossing the bridge where the gypsies are and I spotted a person walking ahead of us with what appeared to be a dead cat over her shoulder. I dragged Tat forward. From the front, it looked like one of those fox fur stoles... surely a dead cat... a dead ginger cat. The cat was lying like this. Yes, really. Except it was just draped over one shoulder.

Ah... Felipe sent us the photo!


It was sleeping. The woman was eager to talk to us and tell us all about her cat. We were joined by a chap called Felipe, who took a photo of the cat. He promised to send the photo on to us when he uploads it. The woman is apparently with a writer. All the poetry this guy writes is apparently inspired by this cat. He has his book online here. I won't be rushing out to buy the book, but the cat was amazing. We stood there for ages and only once did the cat lift his head to peer at us before going back to sleep. The cat had apparently been walking (it has a collar and leash), but it got cranky and started swiping at passers by, so the woman picked it up and it went to sleep. That was about the oddest thing I have seen in a long time. Odd, even for São Paulo where I firmly believe absolutely anything is possible.

Further on, we were still talking and laughing about the cat story and participating in our favourite hobby of people watching, when a small person.... I think it was a woman... started yelling at us from behind her mask. It was one of those masks that dentists wear to stop them breathing germs over you... or breathing in your germs. She admonished us to stop laughing at her. She knew we were laughing at her and we shouldn't laugh at her because we'll die too and on and on and on. My confused look didn't have much effect on her. She carried on with her yelling until we escaped into a clothing shop. I think she waited, though, because we had her yelling at us virtually all the way to our bus stop, a good 4 very long blocks away. I suspect she has AIDS, which would explain her obsession with death and the mask... anything to lessen the chance of getting a passing virus. I don't know... it's just a theory of mine.

We were finally on the bus heading home. Tat kept glaring at a guy who was playing his rather weird music out loud. There are signs on the buses prohibiting radios and such. I eventually suggested that we plug into our mp3 players, so we could try to tune him out. Tat sat folding an origami box out of a street-side flier. The guy started asking around for a pen. Next thing, I saw him folding paper and nudged Tat. Oh cute... he was doing origami too. Not long after, he tossed into her lap a paper aeroplane!! I grabbed it when I saw it had writing and packed up laughing. It read: Tom *insert telephone number* Gata. 'Gata' is what the guys call girls here... much the way English guys will refer to a 'chick'. 'Gata' is a female cat. Weirrd... and Tat was blushing and the more she blushed, the more I laughed. And no, Tat is not going to be calling him. He is not... uh... her type ; ) Strange encounters of the romantic kind? *laughing*

Oh... and Kippy... my first birthday present arrived today. I can't wait to get reading *grins*

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Pancakes and blessings

Tat and I made pancakes for lunch and reminisced over past pancakes. Back home, Sunday night was pancake night for us. I'd 'camp' on the bedroom floor with the gas cylinder, making the pancakes, while Tat and Jorge camped on the bed. We'd watch Disney cartoons on TV, Ducktails being the most memorable right now.

Image borrowed from the Greedy Gourmet. Do visit the site. There are loads of spectacular recipes there combined with excellent photography

This evening, we'll have beef stroganoff, sans mushrooms (I couldn't find mushrooms anywhere in the city this week!), with a fruit salad for dessert. We'll probably watch a movie together. Not sure what. It is a relaxing day in all. Now why, as I typed that, did my mind flit to the pile of laundry that still needs to be finished??

A friend sent me a blessing this morning. It reminded me of something I read about blessings a while back. I always avoided using the word 'bless', as, to me, it held major religious overtones. The dictionary has, as one of its definitions: "to bestow good of any kind upon". In fact, when we say, "Bless you!" when someone sneezes, we bestow good to the extent of preventing bad. I like the idea of simply wishing good on the person I am blessing.

I thought I had saved the article I read on blessing, but found this instead. Again.... I like the idea.

Leaving A Positive Footprint
Blessing Space

Physical space acts like a sponge, absorbing the radiant of all who pass through it. And, more likely than not, the spaces we move through each day have seen many people come and go. We have no way of knowing whether the energy footprints left behind by those who preceded us will invigorate us or drain us. Yet we can control the energy footprint we leave behind for others. In blessing each space we enter, we orchestrate a subtle energy shift that affects not only our own experiences in that space but also the experiences of the individuals who will enter the space after us.

While we may never see the effects our blessing has had, we can take comfort in the fact that we have provided grace for those that follow after us. When you bless a room or an entire building, you leave a powerful message of love and light for all those who will come after you. Your blessings thus have myriad effects on the environments through which you pass. Old, stagnant energy is cleared, creating a vacuum into which fresh and invigorating energy can freely flow. The space is thus rendered harmonious and nourishing, and it becomes a hub from which positive feelings are transmitted. Intent is the key component of the blessings you leave in your physical wake. If your intent involves using your own consciousness as a tool for selflessly spreading grace, your blessings will never go awry. Whether you feel more comfortable performing a solo blessing or prefer to call upon your spirit guides for assistance, visualize each space you enter becoming free of toxins, chaos, and negativity as you speak your blessing. Then imagine the resultant emptiness being replaced by pure, healing white light and loving energy. Even a quick mindful thought of love can bless a space.

This type of blessing is cumulative and will grow each time you bestow it. Try blessing every home, business, and office you visit for an entire week and observing the effects of your goodwill. Your affirmative energy footprint will help brighten your day as you contemplate your blessing's future impact on your siblings in humanity and your environment.

Like a snowball that starts small and rolls down the hill growing larger as it goes, a simple blessing sent out by each of us can make a change in the world, don't you think?


Saturday, 11 April 2009

Let me introduce you...

You probably know him by now as the funny guy I tend to tease a lot. You also know that I consider him to be enormously talented. He works magic with wood that most people throw away. He has a way with people. Wherever he goes, people stop to talk to him. He's strong (heck, he can pick me up!). He works like a Trojan when he gets going. He's funny and playful and enormously patient. I mean... he taught me to drive. That takes some doing. He even continued teaching me after I put a sizeable dent into his pride and joy... his first ever car. My very own live-in Mr Fixit, Tech. support, perfectionist, and sometime dishwasher ; )

jorge and witch

Today is our 23rd wedding anniversary. Being a man of many interests, even in old hags, there are many things I could get him. There is one thing, however, that I know he dearly wants. I have done research and can only give this gift on a personal level. Officially, it is out of his reach still.

You see, when he was to be christened, the local (yes, here in Brazil) church decided that he couldn't use the name his parents chose for him, as it is a name belonging to a pagan king. They were then forced to give him the Brazilian version of his name. He was registered as Jorge. All his life, he has dreamed of being called Jurgis. This dream has become almost an obsession since his trip to Lithuania.

I have resisted his desire for a name change. After all, I married Jorge, not Jurgis. I have been giving it a lot of thought lately though. Why not? It is something he wants really badly. The man I am married to now is different from the man I married so long ago in many ways. We change nicknames through the years. I often call him names that I didn't call him when we got married, so why not call him Jurgis... or at least try to. It is a small thing on my part that means a lot to him.

Unfortunately, to change your first name in Brazil is virtually impossible. Most people don't even change their last names when they get married because it is such a bureaucratic process. To change your first name, you need to prove that the original name is embarrassing, humiliating, or some other extreme reason. They recommend you hire a professional to deal with it and you need two witnesses to the fact that the name is causing problems for you.

So, I'd like to introduce you to Jurgis, my husband.


Happy Anniversary, Jurgis! Yes, I have issues with names, so I'll still call you all sorts of other things, but to me, you are now Jurgis : )


Saturday, 04 April 2009

Surrogate mother.... with a difference

From Daily Mail. This is an old article that I just discovered, but it is so sweet. Apparently Jasmine is still at the sanctuary playing surrogate mother.

Meet Jasmine, the rescue dog who has become a surrogate mother for the 50th time

jasmine 2

When Jasmine the abandoned greyhound arrived at a wildlife sanctuary shivering and desperate for food, she needed all the love in the world to nurse her back to full health.

Now it appears the kindness and patience shown to her has rubbed off - for the rescue dog has become a surrogate mother for the 50th time.

Seven-year-old Jasmine is currently caring for tiny Bramble, an 11-week-old roe deer fawn found semi-conscious in a nearby field.

She cuddles up to her to keep her warm, showers her with affection and makes sure nothing is matted in her fur. In short, the perfect foster mum.

But then again, she has had plenty of practice, having cared for five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and even 15 rabbits.

Jasmine was brought to the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary by the police in 2003, having been found dumped in a garden shed.

She was cold, filthy and malnourished. It took a few weeks for her to fully trust staff at the centre but with tender loving care she was nursed back to full fitness.

Five years on, Jasmine is now the one looking after stray waifs.

Geoff Grewcock, who runs the sanctuary, said: 'She simply dotes on the animals as if they were her own, it's incredible to see.

'She takes all the stress out of them and it helps them to not only feel close to her but
to settle into their new surroundings.

'As soon as an animal is brought in, she walks over takes a sniff or two and then licks and cuddles them.

'It is quite amazing, particularly as she is a greyhound breed and they are usually quite aggressive, That is why they are used for racing.

jasmine 1

'Jasmine was abused when she was younger, the police brought her to us after discovering her whimpering in a garden shed.

'She was very nervous around us, she was caked in mud and dust and very thin. It took a while but gradually she got used to us and has been at the centre ever since.

'Having been neglected herself, it's a real surprise to she her show so much warmth and affection to other creatures.

'It's not just animals, she is great which children too, she is such a gentle, big-hearted dog.'

Bramble the fawn arrived at the centre two months ago after a dog walker came across her in a field dazed and confused.

Until she is old enough to be released back into the wild, she will continue to be cared for by Jasmine.

Geoff added: 'They are inseparable at the moment, Bramble walks between her legs and they keep kissing each other.

jasmine 3

'They walk together round the sanctuary. It's absolutely marvelous. It's a real treat to see them.

'But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits which greyhounds usually chase down the track.

'I remember we had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line, one was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross.

'They were tiny when they arrived at the centre and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee.

'Then he fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them.

'She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose.

'It's very touching. Her maternal instincts take over all the time.'

Friday, 03 April 2009

Photo of the month

The photo that, for me, represents this month is an old one, as I've barely picked up the camera this month. How to represent this whirlwind month? In short, I've spent a lot of time on buses. This is the bus terminus closest to the recording studio.

bus queue

Tuesday, Tat and I were meant to go for a test and interview at a recruitment company. Tat came down with a vicious stomach bug, so we postponed. Instead, I went with Jorge to get my worker's book, another piece of documentation I need to be employed in this country. Turns out that, because I am a foreigner, I needed to go to a different location.

Wednesday, Tat and I went into the recording studio. The publishers are pushing to get this range of material out by mid-April. Both Tat and I had recording work this time. I'm fairly pleased with the way mine went. We got home rather late.

Yesterday morning, Tat and I headed back into town to find the department that would deal with my worker's book. We weren't sure exactly where it was and discovered new parts to the inner city. I wish... I wish I could carry the camera to share the sights with you! We found the building. Luckily, we were in and out there. I was the only foreigner, so the wait was minimal. Unfortunately, because I'm a foreigner, the book isn't immediate, as it is for locals. I have to go back in to collect it when it is ready.

When we were done at the Ministerio de Trabalho, we went to Shopping Light where I reactivated an old clothing account. I love my new-found freedom of being able to quote my own financial and work details. For those new to my list, trust me, it's been a very long road of being pretty much invisible here.

We made our way back through town, stopping to open a clothing account at a different store. We made our way back via Sé to Liberdade. When heading for the bus, we heard a dog bark. That was very odd. This was city center with high rise office blocks. It turned out to be a dog belonging to a homeless man, one who pushes his cart, rickshaw style, around the city, collecting goods for recycling, selling or using.

I was looking for a pic of one of these carts and found one here, along with an article on bureaucracy-free banking in Brazil. That is something of a jaw-dropper for me. Another good example of one of São Paulo's cart guys can be found here.... a very realistic scene. Getting back to the dog. The dog was barking because a second cart guy had come too close to his owner's cart. He was free-roaming, as the dogs of the homeless usually are, but he defended his owner's cart fiercely. This dog had no 'territory'. His territory, like his owner's, was that cart. It was amazing to see. I wish I could have photographed it. Speaking of dogs, do visit this slide show. It is fabulous. Read the description on each dog : )

We got on the bus to go home and had gone but a few blocks when we got a call. Could Tat come in for a recording. We hopped off the bus, walked the few blocks back to the metro station and headed out to the studio. I got home just in time to eat and go to my evening student. Let's just say it was tiring.

This morning, after teaching the morning run, I went in with Tat to bank. I opened a second bank account, as everyone heaves and sighs when I mention the other bank (not a popular one for deposits, being a state bank). It went beautifully. I may just grow to like banks ; ) We resolved the 'misprint' on my other bank card. Turns out my name is too long for the bank card, which was why it was cut short.

When we got home, I got an e-mail from the recruitment agency that there was a school looking for teachers. I called them and it is just the school I've been aiming for! If I can get in with this school, I'll be able to teach for them anywhere in the world and they have excellent benefits. They're the best paying school in São Paulo. The test and interview was so that I could apply to teach at this school. Now it turns out that my profile fits what they're looking for and they wanted me in for testing/interviewing. All a happy more-than-coincidence. Tat has been called in too. I'm thrilled!

What a month. I was just looking back at my calendar and most events from earlier in the month feel like years ago.

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