Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Blog Turns a Year Old

Eric is great with remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Any bets as to whether or not he will wish me a happy blogiversary today? Let me start by saying, I'm guessing not. But, just the same, I'm celebrating!

We've experienced a lot since I wrote that first post just before coming to Brasil for our exploratory trip last year! (And by "we", I initally meant the blog and I. But I suppose the same could be said for Dear Hubby and me too!) Let's see, we've:

had our first exciting days in Brasil.

gotten married. (Although the blog wasn't as involved in that one.)

honeymooned in Jamaica. (I definitely didn't involve the blog in that one. (You're welcome Darlin' Dearest.))

rented-out our home in Burlington, IA. (And there was no where for the blog to sign on that contract either. Come to think about it, maybe this is more about what Eric and I have done and less what the blog and I have been busy with . . .)

moved to Brasil.

lived in a hotel for 2 months.

learned the hard way that fogo is Portuguese for fire.

found a lovely place to call home for awhile.

started spelling Brasil without a "Z", just like they do in Brasil.

took our first crazy, unplanned road trip.

completed approximately 8.3 million pages of paperwork with pertinent information like my mother and father's complete names and their places of birth for visas, apartment contracts, buying a car, purchasing dishes, having blood drawn . . . I could go on forever here and I'm not even kidding about any of it.

attended our first soccer game.

explored lots of places in and around Belo Horizonte.

spent an unintentional weekend in Mexico.

struggled to learn the Portuguese language.

furnished our new home away from home.

found out we aren't so important, or at least so long as somebody else is there to play.

experienced our first Carnaval!

watched Eric get run over by a car.

spent lots of days hanging out by the pool at the clube.

downsized to adopt some Brasilian clothing choices.

spent a weekend in Ipanema.

decided it's better to just relax and accept the pace instead of having a heart attack over how long it takes to get any dadgum thing done around here.

figured out that once behind the wheel of a car, the normally patient-and-laid-back-(almost-to-a-fault)-Brasilians are in a huge hurry all of a sudden and it's best if you just stay out of their way.

learned a lot about Brasil's hotels, motels, and drive-ins.

watched the US dollar do really sad things against the Brasilian Real.

seen an old guy poo his pants.

made a few trips to Ouro Preto.

had a lovely afternoon at the police station.

noticed and appreciated a whole lot of differences in Brasil/Brasilians and the US/Americans.

gone to paradise (aka Ilha Grande) for a long weekend.

mourned the loss of Grandma Zieser.

made a weekend trip to a beautiful lake.

become an English teacher.

celebrated my resemblance to Gisele. (Still celebrating btw.)

bussed it on down to Praia Grande in the state of Sao Paulo.

bought our first brand new shiny (not used) car.

cooked. A lot.

written a really bad poem and embarrassed poor Hubby on his birthday.

figured out the public bus system.

seen quite a few of Brasil's beaches and loved them all.

travelled to tournaments to play on the BH Softball Team. (Even though no one here believes such a thing exists.)

spent some time as a volunteer at a local school.

suffered from hypothermia. (Well, maybe.)

visited Vila Velha and Vitoria more in depth for a long weekend.

flashed a group of old ladies. (I know, I make the family proud.)

tried unsuccessfully to convince Hubby Dearest that I can speak Spanish.

learned all about the Brasilian holidays and fun parties they throw.

received a sandwich as a gift for the first time ever.

taken a lovely vacay to Argentina and Chile.


We've been busy, I'll tell ya! This last year has been quite exciting and adventure-filled for these two gringos. Reviewing the past year, it occurs to me that we have been in 7 countries over the course of the last 12 months. We have seen large parts of 4 (5 for Eric) different states in Brasil. We have learned a new language. We have made the single most important decision and largest commitment of our lives this last year (getting married). And for goodness sakes, we are living in a foreign country!

Coming in to this whole thing (the moving to Brasil thing, that is), we both fully expected it would be really exciting and challenging all at the same time. Our expectations have certainly been met and maybe exceeded on both fronts. I won't put words in Eric's mouth and speak for him, but I can tell you that for me it has been all I expected and more. It has been just as adventurous as I thought it would be. Portuguese is just as challenging as I expected it to be for me to learn. Being without a real job (and my own income) took just as much getting used to as I assumed it would. And I haven't ever been bored, just like I knew I wouldn't be.

The thing I totally didn't expect was the loneliness I felt during the days for the first few months. When you are accustomed to interacting with other people all day everyday for, oh, 26 years or so of your life, being in a foreign place where you don't speak the language, aren't going to a class or office with other people around, and the only meaningful human interaction you have between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:30 pm is with your Portuguese tutor and store clerks is really quite hard. In fact, it was a whole lot harder than I ever imagined. No matter how busy my days, and they were/are plenty busy, I couldn't help but feel awfully lonely up until Eric got home each night. The thing that kept me sane through those first few months came from a highly unlikely source - this blog. What I started as a means of letting people know we were alive, well, and having fun, totally morphed into a human connection, of sorts. Being able to write out my stories and thoughts in a forum where people, many of whom I didn't even know, actually took the time to visit and read and even comment . . . well, in a strange way (that probably only makes sense if you've "been there and done that") it made me feel a lot more connected to not just family and friends, but to the entire human race (specifically the English speaking portion, since that is what I desperately needed in those early days.)

As I've gotten to know more people here, become more confident in my Portuguese, and basically just settled in, I don't need my blog like I once did. Now I just really want this little outlet. So for all of you who take the time to read through my rambling thoughts, view my so-not-professional-photos, and are even kind enough to share some love through the comments section, I raise my glass to you and to a Happy 1 Year Blogiversary to Eric and Emily's Adventures. Here's to many more adventures, plenty of blog-worthy stories, and, in the future, I promise to try to keep the nudity to a minimum. (Otherwise I risk, at the very least, losing my brothers as readers!)

11 comments:

Mamasphere said...

Happy Blogiversary!! I'm so glad you started your blog. It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know you through the blogosphere. Here's to another adventurous year!

Aline said...

Congratulations for your first year with the blog. I hope you keep for many many years. I really enjoy reading you adventures.
I have been reading you blog for the last four months and i look every day for new exciting stories.
Thanks for sharing your stories :)
Aline

Beth said...

Congrats! I enjoy your blog more than you know! So much fun and adventure! Take Care,
Beth

Ray Adkins said...

Emily,

I am a brand new fan of you and Eric, you guys are awesome, what a spirit of adventure...I did the opposite from you, we came from Brazil and are living in the US, we have fallen in love for your country...and I am addicted to your Blog...
Happy Blogiversario!
Keep up the great writing!


Take care

Ray Adkins
T

Justin said...

Hard to believe it's already been a year! I've enjoyed reading about your adventures while I haven't been quietly brooding with jealousy :)

7 countries! Let's see, U.S., Mexico, Brasil, Chile, Argentina...what are the other 2?

Emily said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words! It's been a fun year, and I love all my new bloggy friends! ;)

Ray, I wanted to officially welcome you and thank you for the comments you've been leaving on my older posts. I've been enjoying them. Glad you are having a good experience in the US!

Justin, quit brooding and come visit. See? Easy as that. And the other two countries? Jamaica and Uruguay. (The latter only because we flew through Montevideo on our way to and from Chile. I was at their airport for a few hours, so I'm totally counting it.)

Corinne said...

Emily,

Happy Blogiversary!! I really enjoy reading your blog and getting to know you because of it. Looking forward to another year!!

Tony said...

Emily,
We're glad you started your blog. It makes it easier knowing that you are ok and enjoying your time in Brasil. We enjoy reading your adventures and look forward to visiting in September. BTW, I'm doing much better now!

Love,
Dad

Rhonda said...

Emily, your blog is delightful and I greatly admire your adventuresome spirit! I live in middle Georgia and actually know your grandparents. I occasionally see them when I visit their church (or they visit mine). Happy travels and blogging.....

justin said...

Wire me money and I'll be there in no time ;) Otherwise, my visit must wait until next year.

By the way, am I the only one who is annoyed by the fact that my name is never capitalized on this website? I'm a proper noun, doggonit!

Anonymous said...

Emily,
Your Grandma and I check your blog almost every day to see whether you have a new post. We really enjoy keeping up with you and Eric. And, we are getting a good introduction to Brasil and it's culture. We are truly looking forward to our visit in just a few weeks.
Grandad