Weekend at Pirenópolis, Goiás

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A couple weeks ago, I decided it was finally time to venture slightly outside of Brasilia. I've been desperate for a family vacation and was feeling a little down we haven't had the chance to actually take one (as a family) since I became pregnant. And so, I assume to prevent the wrath of a hormonal woman, my husband happily agreed to take us all to Pirenopolis. Pirenopolis is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Brasilia. We left Brasilia during rush hour on a Friday (3pm) and hit a good amount of traffic on our way to the highway; so the drive probably took us almost three hours … [Read more...]

Hiking to Cachoeira Tororó… with Two Kids in Tow

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A couple weeks after recovering from all the traveling - I went on travel then husband went on travel for work - we finally found enough energy to do something a little more adventurous than laying on the hammock. So, on the 4th of July, we decided on a whim to go for a short hike to see one of the nearby waterfalls. There are a number of waterfalls surrounding Brasilia, most within a 2-hour drive, which typically makes for an easy day trip. But between work and kids and getting pregnant, we haven't exactly explored places around Brasilia within driving distance. Unless you count Rio, … [Read more...]

Is It Adrenaline or Is It Brasilia?

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I don't always know how to slow down, even when I need to. I go by certain schools of thought that go something like the following: (1) time is a commodity, and (2) carpe diem. In many cases, they have served me well - academically, professionally, and even personally. But do I get carried away sometimes? In cases which sometimes come at the expense of my mental and physical well-being, that would be a resounding YES. Exhibit A. The morning after my sister's graduation party (held the day after the graduation), we flew out of SFO back to Brasilia. My sister, probably hung over from the … [Read more...]

Coming Up for Air…

San Francisco State University Commencement 2015

While we celebrated Independence Day here in Brazil, my baby sister in California turned 23.  A friend here recently shared some wise words with me: sometimes we all get so caught up with trying to find our bearings in our new environment overseas that we forget friends and family back home are getting older too. They get older, hit milestones, and create new experiences without us. I think I've always known this. Or almost always, which is why I try, though not always successfully, to go back for birthdays, holidays, and special occasions in the last 10 years I've lived away from … [Read more...]

Independence, Freedom, and Feeling at Home

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This past weekend, I kept trying to think of traditional Independence Day activities that we could and should do, but then I realized, the only tradition we've had so far, at least for as long as my second child's been alive, is to celebrate the 4th of July in a different city. Of the last five Independence Day holidays, we've been away from home four times. In 2011, we were in Rodanthe, NC - the Outer Banks, in 2012, at home. In 2013, we were in San Francisco; in 2014, in Chicago. And this year, we are in Brasilia. So, this year, being not only in a different city, but a whole different … [Read more...]