Tammer has been talking about getting Stavros a red Fender guitar since before Stavros was born! Tammer’s plan: Stavros gets a red Fender for his third birthday. While we were shopping over the weekend, we saw a toy guitar that strongly resembles exactly what Tammer has in mind for Stav’s next birthday! We picked the guitar up off the shelf and Stavros instantly gravitated toward it. Stavros hasn’t touched another toy since receiving his new guitar! The box didn’t make it out of the store, just the guitar. Stavros had to wear his guitar strap and play his guitar even while sitting in his stroller at the mall (too cute). While Tammer was playing guitar, Stavros took Tammer’s guitar pick away so Stavros could use the pick himself. We think Stavros loves it so much because it looks more like one of his daddy’s guitars than a toy. His reaction to this makes us even more excited for him to get a real guitar in October!
Yesterday we got a nice surprise in the mail… A package filled with gifts for all three of us! Thank you McCready Family for always keeping us in mind, even when we’re so far away! Stavros was absolutely ecstatic about his John Deere tractor and trailer (that’s his favorite gift in the box). He said, ”Wooowwww!!!!”, when he saw it! He’s been playing with it ever since! We are so lucky to have so many wonderful, thoughtful people in our lives! Thank you again! We really appreciate everything!
We went to Armazém for the second week in a row. We had a great night out with friends and the word is definitely getting out about the new and improved bar! Armazém has only been re-opened for one week and the crowd was pretty crazy! Something we find boggling about going out in Brazil, is that it’s typical to be charged an entry fee of around $25 USD per person and a mandatory parking fee of around $8 USD– this is crazy, but one must admit, it’s smart on their part! Keep in mind, the entry fee is simply for entering a regular bar (not a club), nothing special or extraordinary. The parking fee is not for valet parking, it’s for mediocre parking at best–usually involving a small trek down the street, to the building!
This is a perfect example of things being expensive in Brazil! We try to explain this to others, but we think it’s impossible to really grasp unless you live here. It is also an example of how impossible it must be for the poor to even imagine a night out… The average maid earns about $450 USD or even less for the entire month–certainly, a night out at Armazém is not on her short-list of things to do. For us, between the cost of a nice dinner, drinks, and a sitter for Stavros, we easily spend in one evening what others may work an entire month for here in Brazil. We’re extremely grateful and although it’s easy to disregard others, it is important to us that we always keep things in perspective. It’s important that we all know how fortunate we are and how unfortunate others around us might be.
Most parents worry about their toddlers terrorizing the house!… Not us! One thing Stavros loves to do is clean! He is a very tidy boy! He enjoys walking around the house with baby wipes: cleaning windows, walls, tables, floors… everything in sight! Some days, he has so much fun cleaning that it seems cleaning is all he wants to do! Another funny “tidy” trait is that he is typically only interested in his playroom if all of his things are perfectly in place (Wow, we have no idea where he learned that!)! We wanted to share this video of Stavros cleaning the windows! All of his chatter during the video makes it that much more adorable! We are sure many of you need your “Stavros Fix”… So here it is!
You have to check out this add for CCAA. CCAA are the English/Spanish/French schools throughout Brazil. They are schools used by the expats and Brazilians who want their children to have access to languages other than Portuguese. The expats in our area send their children to the local CCAA school. When you watch this video, keep in mind that “chute” (like in the word Parachute), means “kick” in Portuguese.
Sometimes this is how we feel living here. We think we know what people mean when they speak, but what we understand is FAR FROM WHAT THEY ACTUALLY MEAN . To make this video even more fun to watch, just think of Bren and I not understanding what is being said to us while you watch this video
It just dawned on us that it is pretty crazy to be running our sprinkler system seven days a week… In January!!! If we didn’t run the sprinklers, our grass would be fried in a week! Anyway, Stavros is very happy about this because he LOVES water! It is really cute how excited he gets anytime water is involved: in a cup, the pool, the ocean, the rain, etc.! Today, Stavros decided it would be really fun to play in the sprinklers! It was definitely a moment we will always remember! Our son is seriously adorable!!!
So, we had a small refrigerator at our house, it was about half the size of a standard fridge in the US. I don’t mean half the size of a side-by-side; I mean half the size of a standard, old-fashioned, freezer on the top, fridge on the bottom… that we grew up with. It wasn’t even that cold, it was… lets say… cool (but not Fonzie cool), like 50 degrees cool. You know, the kind of cool that turns lettuce into lettuce soup in about 2 days…
Anyway, we bought a new refrigerator from “Ricardo Electro” (Salvador’s closest thing to Best Buy). It was quite an adventure negotiating for a fridge with a salesperson who spoke only Portuguese, and a sales manager who kept on saying “We deliver it my house, we deliver it my house.”… We basically had to rely on the 100 (or so) Portuguese words that we know. We eventually got the job done and actually negotiated the price down by R$700, or about 30% off the asking price!… Not bad for a couple of “gringos”… Brazilians love “gringos” because they think gringos are rich and do not like the negotiating game…
We bought the refrigerator, it’s a GE (good old American, not South American quality… although I’m pretty sure this one was actually built in South America, just like the Fords that I am working on down here. Good American brand, barely built in America anymore… but anyway, it’s a GE and I still felt good about that)… I paid the salesperson, he told me again that he is going to have it delivered to “My house” and we thought it might actually show up at our house, but then again it’s Brazil and it just might show up at his house… ya just never know down here. By the way, this was Saturday evening, and they tell me over and over again that the fridge is going to show up “amanha”, 8:30am “amanha”… We’re like, who the heck delivers a fridge at 8:30 on a Sunday morning!?! But, once again, it is Brazil… OK, whatever… Amanha it is!
Sunday morning 8:30: no fridge, but this is Bahia, Brazil (everything is no less than 30 minutes late, ever)! People from other parts of Brazil complain about this area because no one ever is on time and it is perfectly acceptable), 9:30 no fridge… 10:30 no fridge… 11:30… we are about to leave the house and go to the store to see what happened, or possibly to the managers house to see if it showed up at “my house”… then low and behold… a rusty pick-up truck with a pathetic unfolded card board box “protecting” a beautiful new fridge. It was such a classic moment, we made sure to capture this one on film…
Well, I thought this was a good name for the post because it is catchy and might get your attention!… Actually, the link (at the end of this paragraph) has very little to do with my particular job (actually, nothing at all!). However, The Detroit News, my hometown, covered a story on the Ford campus I currently work at in Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil… Pretty cool! I do not work directly for Ford, nor do I wear the uniform or eat at the cafeteria! I like this video because I walk through this plant everyday on my way to office where I work, and I drive by some of the same scenes that are shown in the beginning of the video (I see the banana stand EVERYDAY). Click this link to see the video: Camaçari Ford Manufacturing