Monday, May 31, 2010

All Settled In

Well, I have been here in SP for about a week now, and I am feeling all settled in. Everyone here has done plenty to make me feel very welcome and at home!

I am currently living quite some way from the CDI office here and am without transportation. Sao Paulo is huge and not the easiest to get around in without a car. So I am doing my work from home, currently, and I really don't mind that at all. Alejandro did suggest that it wouldn't be too expensive to get to some places by taxi, though, so I might try that. After all, if I go see a movie in Portuguese it counts as studying, right?

I did actually see a movie this weekend - Javier, Monique, and I saw Sex and the City 2. It was in English with Portuguese subtitles, so I tried to follow along with the subtitles as often as I could; it was pretty funny. Some of the things just don't quite translate so well - things that are really funny in English fall a little flat in Portuguese, I think, because of the way it is translated or written. But my grasp of the language is not perfect, so I could be wrong!

On Saturday night, I went to dinner with Javier and his friend Luis Carlos. We had really good pizza and even better conversation. It is nice that as my Portuguese comes along I can more meaningfully participate in conversations, even if I am not understanding 100% of everything that is said. It really helps that everyone here is so patient with my language skills!

On Sunday I got to spend some time with my friend Mariana, which was fantastic! We haven't seen each other in over 3 years (since Christmas during my 1L year). Let me back up for those who don't know. When I was a senior at U of I, Mariana was an exchange student in high school and stayed with Todd and Gail (my Aunt and Uncle). Mariana is the daughter of Gail's Brazilian sister Flavia. It really is one huge Brazilian-American family we have here! Since I lived so close I was able to get to know Mariana and she has since been like a sister to me. When we visited Brazil 3.5 years ago, we stayed with Mariana's family. She came and picked me up and we had a really nice time at her house talking, catching up, and then eating lunch with Flavia. It is so nice to know that I have a a good friend so close by to hang out with while I am here!

Mari loves having her picture taken :)

Seriously happy that I get to spend time with this woman!

When I talked to my mom on Sunday night, I realized that it was the first time in almost a week that I had spoken an entire English sentence out loud. Weird! One great thing about all of this Portuguese is that I am completely exhausted by holding conversations and I sleep like a rock!

The only downside to São Paulo appears to be my allergies. In Rio they pretty much disappeared, save one or two random occasions. Here, though, they seem to be in full force. It is likely because there is a lot more pollution here or at home than there is in Rio?

So I am planning this week to try to find some ways to get out a little more and see some things both by myself and with the help of friends. I am also planning a little trip to see my friend who is living in Buenos Aires, so I am really looking forward to that.

I hope everyone is having a good Memorial Day - I will admit, I am a bit jealous of the boating/cookouting/general summer holiday fun everyone is likely having today :)


  1. We missed you at our cookout today, but we did talk about you! And I can vouch for your statement that Mari REALLY does like having her picture taken!! Thanks for the update!

  2. Olá Sandy,estou feliz em tê-la em nosso país e poder mostrar-lhe um pouco de nossa cultura,nôs vemos na quinta 3/6/2010,para um tour em nossa capital afim de que você possa conhecer um pouco da nossa história.

  3. Mariana looks great! Weird that you referred to her as a woman! I'm with your mom on her loving to have her picture taken! Give her a big hug from me. Hug yourself too!