Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Having come to terms with my current situation, I am now preparing for my eventual departure.

Preparation #1- Download Skype. I have never used skype before. But it may just be the best thing EVER. Skype is a program that allows you to call others and if you have the necessary equipment, you are able to video chat as well. This will allow me to be able to talk to anyone in the states that also has skype for free! And for a fee (that is a lot less expensive than a regular call)I can call those that do not have skype as well! Yay!

Downside: My dinosaur computer neither has a mic nor a camera. So I can message all day long, and I can listen, but I can not talk back!

Preparation #2- Buy new computer with necessary equipment. Dell is having a president's day sale. And the newer model of my computer is about a 1/3 of the cost of when I originally bought it. So I am selling my laptop and another desktop that I have. Thankfully this will pay for almost the entire computer. It has more storage, more memory, a web cam, and I am sure a mic, but I should probably double check.

Downside: I would have to wait until March something or other to get it!

Preparation #3- In order to sell my desktop, I have to go to my storage facility and pull it out. So I went to storage. I thought while I was there, it would also be a good thing to go through Sidnei's clothes so that I can prepare a box to ship there. And find out if it is possible to get a bag together for him so that he can arrive in Brazil with something to wear.

Downside: There is a 5x10 full of our things. OUR things. The things that symbolize what it was supposed to be like. Presents that I couldn't bear to open by myself. Bedding purchased by my Mom that I was SO excited to use. Pictures that have never been hung. Furniture. Dishes. My wedding dress. His clothes still smelled like him. It was painful. I'm not ashamed to admit that when a box of clothes fell on me, I sat down on the floor and cried.

Upside: I stood back up, looked at these things, and said, Stephanie, these are just things. In the end, they don't matter. Am I still sad? Yes. I feel like we have lost a year of our lives. But I am grateful for what we have learned. It was quite the steep learning curve. I know, I know...I went all Hallmark special on you, but it really is what I thought.

Downside: After being in the storage center for two hours. Struggling to fit everything back in and lock it up. Figure out how to load everything in my amazingly small car, I have a sudden realization. I had found the monitor, the keyboard, and all the accessories to the computer. But not the actual tower. I wanted to seriously injure something.

Preparation #4- Language. I do not know Portuguese. I know southern. My relaxed words, slow drawl, and long I's, do not help pronunciation of Portuguese. In fact, I find that I quite often that in my head I say it correctly. What comes out of my mouth is an entirely different story. So in order to not look like a complete buffoon, I thought I would try to learn some of the basics. Thanks to a WONDERFUL sister, she ran into a friend who is learning French. She uses a site call Live Mocha which is similar Rosetta Stone online. It allows you to network with others that are using the same language, find native speakers that can review your work and assist you, and other things as well. And the best part is it is ALL FREE! I am going to take my first lesson tonight (if all goes as planned, since I have to go back to the storage center. ugh.) and I will let you know how I like it!

Downside: Thankfully, I can't find one for this!

Preparation #5- I need a bathing suit that fits me.

Downside: I have to try on bathing suits.

Preparation #6- Sidnei no longer has a wedding band and I would like to go and re-buy him the same one as he had BEFORE it sank to the bottom of the ocean.

Downside: I need his finger to size it. And the money to pay for it.

Preparation #7- I need to save money.

Downside: See 2, 5, and 6.

Preparation #8- I need to figure out the best way to obtain my visa without it taking too long. I would like to see my husband rather soon. I am thinking of going with a tourist visa first and working from there. I will email the consulate first though (since no one EVER answers the phone there) and see if they have suggestions.

Downside: Have you ever tried obtaining a visa? The whole process is really a pain.

Preparation #9- Find out information on shipping our things down to Brasil. Container? Or Boxes? I don't know. Must Research.

Downside: Either one of those will probably be expensive, please refer to number 7. And will more than likely take a long, long time.

Preparation #10- Get husband out of jail. (This should probably have been number 1, so...just so you know, these are not in number of priority.) I am SICK of waiting for this to happen. The waiting may very well kill me.

Downside: I may not get very much sleep or see the light of day for a while. Wait, is that a downside?

So as you can see, there is much to do. Even though I know nothing as of yet. But it is better it feels good to be working towards SOMETHING rather than just be limboing around saying maybe this and maybe that. I can actually make lists and focus. And if by some SLIM chance we stay here...well then we will be better organized, styling and technologically up to date.


April said...

OMG....I really don't know how you have lived through this! I wish we were neighbors so I could help you out at the storage building....I'm a great packer! After you get to Brazil, how long will it be before you can move back to the States? When will you be leaving? I will be praying for you guys to be reunited very soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh bathing suits.....yikes. :)

That had to of been so hard to search through storage and be reminded of things.

Michele said... do have the list of lists! When will you find out when you can go? And bathing suits??? yuck...never have liked those things very much!

Hugz girlfriend!


Betty said...

This is so good. You are doing the right thing girl! You are accepting the situation for what it is and not waiting for the impossible to happen. Doesn´t it feel much better to actually do something? You can do it! And learning the language is good too. That will help you immensely when or if you do move there.
So even if there are downsides to almost everything, that´s ok. Just get passed them!

angi_b72 said...

You can do it!! You are doing it for you and your it will come wasier than it may seem right now....when do you have to leave?

Anonymous said...

Wait up!! I think I missed something! Are you coming to Brazil? When? Is Sidnei here already?

Skype is great, but sometimes can be a pain in your a**! I've been using with Kyle since we started date 2 years ago! Most of the time it's great, sometimes I can't hear or understand him at all... and make both of us angry! :P

If you are going to Belo Horizonte, you don't really need need a bath suit! There are not beaches there! :P hehehe!! If you leave to buy one when you get here, you may not get confortable with the sizes... like.. brazilian bikinis are small..and by small, I mean, really small!

Don't worry about portuguese! You will see that once you are here you will start to catch up real fast! Before my first time traveling to learn english in another country I runned into a girl (a neozelander girl, I was goign to New Zealand!), and she was in Brazil for only 6 months, and her portuguese was close to perfect! :)

About a visa, I'm not sure... maybe you could use your argentinian herritage, because people from Argentina don't need a visa to come to Brazil, but in case you can't... when Kyle came visit me, he made an appointment in the closest Brazilian embassy and got all the documents they say you need to get the visa.. and plus you are married to a brazilian, you might want to look about spouses visas!
I don't know if will help, but here is this website:


Ballerina Girl said...

Hi Stephanie...ok:
Skype: you can purchase, for about $60 a year, a phone number with your local area code. That way the people that live in the US can call that local number. If they are in the same area then it is a free local call for them, if not it is only the cost of a long distnace call. The up side of this? You can call them from your computer and if you get off before 7 seconds it is free. So basically this is the phone call:
Hi me back! and hang up :)
Computer: buy a MAC if you can afford it. It is an amazing machine with a great camera and mike built in.
Shipment: definitely container. The ships are a little more secure and the stuff goes into boxes anyways...
Language: it takes time.
Help: me! I will be here waiting for you! We can chat all day once you get here...
Hope this helps!

Ballerina Girl said...

oh right...bathing suits...
no matter what your body a bikini..that way you will not look like you don't fit in. LITERALLY Stephanie, buy a smaller will feel much better if you are not the ONLY person on the beach in a one piece OR a tankini...they also count as a one piece here!

Lisa said...

You go girl!!!! You are planning and moving forward. Proud of you! Hang in there, ya'll will be together soon.

Lisa Q

Young Momma said...

I'm glad your finding a balance and planning. Planning always helps me. Maybe I'm a bit of a control freak... but whatever. I agree with BG about getting a Mac though. They're practically virus proof and have everything!! Price will be higher, but it's so worth it. I'm happy for you though, you'll figure it out.

Krystyn said...

Oh, Mrs. S. I'm so sorry all of this is on your brain. It's too much for one person to handle.

And, Skype works pretty well. And, I found a decent webcam by Logitech for like $60...when you have the money of course!

I'm praying for you guys.

Kelsey said...

You sound like you're pretty busy. When do you think you may go to Brazil for sure?

Yes, Skype is a wonderful thing. I bought my dad a webcam for Christmas so that we can chat when I go to college. My best friend and I use it right now, and she uses it to talk with her uncle in Russia.

Your language dilemma is somewhat funny (although I doubt you can find the humor in it yet). When I was learning to speak Spanish I had somewhat of the same problem...apparently Floridian's have accents too!

Hugs to you!

Kerri said...

Any day now on the jail thing! They can't keep you waiting this long. I can't believe he has been in jail this long and my nieces abuser only got 1 year of jail time with work release and on holidays he go to go home! Whatever. You deserved a good cry. You planned on getting married and coming home from your honeymoon together to start a new life and open you gosh dang presents! I'm really sorry.

Anonymous said...

Oh sweetie, sweetie, are so strong. The way you handle everything and even though you may lose it at times you always pick yourself up, dust yourself off, figure things out and make them happen.

Megan said...

Ok, I just read back to catch up with you. It's been longer than I thought since I last visited. Sorry about that!

My prayers are with you guys! I can't even imagine what it must be like to be in your shoes right now! You seem to be handling it all well, but I'm sure you're very anxious too. (((HUGE HUGS))) and lots of continued prayers!

kimber p said...

I wonder how many people would have given up after so many hurdles and obstacles? Your story makes me wipe tears away every time I come in and get your updates..I am SO rooting for you and your wonderful hubby...anything sought after with so much passion and positivity has to work out!!!

Vanessa Rogers said...

Wow you are really getting prepared for this venture! I hate packing, hate it more than life itself. I always make Kyle pack. I don't know what I would do in your situation, lay down and die (mostly just because of the packing by myself) I like living in foreign countries and I would love to visit Brazil!!
p.s. did you get my email?

Ashley said...

I no.. I hope you really don't have to move to Brazil. I think ya'll would be much better off here in the states. But you'll make it work no matter where you're at. I know first hand that immigration proceedings are tough but I can't believe they might ban him for 10 years. That seems a little extreme. He was here before you were married. And now you're married! Why can't he be here?!?!? It just makes me so upset... this is just so pointless. Anyway, Skype will be your friend! When Lucas visits Colombia without me we Skype and it is even better than talking on the phone and it's free!

AndreaLeigh said...

i really pray you don't have to move. I don't want to lose the friend i've never met! how selfish am I? I'm sorry.

lovelydharma said...

Hey Mrs. S!

Lots to do! Wow!

(sorry I've never commented before -- didn't intend to lurk.. honestly I'm just a lazy commentator....:(

But I can give you some advice if you like about the visa. You'll definitely want to get a tourist visa to get into the country. And then you'll need to right away start setting up the process so that you can get a residency card. Even if you don't stay here for long, it is really good to get residency because it just makes life easier and you can always come back to visit without needing to renew your visa. But don't set about trying to legalized your American marriage in Brazil. It's a black hole of problems and will take forever. Better to just do what we did and get married again, right away at the cartorio (justice of the peace type thing). (Lol... soemday I'll have to tell you about our very funny second Brazilian wedding at the cartorio).
The Federal Police who take care foreigner's visas were very helpful and very respectful. I was never asked for a bribe or made to feel unwelcome or like a criminal (totally different than the INS!). They even remembered my dog's name front he time they visited our house just to make sure we were really a couple. I think that Minas is less corrupt (it's all relative states of corruption) than Rio or SP.
Anyway, if you've got questions about the process, feel free to ask!

It's going to be okay. It's a big scary move,yes, but it's also a big wonderful adventure! What a story you'll have to tell your kinds.

p.S. I agree with Bia, find your swimsuit in the States! I also stocked up on American underwear. I thought I was pretty comfortable with my body in a bathing suit until I tried on Brazilian bikinis! I've bought a couple since, but only in an extra extra large and they are still non-existent! Brazilian bras on the other hand are wonderful. The designers must have special degrees in engineering!

Also see if you can find Pimsleur CD's at your library and copy them. They are great for learning while you are driving around.
(hope the car is better.)
Take care!

Laural Out Loud said...

Writing things down in a list always makes me feel better, like it all CAN be done.

You've gotten some great advice in the comments. I agree with everything. Containers are best, get here on a tourist visa first then get married again, etc.

They do have running bikinis here that are a little larger in the buttox area, lol. You might want to check those out, if you don't get one in the States.

Bon sorte!

Elaine A. said...

You're such a trooper. Yes, there is a lot to do but you will get through it all.

You're not going to start writing in Porturguese, are you? ; ) I tease....

AkuTyger said...

Ah, now seeing this post I understand why you found my blog. I'd like to ditto what lovelydharma said about the visa process - come on a tourist visa, it's much much easier. I don't know much about the legalization process of an American marriage though, as I got married once I was here. And in order to do that I had to have documentation stating I was NOT married in the States, which in your case not sure what to do. We can cross that hurtle when we come to it I suppose, it is all up to the cartorio.

When you apply for your tourist visa, do not tell them you intend to stay indefinitely and legalize yourself. I distinctly remember breathing a sign of relief when I realized that I did NOT have to reapply for a visa when I returned to be with my then fiance because I was driving to and from Chicago to legalize documents that seemed quite obviously the ones I intended to use to get married here. At least one woman there figured that out and after asking me several questions, she said "No, never mind, it's better you don't tell me."

On the whole, I find dealing with consular people much better in person. They are much more courteous with a smile and good attitude if you show the same and can be very helpful. After all, they probably have to deal with people's bad attitudes all day and are non-wanton to help anyone passing on negativity. Please let me know if there is any advice you need or just to talk. You can email my gmail.

AkuTyger said...

I just read through this again, and I would recommend Confianca for shipping individual boxes, not a container. I have heard bad things about shipping containers, missing, mildew, broken items, etc, but I have had individual boxes arrive as "unaccompanied" luggage without too much trouble for several years. Whenever I make a trip back to the USA, I pack one of these babies up and my dad takes care of the shipping cost (usually about $250). You may have to drive and drop off your box somewhere else in the state, but it's worth it because there is no weight restriction.