It's interesting how time changes things. (Or how things change over time?) In any case, life truly is feeling more like life. I work too much, I have a set of friends I really adore. I don't think there's anything that I can't/won't do. I can say pretty much anything I want to say. That does NOT mean I am fluent. Far, far from it. But I communicate well. Things would vastly improve if I took a Portuguese class. (Speaking of, can anyone recommend a good book for Portuguese classes...anyone use one they liked?)
To make a long post long, I am proud of myself. I have accomplished a lot. I have learned a lot. About this country, about the culture, and of course, most importantly, about me. I feel like I have discovered more about me in the past 3 years than I knew my whole life. And all at the same time, some days I feel like I have changed so much, I barely recognize myself. I'm good with that, I'm good with me. I like where I am. That is to say, personally. I could use a little work in the geographical department. (I kid, I kid...sort of)
As far as "home" is concerned...when I say home, it means two things and changes only in context. Home is here, in Brazil. And it will be for the next few years. I can't say for sure how long. In all honesty, I still hope for sooner rather than later. I have grown to love Brazil, but "home" always beckons to me. For now, we are here. And we are living life as if we will always be here. But we both hope to come "home" one day.
3 years. (That should have an echo) It feels so LONG and so short all in one space. After all I've said, I have to say this: It has been hard. It has been wonderful. I am grateful for every adventure, even the wrong turns. Our journey is still in the beginning. There are some good things in work for the future. I hope I can share it with you soon (one of the reasons I have been crazy busy and absent). For now, thanks for the 3 years of sharing with me. Thanks for all the guidance, advice, and love shown. Seriously, I would have never made it the first couple of years without you. (I really tell people that all the time. Expats get it, Brazilians kind of don't. You know, since you all are imaginary people in my computer)
(Thanks for putting up with all my parenthesis...I was feeling the love today)
* I say passa branco...but maybe it's passa branca? I said I could use the expression, I didn't say I used it right. Masculine and feminine stuff is hard, okay?
Also: A picture for you. Sidnei and I took pictures for our anniversary. I feel I should include it, since I would not be here were it not for us.
I am totally having this made into a "banner" (as they say here) for our house.