We made it to Brasilia! The flight experience was really interesting. I almost felt like an anthropologist, studying the behavior of American children as sleep deprivation hits. The kids were so good all day, and all of a sudden they just started being naughty—not listening, climbing on things, whining, hitting each other, etc. It was amazing to see how obviously being tired affects how well children can behave. They really were good though, and the naughtiness was at a minimum. No screaming! Thank goodness.
At home, our children go to bed around 7:00 or 7:30. So last Friday was a very late day for them. Our flight to Brasilia left Atlanta a little after 9:00 pm. Dinner was served around 10:30. We were seated in the second to last row. (Actually, all of the children on the plane were seated in the back with us, with the exception of one baby. That had to have been done intentionally.) Since we were in the back, we were very close to the service area for the flight attendants, so even though the cabin lights were dimmed, there was still a bright light shining on us. Finally around 11:30, Jeff asked the attendants to close the curtains. Then we finally had semi-darkness.
Danny fell asleep pretty quickly, while still sitting up, before dinner was served. Jill stayed awake for several hours, playing games and watching movies. Finally she fell asleep. Alice fell asleep some time in between Jill and Daniel. Unfortunately, Daniel woke up after only a few hours of sleep. Alice woke up off and on throughout the night and had to be bounced back to sleep. Daniel played games all through the night.
Finally with only about two hours left on the flight, all three of the children were asleep. Basically Jeff and I didn't get to sleep at all, because there was always a kid awake. It took us a few days to stop being tired.
But even though it was exhausting, I am really grateful that there was not much crying and no screaming.
It is surreal being in Brazil again. I almost feel like I am going to wake up and discover that it was all a dream. The weather has been amazing. So warm but not super hot. Sometimes Jill talks about how we traveled to summer, like we're on vacation in a season instead of a different country. :) The bedrooms have air conditioning, but the rest of the house stays comfortable with the doors and windows open with fans on. It's amazing and part of what makes it seem dreamlike since I was surrounded by snow just a few days ago.
We are in a big, beautiful house in Lago Sul, with a view of Lake Paranoa from our back patio. There is a park in our neighborhood with public access to the lake. There are also embassies in our neighborhood: Ireland, Mozambique, and others that I can't remember right now.
It has been really fun to hear Portuguese again. I am trying to speak it. I have had successful conversations, but Spanish keeps slipping in, and my conjugation is bad, but I hope I'll get better. It is so hard to have Spanish and Portuguese battling in my brain. Will every new foreign language be like this? Or is it just because they are so similar, and I'm not strong enough in either? I worry that my brain might only have room for "English and Other," and I won't be able to learn new languages and keep old ones.
People have been really nice about everything. Brazilians are so friendly, and the other embassy workers are very welcoming. It would have been really fun to be here for longer. It is too bad that it didn't work out to come in October like the original plan.
I hope you are doing well! We are enjoying our adventure. :)
The top of one of the trees in our backyard.
Huge palm trees in our backyard.
Children throwing rocks in Lake Paranoa.
Another shot of our backyard. You can see the lake on the right.