Friday, January 21, 2011

Brazil land of beauty! Land of Twins :)

Embarking on the warm fuzzy feelings of our celebration of 14 years of love as a couple we would like to share with you the most beautiful pictures of Brazil I personally ever found anywhere anytime, Gil actually found it and emailed me the link.
You will be able to find the link below, it's from "Skyscraper City":

HERE

Some of these pictures made me teary eyed...Brazil is awesome.
Now, back in the US, we love it , we really, really do, the United States is part of every fiber in my being, it has been since I was 17 years old and lived in Oklahoma as an Exchange student and played American Football, broke a few bones doing it, learned how to drive a tractor and plow the land for wheat and peanuts, the same peanuts for the peanut butter that you find so expensive in Brazil and when I went to School in Berkeley, California and felt in love with this country and that beautiful place all over again, during 9/11 when we had to evacuate Boston downtown and feared for our lives, cried for days watching the news in disbelief and still cry quietly inside when I remember ... up to this day have a lump on my throat every time I drive into New York city and feel disoriented because I can't find the Twin Towers that used to be my reference while driving around Manhattan and living in a quiet, quaint, coastal New England town and walking Okie, our adopted dog from Oklahoma on the beach on a cool crispy morning with Gil. A couple of funerals, weddings, births, trips, happy and sad moments.
I love the US more than I can express in words...and if I had my family here we would never leave.
But today we got some news that drastically changed our perception of the world as we know it...
My sister Daniela is P R E G N A N T!!!! With TWINS! That is even more cool because she is a TWIN herself, Deborah, her twin, has been featured in a blog post from our summer trip to Oklahoma and back to New England, you can read that post:

HERE

This is dramatic for us because all 4 of us have been trying to have babies. Daniela lost a baby last year early into her pregnancy. Leandro and his wife have been trying to have a baby for the past 5 years with no success. Gil and I have gone thru 2 surrogates with no success yet. Deborah is getting married at the end of this year but my mother wants her to have the baby NOW! Why wait until you get married, that is nonsense, says my UBBER Conservative Catholic mother, she says there is no such thing as traditional weddings anymore. She thinks it would be cool if my sister Deborah had her baby at her weeding party, funny, times have changed so much, to think that 13 years ago I fled the country for peace of mind because my mother kept driving me nuts about coming out of the closet.
So, You see how this is HUGE news for our family.
Baby's are priority for my mother for more reasons than I could explain to you, maybe someday I can share more on that.
Back to my sisters Deborah and Daniela, who are twins and both are Dentists, how cool is that! They are the best Dentists in the world by the way. I am not saying that just because they are my sisters, but because they always give me as many doses of anesthesia as I want and I never feel any pain what-so-ever. I always say they have fairy hands for those instruments and they really do.
I love my sisters and my brother very much. I miss my family very too much to be this far from them and now that we found out Daniela is pregnant, there is a sense of urgency to get back home to Sao Paulo and be close to family.
Below is a picture of my sister Daniela ( who is pregnant with TWINS now) this was on her weeding a couple of years ago, my Brother Leandro, my sister Debora and me, the bold chubby one on the right...



My sister Daniela, my brother Leandro, my sister Debora and I at Daniela's weeding

You will probably notice, if you have been following our blog that this is the first picture of me on the entire blog so far.
I had some work related reasons to want to keep my identity discreet up to this point and these reasons no longer exist, so from now on I will feel free to post pictures of me without any concerns for my privacy, it is a relief, I will tell you. 
Gil has also been talking about wanting to be closer to his family as well...he has a nephew that is growing fast and we are missing out...
So, my dear blog friends, our time in beautiful New England is coming to a close, Rhode Island to be more specific.
We will always be connected to this region because of the life lasting friendships that we have formed here.
I will be actively looking for jobs in Sao Paulo and will be moving back home as soon as we find it, Gil works from home so no stress on the job front for him.
There really isn't any more reasons for us to be here. If you followed our blog from the beginning, you will know why we came here and if you haven't read that post yet, HERE is the link and it will help you understand why we are here and why it doesn't make any more sense to be away from family.
We don't have a set date yet, Gil is in a complete state of panic, he wants to go back as much as I do but there is a fear of the unknown in the air now, we have been away for too long.
Believe it or not, 13 and a half years away from Brazil, I do feel like a foreigner when I am in Sao Paulo and when we fly back to the US I always feel like I am coming "home" not the house home, but home as in the place where we feel we belong after any trip abroad.
We will probably feel like most of you folks when you arrived in Brazil.
Besides the fact that we speak the language fluently.
I don't have much daily life experience in Brazil anymore. Sometimes I read something some of you post and I have to call my family to help me remember how is this or that...etc...
I have never rented a place in Brazil, never bought insurance, never bought a car or hired a maid or faxineira...that would be really weird for me to have a stranger in our house, cleaning, cooking, whatever...
In the US, I have bought about 10 different cars, used and new, purchased two homes and sold one, know everything about car and house insurance. I have hired contractors, have had appliances repaired and replaced and renovated an entire home. I have no experience with real state in Brazil, scary...to say the least...
It is difficult to explain, even considering that we feel more like Americans than Brazilians, family is still in Sao Paulo and even with all the friends we have here, we still feel alone at times...and would love to have family near us, I have to say the Hospital incidents were also a wake up call and brought up the fears of being alone.
So, Sao Paulo my dear homeland, here we come, we will be foreigners in our own hometown!!!
We hope we can make it back before the TWINS are here :)
Happy times my dear blog readers, happy times!!!



Ray

15 comments:

Jana @ Paper plains said...

WOW! How exciting!! Wohoo! What a momentous occasion... Its always amazing to me how close knit families are here as I am so used to all my friends leaving for all over the country at 18 and usually never going back permanently again. I was at my first Brazilian birthday party the other night and LOVED it, family from all over came for the evening but 99% of them lived in a radius of 40 miles. It was incredible. Most of the children had done the 1 year in the US deal in HS to learn english so I learned all about how that works... well I digress.. Congrats to your sister and to you guys embarking on a new frontier!

Jim said...

Wow - that's great news (the twins and your move)!

Luiz lived in the US for 23 years before returning. Talk about re-entry culture shock. Sometimes he makes things out to be worse than they are. He will think as if Brazil has not moved forward while he was away. His friends have to tell him sto snap out of it.

Did you hear that just recently in Brazil the rules have been changed to allow in vitro fertilization for gay couples as well?
http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2011/01/06/brazil_oks_in_vitro_fertilization_for_gay_couples/

Good luck with the move. We had a great experience with a moving/shipping company if you need a referral (and if they service your area).

Gil and Ray said...

Dear Jana,

Thanks, we are so crazy happy it's not even funny...
You are correct, all my High School friends moved ALL OVER the US and probably will never go back.
Brazil has a completely different dinamic, because of many reasons, including Geography and they way opportunities are distributed around the country.
For the longest time people never moved anywhere. You either were in Sao Paulo or Rio and you could find jobs there period.
However during the 80's, Belo Horizonte started atracting some people as their Industry started to grow, their economy started to diversify and offer opportunities...
In the 90's we watched as Curitiba started to develop and built many car companies, one of my best friends left GM in Sao Paulo to work for an Audi Factory in Curitiba.
After that, Salvador is now atracting people too, they desperately needed young engineers and other professionals for their companies. I watched two friends leave to Salvador, one to work at that gigantic Ford plant and the other to work at an Appliance maker.
So, as Brazil develops it's economy and offers opportunities in other areas, people will probably start to move like folks do in the US, I think...it is probably an unavoidable trend...
Yes, but you are correct, we are still very close around family, people pretty much go to school somewhere near Sao Paulo and find jobs right there.
We hope WE can find something in Brazil and make our move sooner rather than later...

Ray

Gil and Ray said...

Jim,

Thanks again and I wish I needed that referral right now, but it will be a process...we need to find a job there first.
You know the real state market is really bad in the US right now, so selling our house will be out of the question for now.
We finally sold our Florida home after 18 months in the market and we lost a ton of money on that one...it was a disaster financially speaking and I know we are not alone, that state has 22% of the homes EMPTY, no people living in them...and 6% foreclosure rate, which is high.
We will probably have to find a job in Sao Paulo and then rent this house out for a few years until the market picks up again...
I feel bad when I am in Brazil because I complain too much and sometimes I know my family and friends get irritated with my complaining...
I usually get REALLY irritated of how slow cashiers at the grocery store can be or when they ask me for my Brazilian CPF when I am buying a pair or socks and underwear...I get all defensive, like, what the hell do you mean you need my (Social Security Number) to complete my underwear purchase...I am paying cash...!!!!
I forget that in Brazil they can't do anything with your CPF number but report to the government that you are paying state taxes on that product... :)
I seriously need to take a chill pill when I get down to Brazil, I have gotten somewhat uptight living in the US all this years...Paulistas are uptight to begin with, so I just went downhill from there... :)
I need to learn to breath in and count to 10...


Ray

Jana @ Paper plains said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danielle said...

yaaayyy!! Twins!! Congrats to Daniela!!

Those pictures that you put up of Brazil were fantastic.

Sounds like the new year is starting out well!

Leo said...

Best of luck Ray in returning to the motherland!!! Parabens for the new additions in the family.

Gil and Ray said...

Danielle,

Thank you! You can imagine how happy my mother is with the news...Daniela is compensating for all of us... ;)
You bet, the new year is starting off to a great start!

Ray

Gil and Ray said...

Leo,

Thanks buddy!
Yes, a much needed return to the mother land.
We will have to rely on the Brazil crash course experience from all of you brave souls who have taken the plunge before us.
It's good to see you here.


Ray

SN said...

Congrats to your sister and for the decision to move home to be closer to them! Good luck finding a job, place to live, and preparing for the move. Keep us all informed with your progress. I would love to hear how re-patriatism goes because I nervous about that one day! I am just so happy for you both.

Sara

Gil and Ray said...

Dear Sara,

Thank you for your kind words.
Yes, we are super excited to be reunited with family but terrified with the unknown.
We will definitely post step by step and share our experiences with you guys.


Ray

Fiona said...

Woweee! Congratulations to you for such life changes! I knew there was something different going on when I saw that you had posted a pic of you and your family on your blog--YES, I happened to notice that you hadn't done it yet.
Congrats on your 14 years as well! How sweet!
I know you love the USA but maybe once you're back in Brazil for a while those feelings will fade a bit and if not, you can always visit!!!

Gil and Ray said...

Thanks Fiona,

It will be a huge challenge to go back and adapt to Brazil, besides being fluent with the language, we will have to learn a lot of stuff...
We will always be back to the US often, we have great friends and even relatives living here.
Hope you get back to Brazil soon :)


Ray

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