Happy Valentine's Day a day late. Brazil doesn't have a Valentine's Day. :( My kids go to a semi-American school, it's really like 90% Brazilian, but the classes are all taught in English and it follows an American curriculum. They try to celebrate the "big" American holidays, but they are never quite the same.
Living overseas the schools our kids have gone to have never celebrated: Columbus Day, President's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or Memorial Day. When we started out I had big dreams of helping my kids appreciate their "Americaness" through meaningful educational discussions and coloring sheets of the first presidents and Martin Luther King, but alas, in actuality the days just kind of pass me by.
Thanksgiving's only slightly better. In Venezuela the kids had had Thanksgiving day off, and Guapo would take the afternoon off work and would celebrate with other Americans. Not so in Mexico City where they attended a British School, or in Small Town, Mexico where we had no American friends. And here in Brazil where they already have 3 of their own national holidays in November. Sorry Thanksgiving-there's no room for you here! To appease the few Americans at the school, they held a big turkey lunch for the kids and their families (of course they still had rice and beans, but it was a nice gesture anyway).
To celebrate Valentine's Day, the younger kids received a note that they needed to bring in a valentine card for each child in their class. Since the general population doesn't celebrate the day, there were no pre-made, pre-packaged Valentines which is, of course, the route I would have taken. I went to a paper store and spent close to $40.00 (sorry Guapo), buying paper, glitter, glue, etc. to make our own Valentines at home. Margarita (9 yrs) spent a lot of time working on hers and they turned out very nice. Julio (7 yrs old) didn't want to make any so I didn't force the issue, and Juan Carlos's looked like a 4 year old made them-very cute. All of the hearts had happy faces and arms and legs which made me smile.
That should have been good enough, but then I decided to be an over-achiever and make sugar cookies for all of their classes (I couldn't very well have Julio, one of only three Americans in his class showing up empty handed, and if I was going to make them for Julio I may as well make them for Margarita and Juan Carlos also).
Why do I do this to myself? Sugar cookies should only be made for Christmas-they are too much work if I do them by myself and too much of a mess if I let the troops help me. Oh well. Long boring story short-somehow, despite the very curvy drive to school, the slippery plates, the quickly melting frosting, the fighting and some tears, the majority of the 60 cookies made it to school. Phew!
I cracked up when Julio and Juan Carlos came home with a bunch of cards that looked like this one:
Yep. Full on cheesy greeting cards. They probably cost $5.00 each. The parents that gave those must have been appalled by Juan Carlos's personified hearts!
Gaupo got me these beautiful orchids. I hope I can manage to keep them alive for a while.
Juan Carlos asked me today if Grandma Sue (Guapo's mom) celebrates Christmas. I told him she did and he told me he's "pretty sure she does Hanukah"
A couple of days ago he told Guapo he's "a little bit American even though I've never lived there, and mostly Venezuelan." (Juan Carlos was born in Caracas)
Finally, I have a picture of me at the carnaval parade. No thanks to the people we were with that only got pics of Guapo-geesh like he's the boss or something. Luckily a friend of mine, whom I didn't even know was going to be there saw me and took this picture. You can't see the entire costume (like the knee-high orange boots), but you can get a better idea.
I kind-of look like an elf, don't you think?
And lastly-here's another shot of Kitty mocking me with her comfort:
Did you know in Spanish (at least in Mexico and Venezuela) you say "Happy Weekend" instead of "have a nice weekend"? Well, now you do. Portugues is closer to English: " a good weekend for you".
Happy weekend to you!