Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Month

January 18th was the one month mark since I landed in sunny Brazil. I thought I better give you all an update on what's been going on since I last posted! (Sorry it's been so long-- the internet was down for awhile.)

As you all know, Tiago and I have been on what seems like a never ending journey to get him a visa to be able to come to the US. We tried the K1 Fiance visa which would allow him to enter the US and we'd then have to get married within 90 days. Visas are extremely hard to get and we were ultimately denied after spending lots of time, money, and Tiago's long trip to Rio de Janeiro for his interview. Without a visa, Tiago is unable to enter the US, even for a short visit.  After graduating from Winona State University in December, I decided to go to Brazil so Tiago and I could get married and try for the K3 Marriage visa. From the research we have done, it seems like it might be easier to obtain a visa once you are married, but there are no guarantees.

It is much easier for me to legally become a citizen in Brazil than it is for Tiago to try to do the same in the US, let alone step foot on US soil. However, there is still a lot of paperwork to do and all sorts of hoops to jump through. Since I arrived, we have been calling, emailing, and researching exactly what we need to do before we are allowed to marry. We are making some progress on the paperwork, but it pretty complicated and time consuming, not to mention expensive! Hopefully we can get it all sorted out soon. All this government paperwork is pretty stressful!

Anyways, there have been a lot of fun and exciting things I have been able to share with Tiago's family since my arrival.

February 7th was Tiago's 26th birthday! Half of one of my suitcases was filled with new clothes I had eagerly been waiting to give to him since I got to Brazil on January 17th, but I made him wait until his birthday to see them. He was delighted to have new clothes all the way from America! He brought a big mirror in to the living room and tried them all on. Perfect fit (Thanks Mom!)

Strolling along the bay- Tiago sporting one of his new birthday shirts!

The day before his birthday, we went to their beach house to have a huge home cooked lunch made by his grandma. There were so many dishes and I'm never quite sure what anything is, but is was all REALLY good. I've never been big on fish, but the fish we had was excellent. After lunch we headed to the beach:

Ceres and I giving the birthday boy a kiss at the beach!

Duda thoroughly enjoying a fudgsicle at the beach house.
The day of Tiago's birthday he had a bunch of friends over to celebrate. Here's a picture of him blowing out the candles:

 Blowing out the candles with family and friends

The next big event I must tell you about is.... Duda's first day of school!!! Yes, she is only 2 years old but she looks SO cute in her school uniform. Gabi (Tiago's sister/Duda's mom) was so excited to be sending Duda to such a wonderful private school and had tons of fun picking out all her school supplies, especially her pink "Monica" backpack. Tiago, Gabi, Ceres and I all were there to send her off on her first day of school. We thought she might be a little nervous/scared once we left but the second she step foot on the playground, she forgot about us and was having a blast with all the other little tykes. I even got to meet her English teacher! I informed the teacher that she's got a head start on animals and colors ;).

Duda looking cute in her "Anchieta" school uniform and new high-tops.

Her pink "Monica" backpack.

Walking into the school on Duda's first day!
Duda and her cousin on the playground!

More to come soon!

Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bridal Rosary

In addition to meeting Tiago while I was studying abroad in Spain, I met some wonderful friends! Fabio is one of Tiago's closest friends and has become a really good friend of mine as well. Tiago, Fabio and I have some really fun memories both in Spain and Brazil! Shortly after arriving in Brazil, Fabio's mother gave me a beautiful crystal rosary. She handcrafts all sorts of rosaries and necklaces with saint pendants. This particular rosary is worn during the wedding ceremony. It is typical for Brazilian brides to carry a rosary down the aisle in addition to flowers.

The rosary given to me by Marcia (Fabio's mom).

Rosaries can be wrapped around the boquet...

Or draped around the wrist/hand something like this.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Duda Learning English!

                       Duda singing along to "Old McDonald" or "EE I EE I OOOO" as she calls it!

So far since I've been here, she has learned animals (cow, pig, chicken, duck, sheep, horse, dog, cat, bat, lion, butterfly, rhino, bird, bear, frog, fish), colors (red, blue, purple, green, black, pink, brown), and a few other random words (please, yes, no, ready?, jump, I love you).

She's one smart 2 year old!