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At home now

USA | Tuesday, 23 March 2010 | Views [385]

So I wrote the previous entry when I first arrived and have held off from posting it (so mom didn't worry and think I didn't live in a nice place).  I knew it was a shock that would pass quickly as I got settled in here in Vicosa.  I do think it is important for you all back home to know that I do miss it there, although I love it here too, and I think it comes through pretty clear in my "homesick" post that I realize how great East TN is and I am excited to share that with East MG.

I am settled in now.  I did about 2 weeks of shopping and got everything necessary to live in my apartment, "although I (still) haven't figured out which ones sell what I need"...  I am so glad that Professor Baeta encouraged me to take this open room in this "republica" (a shared apartment in which each room is rented out by either the landlord or a "Donna da Casa" - Head lady of the house); thank you.  It would have been so hard to fill an apartment with all the things I would have needed (Fridge, Bed, Desk, Chairs, Pots and Pans, etc.) as I had a hard enough time shopping for everything I needed for just one room!  I bought a desk, bed, and an armoire; then mattress, clothes hangers, pillow cases, comfortor (as it does get a bit chilly here at night), sheets, fan, lamp, chair, rug, curtains (as you will see I only had aluminum foil for a while), extension cord...  There is a lot that goes into starting a new home for yourself that I didn't really think about.  I tried to be thrifty (see curtains : ) and for the big things my roommate came along so I wouldn't get ripped off (although it is still up in the air on whether the mattress was a rip-off), and all in all I was able to stick to my budget and still create a comfortable area to call home for the year. 

In the persuit of the essentials; a cultural difference popped up that I would like to share.  Aparently it is not common for people to grow herbs and other edible plants on their veranda...  I was wondering why people were giving me such strange looks when I asked at the store (and when I was out on the balcony sampling my basil... : )  My veranda-mate thought that was hilarious (and shared the story with her friends, I think).  I think I won her over with my homemade spaghetti sauce with rosemary and basil from the veranda, though.

Rotary of Vicosa has welcomed me well too.  I was invited to attend a meeting just this past Tuesday and met so many nice Rotarians (I'm not surprised ; ).  They asked me to sit at the head table, as a honored guest, and allowed me a few moments to talk about myself and express my gratitude (and the gratidude of my sponsor club) for hosting me, as well as exchange the Oak Ridge Rotary flag I brought.  Unfortunately, there are not any photos; but one of the Rotarians will run a story in their newsletter so if I can get a copy I will post that.

I have had to travel a bit as well; spending a weekend at the farm where I will conduct my research and a weekend in Rio (after a visit with the Federal Police to register, which went well, in Juiz de Fora) to attend a climbing club meeting and get the rest of my research gear that I had to leave behind with Brian (thanks again, Brian!).  It was nice to come home to the apartment after these trips and feel "at home" in my new room/veranda.   

See photos here - A beautiful University and bedroom to call home, lots of bugs on the farm, and many great new friends - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=375602&id=586190520&l=bab93f4926

Tags: home

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