I've been reflecting on thing I wish I had done differently during our time in Brazil. The consulates have finally reopened, so it looks like this might be our last year here. Nothing is written in stone, but we're preparing ourselves. One of my biggest regrets was treating our time here as temporary. When we first moved here, we had no idea how long we'd be here, but we figured eventually (at least when the kids were a little older due to the better quality of schools) we'd move back to the States. With that mindset, there were a lot of things that I didn't buy because I didn't think it was worth it.
One of the things I wish I had bought (and I will buy when we're in the States) is a pressure washer! It is extremely dusty where we live (think Texas climate). After 5 1/2 years of lugging around buckets of water to wash the walkway and the patio and the garage - not even considering the third floor terrace that is the entire length and width of our building - I've learned my lesson. I could have saved a lot of time and effort by using a pressure washer to clean instead. And they're not expensive. You can buy a decent one for about R$400. (If you're not convinced, just go down a rabbit hole with these satisfying videos.)
I also wish we had purchased a dish washer. They were not common when we first moved here, but recently they've become much more affordable. I feel like I spend half my day washing dishes. I'm sure it uses more electricity and water than hand washing, but between plates, cups, utensils, pots, pans, and Tupperware, I'm over it. I cook almost every single meal we eat, so there's a lot to wash. I probably don't have the room for one in my tiny kitchen, but I'd make it work.
A clothes dryer seemed like an unnecessary purchase since everyone hang dries their clothes here, but it's another chore I'm over. The weather this past year has been strange - I guess I shouldn't complain because I hate the heat - but it's been insanely rainy. Although our clothes line is covered, clothes just don't fully dry when it's rainy. So instead of my clothes drying within a day, it can take 3-4 days for the clothes to dry. That's if I don't give up and bring them inside to hang on doors and chairs. Clothes dryers have also become much cheaper recently. Not having to put the clothes on and off a line and wait for them to dry would be one less chore and one less pain in my ass. Besides, who doesn't love fluffy, warm socks straight out of the dryer?
Finally, I wish we had installed solar panels. That's another item that's only recently become affordable, but in a place that experiences intense sun year round, it's a no-brainer. Although our city uses hydro-electric power, electricity is still very expensive. Since we still own this building, maybe we'll get solar panels eventually anyway. Who knows? Aka: the theme for the past year.