We're approaching the nine month mark on our five year journey in Brazil and I'm feeling... humble. In the States, my husband and I worked a million hours a week and were constantly dealing with the stress of two kids, a mortgage, living hours away from family, and everything else that comes with life. It was easy to get caught up in the stress and most of the time I felt like I was treading water with my head barely above it. No matter how hard we worked or how hard we tried to stay on the good side of karma, it often felt like we weren't making any forward progress. We were house poor, our kids were a handful (albeit the main source of our joy), and every step forward was met by two steps backwards. It was easy to feel like we were in it alone.
It's not like living in Brazil has been a breeze. We're sick all the damn time, there was a drought that led to the city cutting off water to our neighborhood for three days more than once, then a major disaster that poisoned our water supply all together, our house flooded, I've been unable to find work, and there's the ever-present cancer battle that my mother-in-law is fighting.
But despite that, our family and friends have shown time and again how much they support us. We've received care packages - beauty supplies from my mom, peanut butter and an Amazon Firestick from my coworkers. My uncle and aunt took care of our mail and property until it was sold. They've mailed some items down to us that I realized we needed (I'm not going to go into the accompanying tax note, oiiiiiiii). My brothers have accepted some Amazon packages and forwarded them down to us. My best friend has been a rock, reminding me that I'm a good mom and that the difficult times don't last forever. And on the day that I'm writing this, a bunch of people from Facebook did me the huge favor of clicking on some blog ads to help me earn a tiny income. It's not lost on me that all of this takes time, energy, and money.
I care a lot about others and I try to show it. I know in the past five years I haven't been there as much as I should have been for my friends and family. It was nearly impossible for us to take the little expat anywhere for the first few years of his life. I've missed weddings, graduations, barbecues, invitations to hang out. Still, our friends and family are there for us. I feel so incredibly humbled and moved that people care about us enough to make our life here just that much easier/more comfortable/peanut butter infused. So here's a huge thank you, thank you, thank you!