a few minutes from my new house.
a few minutes from my new house.

One day until I board a plane and leave for Brazil! oh. em. goodness. Absolutely all my prayers were focused on being able to pick up the visa today (Friday). Because my flight is on Sunday. There was no room for error. To get said visa, I have had to spend about five hundred dollars, find and legalize and notarize every document that ever had my name printed on in, perfume them with the tears of a gypsy, fed ex them to Brasil and pray they get there.

I have ticket, I have visa…then there is the packing. What do I need versus what do I want? I found a fascinating website that will provide cost-analysis on almost anything pertaining to the price of life in major cities, and discovered that the most expensive things in Rio are clothes and property. My rent will be deducted automatically from my paycheck, which is cool, but I’ve been pretty liberal with my Target-focused retail therapy to make sure I have enough dresses to cover me for an entire year.

this is so important.
this is so important.

Food-wise, I’m chubby, but I promise I’m not high maintenance. However, I have to admit, the thought of going 7-12 months without brownies nearly caused a conniption in Safeway. So I bought some “just add water” packets. I’ve also splurged on iced coffee packs, spaghetti sauce spices, hot sauce, cookie butter, instant mashed potatoes.

Then the classroom supplies! After some philosophical conversations with myself about how many dry erase markers would be school suppliestoo many, I simply bought a lot. My former school didn’t allow cool colors for decorating. And like, if I were a color, I’d be freaking neon glitter or something. So to be able to have free reign over how to decorate my small room is like Disneyland. And I got highlighters! Markers! Postit notes! Incentive stickers! I was PUMPED, man. I made sounds so high-pitched there were probably garage doors opening nearby.

But the moments of excitement are paced by the goodbyes I’m forced to make. To people, to my car, to my guitar. Saying goodbye to my “waxologist” who has been with me through turbulent times and stubborn hair removal for the last four years was somehow more emotional than some of my best friends. Probably because I know I will never see her again. And it doesn’t help that I’m ovulating like a synchronized sorority house and have enough emotions to fuel a Nicholas Sparks novel. There is so much to do that my natural response is to cry, laugh, and then nap, hoping things somehow just take care of themselves. I want to sarcastically thank God for always delivering my monthly when I think can least handle it, as if to say “no, really, Rachel, you’re tough. Chin up, buttercup.”

from my first year as Miss Weight!
from my first year as Miss Weight!

There are a thousand things to worry about, but I’m not worried about leaving. I’m more than ready to leave, emotional goodbye with my dog aside. I’m worried about how exactly my somewhat undefined job will work out, but I’m not at all worried about being able to connect with kids. I have vague concerns about safety in Brazil, about my finances, about falling in love with a Brazilian boo and having to break my promise to my mother to not have international grandchildren. I’ve been told that Brazilian men are affectionate and appreciative in general, but can put you on a pedestal when they find out you’re American. And I’m not above saying I think I could be very comfortable upon a pedestal.

One of my roommates has already arrived at our apartment, and sent me some pics. There is a hammock on a porch and the moment I saw it, I could picture myself napping there, reading a favorite book over and over, watching thunderstorms, swatting as mozzies, catching a sunrise, lazy chats with Leana over caipirinhas. And so, confidence restored, we move back to the Tetris game of packing.

me desejem sorte! orem por mi!  (wish me luck and pray for me!)

beijos,

Raquel

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