“so you’re telling me this is not just a doorstop?”

Last week was my birthday, so I am older and wiser and can dispense much wisdom. Here’s a tip: get in shape when you’re young, kids. It’s so much harder when you’re older. I’m trying to do this workout/eat-right plan and I can go about 12 hours 3 hours before I see something that looks yummy and I’m like “just one….one package of that.” I’m also much less motivated. When I was young it was more like “get in shape and look hot to get a man” (which was my great-grandma’s advice, who also told me to stop being picky and settle down). But now I’m like “Rachel, if you get thin then you have to stay thin, and that sounds like more work, and you’re kind of in an adorable plump stage of life, and you don’t want to lose that ‘chubby sarcastic sidekick’ angle you’ve worked so well for so long, so…ALL THE CHOCOLATE.” Anyway, if you ever want to encourage me about that, just text me at any time “don’t eat that!” because odds are, day or night, I am contemplating eating something I don’t need to be eating. Or be like my friends who text things like “Target now has grilled cheese-flavored chips. Come home soon.”

also i almost accidentally gargled a capful of my special fragrance-free detergent instead of mouthwash because i was washing unmentionables in my bathroom sink. so. old.
also i almost accidentally gargled a capful of my special fragrance-free detergent instead of mouthwash because i was washing unmentionables in my bathroom sink. so. old.

I do say old lady things like “your face will get stuck that way” and “do I have to put on a bra? yes? can’t go then” and there’s a pretty consistent stream of “that’s too loud.” But I am also the person that is dressing like a banana to run a 5k this weekend here in Rio. So. You know. Balance.

My kids continue to be really funny. Learning parts of the body and they think eyelashes should be called “bangs of the eyes” and dimples are “smile holes.” Also a watch should be a “hand clock.” I was explaining a knife and a fork to one of them, drawing on the board, and another came in and said “Miss (pointing to the fork) why are you drawing what the demons use?”

me in a bag.
me in a bag.

I had my fourth graders sample the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos one of my bests imported from the US for my birthday. Brazilian food is not spicy, so this was really weird for them. Their reactions ranged from spitting them out immediately to “my mouth is dying!” to challenging each other who could eat the most before having to drink water to “you make me cry, Miss!”. Tomorrow I’m making them try rooster sauce. I will film. Become Youtube famous. Get invited on the Ellen show. I got it allllll worked out.

ello, chap! the loo! the tube! the lift!
ello, chap! the loo! the tube! the lift!

My other new life goal is to place tiny top hats on capybaras and talk to them in British accents. For some reason I always picture them conversing about the Thames and tea with the Queen. I also imagine they wear monocles. This has inspired some late-night capybara hunting, which has so far been unsuccessful. My friends humor me. Mostly.

My actual birthday day was epic. First of all – got plenty of texty and facebook love, but none of the students really knew and no one sang “happy birthday,” which was good, because what are you even supposed to do during that song? Also, I would have cried. Then after school, we had Portuguese class and then this couple drove a bunch of us to a Christian concert featuring Jesus Culture, which is my fav band from Redding, California, of all places, playing a concert on my birthday night here in Rio.

GAAHHHHH ALL THE FEELS
GAAHHHHH ALL THE FEELS

We raced there and a mom of our students who happens to be like the Amy Grant of Brazil got us hooked up to enter early. We had awesome seats, heard sound check, my favorite songs were sung, I got tingly weepy happy about life. It was all completely free. We “fasted” (never got to eat dinner) and I think that’s the first birthday in 12 years where I didn’t have a cake or a drink or unwrap anything, but it was better than most. The last song at the concert (which 2,000 people had to stand outside and listen to bc they couldn’t get in) was “Your Love Never Fails,” which anyone who has done a mission trip with me in the last 8 years or so knows is my life jam. It was awesome.

oddly inspiring. definitely creepy.
oddly inspiring. definitely creepy.

Anyway, a mosquito just bit me and then I killed it and smeared my own blood on myself. This world is creepy sometimes. I think it’s time to call it a night.

Thanks to everyone who ever reads this. It really means a lot.

My word for you this week is this:

soft and lovely

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