We have been in language class for 2 1/2 weeks now and we know a lot more than when we arrived–and still have plenty to learn! Praise God, we have some wonderful teachers. We are in class every afternoon for 2 1/2 hours & then study on our own outside of class. The kids went with us for the first two weeks (almost 3 miles round trip) and did schoolwork in an extra classroom that was empty. This past Wednesday the younger 3 started school here–Jaelah and Luke are at the same school and Sierra is at a preschool/daycare that is associated with their school. It is close–only 2-3 blocks from our apartment so they are happy not to have to walk so much every day!
Thought we’d share with you a few of the things that are a little different about our life here…..
Picture below: my clothesline–note the cords to the right going from the ceiling to just below the window–there are rings at the bottom of each of the 5 cords that can be anchored to the plastic bar under said window. When I want to lower these bars from up near the ceiling, I have a long pole with a hook on it that I hook onto the ring and slowly (depending on how rushed I am) lower the bar down and put on/check for dryness/take off clothes. The first week we were here it was pretty cool and rainy so we had a fan perched on the washing machine to blow some air on the wet clothes in hopes of drying them faster (i.e. in less than 24 hours). It is summertime here–we are on the opposite side of the equator from the U.S.)–so has warmed up and dried off since that first week (though it still rains most days), making for a much sweatier walk to school, but much better clothes drying weather 😉 And Matt keeps telling me I’m getting better exercise if I’m sweating. I can’t figure out how all the Brazilians can wear pants/jeans and many have long sleeves on–but I suppose they’re not hoofing it a mile and a half to wherever they’re going 🙂
Below: Our counter space…there is also a little space on either side of the kitchen sink.
Below: Hanging clothes on the extra clothesline Matt strung up in our bedroom. We found the line for sale by the meter at a street market/fair.I’m loving it–I have some in two other rooms as well–makes drying the lightweight stuff so much quicker!
Below: The temperature control for the shower. There are 4 settings: no heat, a little, more, and a lot. The “no heat” is a little too cold, although in Santarem (our final destination right on the equator) we almost never use any heat. We have left it on the little heat, but it has been acting up. The first week we were here, we had to pretty much hold Sierra down under the water because it was too hot and she hated it. We would alternate between heat and no heat to try to get a mix. Since then it has been working fairly well and Sierra asks almost everyday if she can take a shower! This is nothing less than a miracle if you would have seen her when we first arrived. (We had only a shower for the 3 months prior to moving here and she didn’t like it much then either.) It is amazing how God cares about the tiniest details in our lives.
Below: This is a shot looking into the shower at the shower head. They use electricity to heat up the water right before it hits you. Sounds safe? Right above your head when you are soaking wet is electricity coming out of the wall. Matt has told me at least a dozen times, “At least we’ll never run out of hot water now!” it has happened to him more than once since he’s been living with 4 females 😉
Below: Here is a shot of the toilet. Pretty much the same except the water tanks are often in the wall. You can see at the top of the picture a silver circle, this is a push button that flushes the toilet. Still not used to putting the toilet paper in the wastebasket. Still grosses me out, but I know that the US is quite privileged in that most countries you have to put the paper in the waste basket– if they even have TP!