Updated: Feb 7, 2020
Four weeks is a short time. But, a lot of things can happen in just a few weeks. When we landed in Sao Paulo, we did not know much about what to expect, but we knew we had a lot of practical stuff to arrange. We had nowhere to live (and no real knowledge about how to find a house in this country), we had no car (and no knowledge about how to buy a car either). But we were surrounded by people ready and willing to help us out with most everything that we had to face. To come to a new country is like being thrown up in the air, being tossed around for a while and then land on your belly, dizzy and somewhat confused.
” Where am I? Who am I? Who am I in this new country, in this new culture? What do I want?”. A lot of time now in the beginning is not just spent arranging all the practical stuff needed, but also just about finding yourself in a new culture. It is quite bewildering and not always easy, but also exciting and a lot of fun.
During our first weeks here we have been arranging a lot of stuff, such as our personal tax numbers, (needed to be able to shop, get a Brazilian cell phone number, look for and rent a house and eventually also buy a car). We have been to about 10 different house viewings and have after quite a battle and some interesting encounters with people found a house about 15 minutes’ drive from our work and the school. The house is in a gated community and feels very safe and nice. We are trying to find a car but have not been able to find one yet. Cars are expensive and finding a suitable family car has so far not been that easy. Last week the kids started school, which took a lot of energy and time for not just them, but also us as parents. Starting school in a new language you neither speak nor understand is quite a challenge and demands a lot of strength. I (Anna), cannot join in the classrooms, but we are fortunate and blessed to have Alzira (a missionary friend and colleague from Sweden), in the school and classrooms as a translator now in the beginning. That provides added security for the kids. I (Anna), am sitting in the reception of the school during the days (working), in case any of the kids needs support, comfort or so. Then they can come to me. The kids are tremendously well received at the school, some of their classmates have written small letters to them in Swedish (using google translate). They want to be friends with Adam, Eliah and Kajsa. The teachers are very helpful, loving and patient. The other night Adam said that if he only knew the language school would be great, since they have so fun lectures. Many of his teachers explain to him in English our use google translate directly in their phone. We have also found a Portuguese teacher that can give the kids extra classes. She also works at the school as a teacher, so the kids have already met her which is nice.
During these first weeks we have also had a chance to celebrate Eliahs 10th birthday! We celebrated with Lego, a visit to the pool and a trip to the local Zoo here in Campinas. In the midst of all the fixing and changes we are facing life goes on, just in a bit different way. Four weeks is not a lot of time but can change life into something very different compared to what you had before. We have just been thrown up in the air, we have landed and we step by step adjust to this new life. And, we are grateful!