Feliz Natal

With six days to Christmas, Rio is ramping up, however it’s not nearly as frenzied here as it is back home. The streets remain unadorned, although the shops have had their Christmas displays up for a few weeks and the buses all have their electronic destination advisors set to Feliz Natal. It won’t stop them from running you down, but still, it’s a nice thought.

The school has been busy with end of semester concerts and various celebrations. Even though it’s technically halfway through the school year, with a six week break, it feels somehow more significant. We were treated to a music concert recently, although Charlotte wasn’t well, so after all the preparation, she had to sit in the audience and watch with me. The concert was very multi-national – a reflection of the demographic of the pupil population and it was nice to hear some different carols and songs from around the world. Mitchell stepped up and learnt how to play the recorder inside a week. (Our poor neighbours!) All so he could play four songs with the rest of the lower school, which he did brilliantly and with great solemnity.

I must say, whilst one recorder has the capacity to snap nerves and unravel the fabric of civilisation in minutes, a group of them actually sounds quite lovely. The kids enjoyed the experience so much, that we are now treated to regular ‘concerts’ back here in the apartment.

Look for the hand.

Look for the hand.

EARJ Concert

Another event at the school was the Enrichment Fair. This was ostensibly a celebration of the work each class has chosen to undertake which is outside of the usual curriculum and is designed to ‘enrich’ their learning in some way. Mitchell’s class did origami and drawing, whilst Charlotte’s looked at food, and the part it plays in culture, from around the world. (Basically, they got to eat their way through this class each week.) The Fair itself showed the work of all classes in the Lower School in an interactive format and it was a busy afternoon when all the families were invited along to share.

Mitchell being enriched at the make your own toy display.

Mitchell being enriched at the make your own toy display.

A chocolate chip cookie is enriching in anyone's culture!

A chocolate chip cookie is enriching in anyone’s culture!

Other than the kids and school, life has been busy with Gav going offshore for a week, to visit the platform that he is doing work for. It seemed to go well, with the exception that he returned back home with a slight sway as he took a day or so to adjust to the fact that the floor wasn’t moving. Apparently, whilst the platform is embedded in the sea floor, it still manages to sway with the rhythm of the waves. Hmmm.

I have finished an online course I was doing from Oz and have finally commenced Portuguese classes. These are an hour a day and are great but confronting at the same time. Whatever part of my brain that is responsible for language, (temporal lobe?), has shrivelled to the size of a sultana and it’s proving hard work to plump it back up. Regrettably, I can see myself doing language classed every day for the whole two years. Hopefully not.

Before I sign off, I thought I’d include one more photo, which I managed to take this morning. I have seen this before, but was unfortunately not quick enough with the camera. It is of one of our neighbouring buildings and shows a man ten floors up cleaning the windows. Alas, OH&S isn’t quite the same in Rio.

Can you see him?

Can you see him?

There are some brave souls over here.

Happy Christmas everyone!!

1 thought on “Feliz Natal

  1. Gregory Saunders

    Dear Bronwyn and Gavin, Charlotte and Mitchell

    Thanks for the posts! I have enjoyed following them. Funny also since you have relocated to Brazil there have been at least 3different shows on SBS and ABC on brazil and travels in that area

    I am on leave from today, it has been crazy busy with work the past 3months but we had a great breakup drinks for my project at Eureka tower level 89. Quality and very Esso location

    I will use the window cleaner photo next year in a HSE moment and share with the team

    Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2013
    With love

    Helen and Greg


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