We would be happy to hear from you. Our emails are dai [at] brendai dot com and brenda [at] brendai dot com .
You can also contact us by clicking on the pictures at the bottom of our home page.


Links
www.araraslodge.com.br
www.ariautowers.com
www.angra-dos-reis.com

April 27, 2011

Well after promising to post more frequently, we had a couple of  incidents that which made it difficult. First Brenda got bitten on the finger by a pit viper, a jararca, about 2 weeks before Christmas and spent 5 days in the hospital. Her arm was swollen to about twice it's normal size, but she recovered in time to enjoy the festivities with our friends in Campo Grande, Rio.
On the way to the hospital with the now mostly dead snake which one of our neighbors,a doctor, had put in a jar, Brenda insisted on stopping to help a young guy who had come off his bike, or been pushed off by a car, and smashed into a wall  with his head. We lent his friend a cell phone to call an ambulance, while Brenda tried to get the guy to stay still. A van from the preifetura arrived and Dai showed them the snake and they said they'd take over so we continued to the hospital. Found out later the kid died.
We went to the emergency room and they gave Brenda anti venom and a drip with something to keep the swelling down, and then stuck her in the hall. After quite a while they asked if we had private insurance and when we replied in the affirmative and they moved her to a private room next door to the public hospital.
Then on New Year's day after a day on the water for the annual boat parade with our seven house guests Dai fell down the stairs and broke his right collar bone. Back to the hospital emergency room where just as they were about to treat him they wheeled him back into the corridor and pushed another patient in, dead on arrival. We've got to stay out of there.
Any way they finally got round to him, wrapped him in this weird x-shaped bandaging which Brenda said would do no good , and sent him home with some pain killers. The next day he went to an orthopedist got some x-rays (radiographias, pronounced hadgiographias) and the doctor promptly cut off all the bandages and told him to wear a sling with elbow support. After a month he went back to the doctor who said the bones would not consolidate and he should go for physiotherapy. So he went 3 days a week until last week and goes back to the doctor on May 3.
One day Dai went to the bank because some money had not shown up from the USA and they said they needed me to sign some paper to release the funds. They then said why didn't we transfer our account to Angra, and Dai said we'd love to, what do we need. they gave him a list and he got all the documents . Meanwhile the money still  hadn't arrived, so we returned to the bank and spent about half an hour while they finally traced it. when we complained about it taking so long our attendant said "we could always go to another bank"  In any wester bank she would be fired on the spot if we told the manager, but they are state employees, this is the Bank of Brazil.
Next day Dai returned again with all the documents, after entering all the data, the attendant said she would just have to get the manager's ok. After about 5 minutes she came back and said the bank needed more paper, you wonder why she didn't talk to the manager first. so now we're waiting for an official translation from Rio, because there are none in Angra.
Brenda has joined the facebook crowd so is not really interested in the blog, when Dai get a break from running into town and waiting half the day for service then he can post more.



Brenda and Dai at the New Year boat procession


Dai about a week after the accident



November 1, 2010

It is the second anniversary of our moving to Brazil.  Sometimes I feel like we have progressed a lot and other times it seems we are standing still. We really are enjoying the house and loacale. You'll find us on the deck most evenings enjoying the sunset and boat parade.  We still have some problems with the house and still need more furniture but nothing too big and it will all come.
We took some pictures of the house and posted them on Facebook, they can be seen at the following link
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=9388&id=100001651144230&l=2c32c5d60b  

Ester and Zer's daughter Roberta got married and we had a grand time.  When we arrived at the reception all women were given flip flops so the could get comfortable.  Mid way through a samba band arrived.  Hats masks and boas were passed around and the dancing stepped up a notch.  Too bad all  Ester and  Sers children are married now.


Sandals


That's the groom on the right, his brother is dancing with the bride

Friends of theirs from England came for the wedding and the week after E and Z brouoght them here.  We went to Paraty for a day then on to Trindade for the night.  We were again really impressed by the place with the beautiful beaches but the weather was not too nice so we came home the next day.I know we will be going back there again.
Edson was home for the weekend and  he got the paperwork done we needed from him so we should be ready to go back to Rio to get the boat done.  Spring is here and it is warming up.  The water is still a bit cool but getting better each time I go in. Hopefully next blog the boat will be in the water.
Our portugese is definitely improving.  Dai seems to do much better on the grammar  and I seem to  have a bit better vocabulary.  We seem to be able to make ourselves understood.


September 29, 2010

We have been having a problem with skype using our limited bandwidth, 3 GB per month, which caused a 60% increase in our monthly cost in only 14 days. We emailed them yesterday and they replied it was the fault of my ISP, totally false. We have stopped them from using my bandwidth when not using Skype but now we need to find a way to limit  it when we are making a call. We were using 2 MB per minute on our last call against a 0.5 MB that we should be using.
Brenda's birthday was on the 4th and we had a party. We told them we would start at 6:00 PM hoping to have people arrive at 7, the first guests arrived at 7:30, the last at 10:00. We didn't break up until 2:30 AM but we all enjoyed it.
Two of the guests were Oswaldo and Anna, who had taken us out on their boat last month, and they brought us a video of the trip. We were going to try to insert it here, but havn't a clue how to do it and it's 250 megabytes.

More on the saga of the boat. We visited the captain of the port in Angra and he said he thought they could do the transfer here. He gave us a list of things we needed and off we went to get them. Among the things we had to do was to pay two taxes of R$30,00 for transfer of property and to change the name. We went back to the captain of the port and they sent us to a lady who does all the paper work. First she said the papers have to be filed in Rio, then she gave us a different list of things we needed and then showed us how to get a guia from the internet which we the took to a terminal at the bank and paid. So we were going to Campo Grande, Rio, for a party and decided to stay an extra day and take the train to Rio downtown. The good news was that it was free because we are old, the bad news was that it was packed and Dai had to stand the whole one hour trip while suffering from a severe attack of gout.
We took a taxi to a special cartorio, and guess what, we got a different list of things we had to do. So we spent another night with our friends and drove back to Angra.
When we  go back we will have to go to the cartorio and then to the captain of the port in Rio. We're not sure if we can do it in one day because the captain of the port may not be open all day for attending the public. We'll check on the internet.
We've both had a touch of the gripe (flu) and Dai had what may have been diverticulitis so he took antibiotics for a week, and then he got a really agonising attack of gout in his left big toe.



August 1, 2010

Still winter down here, 77ºF with low humidity and no clouds this morning, sunset on the deck is better with some clouds but you can't have everything. We've been eating a lot of Eike Batista's bananas lately from the land next to our house, don't think he'll miss them. Eike, as we like to call him has two boats here at the moment, a Pershing 115, and a 60 foot "dingy" as Brenda likes to call it. the Pershing is the number one tourist attraction in Angra right now, boats come by daily to gawk, we of course can gawk from our deck. The Pershing can travel at 50 knots. He also has an offshore racing boat at a local marina, it can travel at  120 MPH, he holds the record for the fastest time from Santos to Rio, just over 3 hours.
Here's a picture of his big boat taken from a friend's boat with our condominium behind, our house is on the lower left corner of the condo across from the gatehouse.

SPIRIT OF BRAZIL VIII

We still have problems with the house, it seems that our friend Edson was right, our original contractor is a thief, he finally showed up one day with a large piece of glass for our skylight, overcharged us , and left saying he'd be back the next day to finish the job. He didn't show up of course and we had to hire some other guys to complete the installation.
We have some papers for the sale of our boat which we never bothered with when we bought it, now we have to visit the Captain of the Port in Angra to see if we can do the legal transfer here in Angra or if we have to do it in Rio. We also need to find out what papers we need and if they have to be notorized, it looks like we may need up to 13 documents, so we don't want to go to Rio and find out we need something else like we did with our drivers licenses.
I see from our blog history, we update rather infrequently,maybe we should just have a small entry every week.

We didn't take many photos at the wedding but I just came across one of three good looking gals so i just put it here.


June 15, 2010
Went to our first Brazilian wedding on May 29th where Zé and Ester's son Fabio was married to his fiance Andréia. The wedding ceremony was scheduled to start at 8:00 PM (note the wedding invitation says 7:30PM because Brazilians are always late) but didn't start until close to 9:00 because the preceding wedding had mass and ran over the allotted time. The ceremony was not too dissimilar to an American or English one  although the music was provided  by a trumpeter, a violinist, and a vocalist. The processional was the usual Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin by Wagner, but the recessional was not A Trumpet Voluntary by Purcell (there is some dispute about this)  although they had a trumpeter, however it is usually played on the organ. Anyway a very nice ceremony.
Afterwards we got a ride to the reception which seemed to take forever but it was worth the ride, the restaurant was specifically built for the purpose, we had a really great time and didn't get back to our hotel until about 3:00 AM.


The house still needs some finishing work but our contractor said he had to go to Rio for six days and we haven't seen him for five weeks, he had some security bars made which we haven't paid him for so we guess he'll be back. He called one of our neighbors and spoke to our maid to say he'll be back soon. There are a lot of things that need finishing, the Brazilians never seem to get around to totally finishing one job before starting another. Dai replaced two showers and called an electrician to change the shower circuit breakers from 25 amps to 50 amps, he changed one but said 50 amps was too strong for the other two. He also ran a coax cable for another television which Brenda said she had to have because Dai would be monopolizing the existing one watching the world cup. Dai also managed to hook up our VCR/DVD in spite of all the television instructions being in Portuguese.

We went for a stroll on a nearby beach last week and stopped at what we thought was a bar. It turned out to be a private house but no problem we had a couple of beers with them. One old boy told us they were having music at a bar up the street, a very simple place. The old boy showed up and danced with all the women in the bar, including Brenda. We had a plate of  huge shrimp at about 6 or 7 garrafas of beer at a cost of R$63.00, and when I say huge I mean they would have been 10" long if stretched out. We also had a plate of meat but we were full after the shrimp so we fed it to the dogs that always hang around where there's food.

We are having winter here.  After an unusually hot summer we seem to be having a rather cool winter.  The temps overnight going down to 55 or so an not getting more than 70 during the day.  Brenda has not been doing very  much swimming and is really missing it.

We have been following the growth of some bananas outside the bathroom and sending updates to our granddaughter Gwen. The inverted red cone at the bottom will open up into a pink flower about 2 feet long. Yesterdays picture is below.



April 27, 2010

We finally moved into our new house on Wednesday the 21st although everything wasn't complete, and still isn't.
The shower head in the master suite blew apart so we exchanged it for another which also blew up, the water pressure is too high apparently. Our contractor is looking into adding a pressure reducer somewhere up the hill.  We have a shower that works but it's not the type we want. Five dump trucks were required to remove the demolished materials, we didn't alter all that much so we're not sure where it all came from. We still have lots of stuff in boxes and are waiting for the joiner to finish a shelving unit to put all our dust gatherers on. The cable guy's coming today, we hope, but Dai missed all the weekend premier league football games, they usually show 5 each weekend. Brenda has been to the beach every day since we moved and discovered that we do have a small beach and not just a pier with steps to the water. We're getting security bars our on the windows at the side of the house which can't be seen from the guard house, the previous owners were robbed twice we we told after we moved in. Wish someone had told us sooner so they could have been in already.But all in all we're both very happy with the house. The Realtor who sold us the house was in the condominium the other day and we showed him what we had done. He thought we could make a 33% profit if we wanted to sell it.

Last Thursday Dai took the bus into Centro to change our address with a few people starting with the Policia Federal. He went to their office but was told they had moved, he couldn't find the new office so asked someone else where they were and he directed him back to the original office. He then went to a place where they have tourist information on boats because he remembered there was a Policia Federal desk there. No policeman was in attendance so he asked someone to look them up on the Internet, guy didn't have a clue so he did it himself, got the phone number and asked him to call. He found the office but the police were  out for their two hour lunch. He gave up on that and went to the bank, took a number, 711, but noticed they were up to 734, chucked the paper away and gave up for the day. We returned on Monday and spent five hours in Centro, half of it waiting and got a few things accomplished. We went to the new police office but were told we should go to somewhere near the prefeitura which turned out to be the original office and The man came up from the other office to take care of us. The bank asked if we wanted to transfer our account from Caraguatatuba to Angra and we said ok, But then they said we had to have our identification cards which we have been waiting 18 months for. They tried to tell us we shouldn't even have an account without the cards,  in spite of the fact that their head office in Rio told us that Angra must open an account for us.

Dai is proud to announce the bar is fully functional with drinks served on the deck, which is directly outside, at 1700 Hours (5PM) English time, i.e. on time, Last night we had a mini party with two of our neighbors and two contractors, dinner was late as a result but it was worth it. We are trying to find someone who will deliver bottled beer to the house, someone suggested we call "disk cerveja" as a joke, because "disk pizza" quick delivery. Sound like a good business plan to me. The bar is 16x9.5 feet and the deck is 16x16 feet.

Last weekend the richest guy in Brazil, (? Batista) was at his house across the street with his smaller boat, about 70 feet long, and his unlimited offshore racing boat. He ran it up and down the bay at a vastly reduced speed and the both boats left for the ocean. We think there is a racing series in Rio sometime soon so we guess he was practicing. The 70 foot boat came back but not the racer. We don't know how fast his boat is but the fastest one goes 190mph. Late Sunday afternoon his personal helicopter arrived and took some guests back to Rio, it was back in about 1/2 an hour for another load. It's only about 60 or 70 miles by air depending on where you live.

The weather has been really lovely with little rain and temps from 80-90 most days.  The house faces west and we get spectacular sunsets to enjoy during happy hour.
 
Two views from the guest suite balcony




March 20, 2010

It has been such a long time since we last blogged but we have been very busy.  This summer here has been very hot with most days near 100.  Someone told me they said on the radio that this was the worst summer ever.  That is some consolation  so we can hope we won't have it again. I see the people out working in the heat and don't know how they do it.  It was even too hot to go to the beach some days. Carnaval  was very hot also but we managed to have some good times with some neighbors going to the festivities and the beach.
We have kept very busy with the house which does seem to be winding up as promised by the end of March.  I told the men we would give them a party with beer and food if they finished on time.  They seem to have taken this to heart and are working very hard and pulling everything together.  We took some friends to see the house one evening and could not resist going in the water.  It is so clean and clear you can hardly believe it. Twice that we have been down to the beach large sea turtles have been nearby. Hope to get pictures one day. We also saw a gorgeous sunset out over the islands.  By next month this time we should be in and settled.
 We went on the schooner that our neighbor owns again in Janurary with about 20 people from the neighborhood.  We were taken to some new beaches and had a great time.
Last weekend we went with Rita  and Edson up into the mountains in Sao Paulo State.  We went to an ecopark which was quite lovely with fun activities. Then we went about 9 Kilometers, 6 of them on a terrible dirt road, to look at a mountain. by the time we got to where we could take a picture  it was pretty dark as you can see below. We spent the night in a resort town Campos do Jordão which looks like a town in Switzerland.


Pedra do Baú 1950 metres (6400 ft), the cliff is 400 metres (1300 ft)

On top of the highest hill in Campos do Jordão, reached by ski lift


Campos do Jordão, Centro (Downtown)

January 22, 2010

House reconstruction is well underway, but mostly consists of demolition at the moment. We are enlarging the kitchen/dining area by removing a shower (we will still have 3) and roofing over an open area at the rear of the house. Because this was a summer home most of the eating was done outdoors, however we will live there year round and need a larger indoor area. We are also remodeling the master bathroom, retiling the existing and new kitchen/ dining, painting everything inside and out and doing various repairs. When constructing in Brazil you have to buy the material yourself and pay the contractor in installments so he took us to a Materiais de Construção  (almost like English) about 50 kilometers away because the prices are too high in Angra. We have taken some "before" pictures and will post them along side "after" pictures hopefully in 6 weeks. Carnaval is early this year so we won't be moved in before that, we just hope it won't slow down the work.
We spent last weekend in Rio (Campo Grande) with our friends Zé and Ester. Brenda had her tooth fixed in the morning so I dropped her off at the dentist, who happens to be Zé and Ester's daughter Roberta. Later she met up with Ester and did some shopping. Saturday night we went to a restaurant in an out of the way area and we had to stand in line for about 45 minutes. And no wonder we had to wait, the food was great and the the price was incredibly low. We had some shrimp pasties as an appetizer and then shared a huge fish smothered in shrimp with salad, rice, potatoes etc, and of course a quantity of beer. We could not finish all of it and the price was about R$ 30.00 per person, about U$17.00 at current exchange rates.
On the down side there was another smaller landslide in Angra with another 5 people killed. The people on the slope of the hill get blamed for building in an unsafe location, but no one mentions the richer people who live in large houses on the top of the hill and have cut down all the vegetation. It's the same everywhere, you know what runs downhill.
On Tuesday when we were returning from the new house we got stopped for an hour because of some large trees blown down across the road by what was possibly a tornado, although we don't know if they have them down here. We are also having heavy thunderstorms most evenings, people in the affected areas must be hoping this will all stop soon. Some houses in town look like they could come down any minute and some still seem to have people living in them.


January 9, 2010


Angra dos Reis, Centro

The above picture shows the landslide in the heart of downtown Angra Dos Reis, 18 confirmed dead and 6 missing presumed dead. Although smaller then the landslide on Ilha Grande, this has hit the community harder because the dead are residents rather than tourists and many more homes and people affected.. All holiday events were canceled including the boat parade from the nearby island of Gipoa, and the celebration of the city anniversary day on January 6th (over 500 years old). Note that Angra dos Reis is a prefeitura about 25 miles by 10 miles plus Ilha Grande and a host of smaller islands, and is also the name of the principal city which has a population of  about 100,000. We have also heard a report that the city will demolish 300 houses considered at risk of further landslides.
We returned from our trip on December 30th and it started raining heavily and continued for two days. We set off for the city on the 31st to buy some food at the supermarket only to find the road at a standstill. Fortunately we were able to exit to the left and go to a smaller supermarket in Jacuacanga, unfortunately the supermarket was packed and it took two hours to get checked out. Dai spent a little less time in a line to buy tickets in the end of the year lottery worth R$140 million, won nada.
Monday we wanted to go to our new house but found out the road was blocked by 3 landslides and was also blocked in the opposite direction. Tuesday we tried again and managed to get to Vila Velha and found our house undamaged. The road was barely passable with numerous landslides partially cleared to allow a single lane of traffic. We met with a contractor and got an estimate to make some modifications to the house and went back to Monsuaba to think it over. We tried to get to the house again on Wednesday and Thursday but we turned back by the police. On Friday after being turned back again we went to the tourist office to try and find out when we could get to the house and they showed us how to get to the house from the other side of town.We met with the contractor again and agreed on terms, he will start Monday if we can get materials delivered.He says it will take about 2 months , we hope that is an English 2 months not a Brazilian one.
We still haven't hooked up with the condominium secretary to pay the fees, should manage it next week.It has been hot since our return in the low to mid 90's most days.  We had a lot of trouble adjusting to the cold in the north and now back to the heat again.  I guess our spring is pretty much sprung.
We had great visits with our family and even enjoyed a bit of snow in Pa. while at  Bruce and Judys house.
Now that we made plans with a contractor we are even more excited about the house as he is going to be able to add to the back of the house out onto the little patio which was of no use the way it was.  It will now be a greatly increase kitchen and dining area.  The maids room will be half opend up  making an even larger area.

November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving.  I am writing this as we wait in the Miami airport for our flight to BWI.
We left Rio last night after a busy happy day.   I felt a bit frustrated since I couldn't wish Happy Thanksgiving to anyone till I saw an american at the airport in the evening.  This was over shadowed by the rest of the day which we spent in Angra buying our house.   The house we decided to buy Aug. 24 we finally own.  Originally we were told we would close Sept 4 and I can't count the number of times since then while waiting for the endless documents that Brazil seems to need for everything.  Things finally came together and yesterday the sale was made.  We had hoped  to have some work done while we are away but must take things one step at a time.  We found out that Madonna is spending a month at a house right across the street.  We are not quite clear which month but she probably won't miss us anyhow.  We see the  large yacht ( 150 ft or more ) from our house  of the home where she is staying.
Well we will have enough excitement of our own without her as we are starting our holiday in the states.  Today we go to BWI to spend the next two weeks with Jody and Ron.  We have plans to visit with my brother and sister in law, dinner with campground friends etc.
After that we will travel to Seattle and spend Christmas with Jamie and his family.  We head home just before New Year.  
We left Rio with the weather having been in the 90's every day in November.  I think the temp change may be a shock  to us.
  We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.  Hopefully the next blog will include pictures of us in our new home.


October 21, 2009

Well, no surprise, we still haven't settled on the house, been waiting for some documents called Certidão Negativa No Registro Geral De Imóveis. It seems that in Brazil when someone dies, any property is divided between the surviving spouse and any children, legitimate or otherwise, and each must provide one of the above mentioned documents properly signed and stamped by a cartório (notary). Because the current owners live in Rio it all takes time. We were in Angra Centro yesterday and stopped into see the Realtor, he said he has all the documents but we have to wait  until next week to close.
Our original purpose in going to Centro was for Brenda to have an eye examination, after checking three opthamologists, one closed and two full of patients, we went to see the guy who sold us our medical insurance and asked him if she needed an appointement. He said she did and we said what about all the people in the waiting rooms, well everybody gets an appointment at the same time and they take you in order, such is life in Angra. Anyway she  has to go back at 8:30 AM Friday.
It's spring down here right now and the weather is what you might call unsettled. We have had one day where the temperature got up to 90 and even Dai went to the beach, Brenda has gone more times. Other days we have rain all day and violent thunderstorms. We still haven't had to turn on the air conditioners.
Earlier this month we had Edson and Rita, Edson's children Diogo and Thaís, and Thaís's boyfriend Miguel for a three day weekend. Unfortunately they did not get any beach time until Monday when they managed to get in one hour before having to return to Rio. Saturday we had a churrasco and invited some other folks as well and Dai having observed enough is now a qualified churrasco cook (must be a Portuguese word for that) and did all the cooking. He says it cuts down on his drinking but nobody noticed any negative effects. Because Edson and Rita live 3 1/2 hours south of here and the children 1 1/2 hours north we volunteered to drive them home. It was just as well, traffic was pretty slow even though we left early. we bought them lunch in Habib's, a middle east cuisine fast food chain, and then delivered them to their houses, total time about six hours.
The following weekend we had Zé (diminutive for José) and Ester visiting and spent one day in Parati (or Paraty) a town older than Angra and about 90 KM south. The old part of town is not accessible to cars, except for residents with somewhere to park, so walking is required and in the name of authenticity the streets and sidewalks are made from uneven cobblestones, very hard work. Of course the ladies were in their element, the town is full of boutiques, you could spend a week there without going in the sane store twice. We took a short ride around town in a horse and carriage and learned a few things, one of which was that the high tides (presumably at the equinoxes) flood the streets and clean them. They also have a street of the prostitutes which is next to the picture below. No evidence of "ladies" We had debated whether to go Saturday or Sunday, and were glad that we chose the former because it was a beautiful day and Sunday it poured.


Zé and Dai looking in the direction of the "street of the prostitutes", no at the camera, honestly



This is the medium of three old churches in the old town. The largest was for thewhites, the middle size church was for the free blacks, and the smallest for the slaves.



August 24, 2009

Looks like a long time since we last blogged, just getting lazy I guess although we did spend some time looking at houses. We found a new real estate agent who by chance speaks fairly good English, and looked at houses all around the outskirts of the town of Angra before finally settling on one in Vila Velha, which is where the original Portuguese settlement was located. We don't believe anything from that era remains. The house needs some work but the agent figures it can be done in 3 or 4 weeks, settlement will be in about two weeks. We haven't found a bar we can walk to yet but there is a pousada across the street we may be able to use. The house is in a condominium with 24 hour security and access to the beach across the street.
Our telephone continues to have problems, it went out about July 25 and we haven't been able to call anybody since although we can receive calls. The phone company promised to repair it by August 4, but in spite of 2 additional calls it's still not fixed. Because of all this we got a USB wireless modem that uses the cell phone network with a speed of 1Mbps although Dai made a coil of copper cable to surround the modem and got it up to 1.7Mbps, so now we have Internet access for R$60.00 per month. Hopefully at the new house we will be able to get Internet by cable at about 4Mbps.
Last Friday we went to the American Consulate in Rio to get a new passport for Brenda. We had to make an appointment over the Internet and the only available time was 8:30 AM.. So we set off in the dark at about 5:30 for what should be a 2 1/2  hour or so trip and made good time until we got about 20 miles from our destination when we came to a screeching halt on the infamous Avenida Brasil. The rest of the journey took about an hour. We didn't make a wrong turn until we exited the perimital at Santos Dumont airport. (If you use google earth, fly to Rio de Janeiro, Santos Dumont is about 1" to the right of the center) So we finished up as one of the few cars heading towards Copacabana. Fortunately there was a Retorno just down the road so we went back and and made a correct exit, possibly because Dai has exited from this direction several times before. We were late but it seems that 8:30 is when they open and anytime after that is ok. After leaving the parking garage at a cost of R$16.00 for two hours we made a perfect escape from Rio, i.e. no wrong turns.
On the banking front, we decided to transfer our account from Caraguatatuba, SP to Angra. You would think that this would be simple, after all we are the customer. The bank manager in Angra has other ideas, she wanted more documents than we had to open the account in the first place. She was the person who told us we had to go to Rio to open an account when we first got here and they said no she HAS to open an account for you but she still refused. I think the Banco do Brasil need a new manager in Angra. Incidentally opening a bank account in 2 months seems to be a record for a foreigner if you can believe gringoes.com
We continue to make more friends whom we enjoy great meals with.  Our Portugese continues to improve at a very slow rate but Monsuba and Angra are certainly gaining more and more people who are trying to learn English. People from the bread boy to the butcher and the fish man are all trying to speak English.  Often our conversations are me trying Portugese and them trying to answer in English.  The other day in the grocery a young boy came up to me and very carefully said  "hello how are you"  I don't know where I met him before but probably at the beach.
The weather has continued rather colder than usual for winter here often only going around 70 during the day.  I have found a few good beach days but not many.  We do look forward to summer.  
When we get set up in the new house we will also have the boat hauled off so it can be made seaworthy and either berthed at a marina nearby or anchored in the bay across the street from the house.  We really look forward to being able to get out in it again.
We have made arrangements to travel to the US for two weeks on the east coast and then two weeks on the west coast spending Christmas with our son and his family.



Front of house, one story extension on the left with master bedroom and bar, the only unit in the condo with this feature



View from across the street, house on the left



View from above the house on a cloudy day

July 7, 2009

Just back from Penedo, a small town founded by Finns in 1929, you can read about it's history here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Brazilian    Now it's mostly a tourist town with lots of hotels, pousadas, shops and restaurants, where trout seem to be a popular menu item.
The road from Angra heading north to get to Penedo was built by slaves by hand including three tunnels cut through solid rock. We travelled through low clouds with visibility down to about 15 yards or so. The tunnels are not lit but the visibility inside was better than outside.
We stopped for lunch in a small town called Lidice which was renamed in 1942 after a town in Czechoslovakia which was razed to the ground by the Nazis after the killing of Reinhard Heydrich. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidice The center of the town has a small monument with a phoenix on top. We did not stay long because the fog was beginning to roll down the mountain. In all the trip took about 4 hours.
We had a google map which showed our hotel to the right of the main road through town however it turned out to be to the left but we found it eventually.
There were 14 of us and we had a good time exploring the city shops and resturants.  Our hotel was right in town and very convenient to everything. We really feel fortunate to be adopted by this family.  They are really a lot of fun.
The trip back took just 2 hours and 20 minutes.


The group


Sylvia, Brenda and Thais


June 21, 2009

I talked to my brother last week after his birthday and he asked what we do all day. Dai reminded me today we had not blogged for a month so I thought this might be a good subject for a blog.  We are retired but I think we are able to remain more active here than if we had stayed in the states.  Dai watches the CNN news in the morning continuing to hope that eventually we can get the BBC news.  I try to watch David Letterman with my coffee and breakfast every morning.  From 10 to 1  I sew if nothing else is happening while I watch ER, Ellen, and  two episodes of Two and a half  Men. We eat lunch around one.  Usually we have ham and cheese sandwiches.  Here you do not usually eat sliced bread  you eat fresh rolls  or baguettes.  Many mornings Dai walks to the bakery to get them but sometimes we get them from the "bread boy" who comes around on a bike every afternoon  blowing a horn to announce himself,  We also often have a slice of avocado which is very inexpensive. There are not  many kinds of lunch meat and the most common kind of sliced cheese is mossarella.  If we have left over chicken or filet mignon that makes a nice change from ham.  We have cable tv and get several English channels including some movie channels.  Dai manages to watch a lot of soccer.  Evidently he has managed to see more English soccer than his brother in England is able to watch.. We  also work puzzles and  play games on the computer. We do finally have a phone in the house but have not yet been able to get Internet.  Dai goes to the Internet cafe many mornings to check e-mail, handle banking etc.  It is winter now and is colder than many winters usually are with temps only going up to 80 most days and some only around 70.  We are missing the beach since even 80 is really too cool with the breeze and cool water.  We go out  and walk around town some days exploring the many little streets and hills.  The street we live on is at the end of town and goes way up a hill where there are many small places with access to the hills behind.  Therefore there are often horses and cattle wandering down the street and often later being driven back up the street.   We have yet to stop being amazed at the wildlife from birds, lizards, bats etc in the area.  From our upstairs balcony we see many and varied fruit trees some of which we have yet to identify.  We are very actively looking for a home at this point.  We have found one we really like but it is a bit beyond our range.  Maybe we will be lucky and the market will continue to go up and the owner will consider lowering the price. Meanwhile we will continue to look.  We are hoping to take a trip to the states  over Christmas and continue to have activities with our friends here.  July 4th weekend we are going to Penedo with 14 other family members of Edson and Ester to celebrate the birthdays of 2 of the members.  We really appreciate hearing in  e-mails from those who watch our blog or think about us.


May 25, 2009

We were sitting around the house trying to find something to watch on television about 8:00PM Saturday night when Brenda said "why don't we go out for a beer?" Nobody remembers when Dai last turned down a suggestion to go for a drink so we walked down to one of the local bars and ran into Adilson who has a summer house across the street. We have known him since Dai worked here and have met him many times. In fact when we were here in 2007 we ran into him at a remote beach called Grumari near Recreio dos Banderantes. Anyway after the usual ration of garrafas of beer we closed the bar and Brenda invited Adilson and his friends over to the house for a churasco the next afternoon. A churasco is a Brazilian barbecue. You generally put out a salad some rice and some farofa,( which Dai calls sawdust)  Then numerous meats are passed around. Always beef, usually chicken, sausage and garlic bread.  All is cut into finger pieces and just keeps coming and coming.  After about 5 hours everyone was pretty well sated.
Fortunately for all concerned one of  Adilson's friends volunteered to do the cooking so we've given him his own photo. One fact of interest is none of the 7 guests spoke any English.  We certainly didn't understand everything that was said but we are getting better and are pretty well able to make ourselves understood and catch the gist of  most of what is said.

Left to right: Wilma, Adilson's wife, Sonja, Ailton's wife, Penha, Zelito's wife

Left to right: Dai, Adilson, Desculpe (sic), Ailton


Zelito

May 21, 2009

As expected our telephone was not installed on Monday, but surprise, surprise, at about 5:15PM on Wednesday a Fiat Mille with a large ladder on the roof shows up outside the gate and it is a guy to install the phone. So now we have a phone but he is coming back today so we are not sure if it is working, it has a funny dial tone. Our friend Edson, who has been making all the requests for the phone is in Wisconsin this week and will be back tomorrow and we will try to call him to see if it's OK. Incidentally the number we we're given is not the one they said we we're getting.
As an aside, the first 4 digits of the number are 3366, which if you told a Brazilian your number you would say tres, tres, meia, meia. Meia meaning half a dozen. Eggs are sold by the dozen and 30 eggs are listed as 2 1/2 dozen. What happened to the metric system?
Tuesday we went to downtown (Centro) Angra about 20KM from here, and stopped in to see the Policia Federal  to check on a problem with Brenda's mother's name being misspelled in their records, which we discovered when we were getting our driver's licenses. They told us to wait until we had our RNE's (Alien Identity Card) and then request a correction so as not to delay the process which he said could take 18 months rather than the 8 or 9 we we told earlier.
We then went round the corner to the cable television office to check on the availability of  the Internet at our house. We had been told we could get it last February or March but they told us we could not get it until the end of the year, which year we don't know. We have to hope we can get DSL through the phone company.
On the way to the bank, we stoped at a department store and bought a recliner, I think Dai will get to use it for watching football, and Brenda the rest of the time.
So today we are waiting for the phone guy and the delivery of the recliner.

May 16, 2009

The saga of the telephone continues, our sixth request was made on Saturday the 9th, and we were told it would definitively be installed in one week or 48 hours. We're not to sure what that means but believe it could be installed as late as Monday, or rather not installed on Monday. We spent last week with one of us in the house at all times from 8AM to 5PM and there was no sign of the telephone guy. We've seen the truck around town, maybe we should flag him down and ask him if he has orders to install it.
So not much else happened, Dai had a bit of a cold, definitely not the gripe suino, or swine flu pronounced greep sweeno, although they have had one case in Rio.
Although it's almost winter here it's not like the winters we're used to. Two days last week Brenda went to the beach, the temperature was 90F and the relative humidity was 40%. we have been warned  it will get really cold soon, perhaps as low as 15C , about  60F. They forget Dai spent a full year here and wore a short sleeved shirt every day.
We still do not have Internet at the house because the cable television people haven't reached this side of town with whatever they have to do. They said it would be here in February, We stopped at their local office recently but it was closed permanently, we'll have to try their office in downtown Angra. You can get cable TV, Internet, VOIP, and two cell phones for about R$240,00per month.We may be able to get DSL if we ever get a phone but it's not guaranteed. It's a bit strange not having the Internet, we've been connected for over ten years.

May 9, 2009

Yesterday after a three and a half hour trip by car, bus and taxi we arrived at DETRAN in Rio and 15 minutes later she had her Brazilian drivers license, we don't know why they don't mail it.
We then decided to take the trolley (bonde in Brazilian Portuguese) to Santa Theresa, a district of  Rio built in the 1800's  on a hill and populated by rio's rich. Contrary to popular belief not all hills in Rio are favellas. The trolley cost 60 centavos each way, you pay at the station to go up and pay the conductor to come down. One guy complained he was only re boarding when he got on on the way down and didn't want to pay again, we're talking about 25 US cents. If you stand on the outside and hold on to the trolley you don't pay. The trolley goes over a high viaduct  but they don't seem to mind. We had lunch halfway down at a German restaurant, somewhat expensive but OK. We re boarded the trolley and coughed up the 60 centavos each again.
The trolley station is right next to Rio's metropolitan cathedral, a somewhat odd shape for a church, it's a truncated cone (frustum?) and said to have energy saving lighting and cooling. We didn't go in, we wanted to get to the Rodoviaria Novo Rio (Rio bus station) to get back to Angra in time for dinner.
Today the weather is clear and the temperature is about 85F so Brenda went to the beach while Dai watched two live English premier league games, two more tomorrow.


Metropolitan Cathedral, downtown Rio de Janeiro


Santa Theresa trolley

Victorian architecture in Santa Theresa

May 5, 2009

After four visits to DETRAN (department of transportation) in Rio we now have one Brazilian driver's license between us.To get a license you have to have a psychological exam and of course they scheduled them in two separate clinics in Angra. Dai's was first and the psychologist there spoke a few words of English which was enough to get him through. Then we the went to Brenda's clinic and the psychologist there refused to test her because she said she didn't know enough Portuguese. We tried to get her changed to Dai's clinic at DETRAN in Angra but they insisted she had to go to Rio. So off we went to DETRAN in Rio for the fourth time and Dai got the papers to go to another part of the building and get his license. After a lot of discussion they decided they didn't know what to do but fortunately a young man who spoke good English arrived and they decided it could be done by DETRAN. It turned out the guy didn't even work for DETRAN but knew the guy who was trying to help us. so Brenda did the tests, which take two hours, and passed. We then went down two floors expecting to get her license but were told we had to come back in two days. Yesterday's trip took over 13 hours in total. We have probably spent R$700.00 per license what with transportation and taxis  and fees, but somehow Brenda didn't have to pay the R$106.00 for the exam.
Incidentally we had lunch in Rio at a kilo bar. It's like a huge buffet and  you put as much on the plate as you want and then they weigh it and you pay so much per kilogram. It's not very expensive and very popular throughout Brasil.

Last Thursday we walked into town for a few drinks at one of the local bars and ran into our neighbor from across the street. He doesn't speak a word of English but we sat down with him. 14 garrafas  later he had invited us out on his boat and we paid for all the beer in spite of his protests, only R$42.00 but possibly a new bar record. Incidentally a garrafa is 630 mL.
So Saturday we met him at a beach and found out he had a schooner (picture below) and was taking a load of passengers around the bay, he had so many we had to switch to a bigger boat. We didn't pay for any food or drink and spent a very nice day. We went to Lagoa Azul (blue lagoon) a small beach and the town of Abraao, all on Ilha Grande. Brenda snorkeled at Lagoa Azul with her camera face mask and took some pictures, one of which is shown below.

We also need to file some Imposta de Renda but apparently we have till the end of this month. we also did our US taxes although they were later than the deadline.

Some prices in US dollars for those who might be interested.
Frozen filet mignon:    2.00 to 2.50 per pound
Limes                       0.25 per pound
Cote de Rhone          9.00 per litre
Gin (domestic)           7.00 per litre
Avocado                   0.25 each
Pineapple                   0.50 each
Beer                          0.50 per can
Gasoline                     5.00 per US gallon
Alcohol                      3.00 per US gallon (our car runs on either gas, alcohol, or any mixture of the two)


Schooner


February 13, 2009 

Things continue to amble along here at a slow pace.  We still don't have a phone for one reason and another but are suppposed to get it " any day now."   It is the middle of summer and weather here is rather unusual as in the rest of the world.  There is still an unusual amount of rain but it now seems to be mainly in the late afternoon and evenings leaving the days pretty nice but milder than usual also.  Most days are in mid 80's to low 90's with only a few days to 100.  We are enjoying many days at the beach with Dai under an umbrella and me in the sun getting darker and darker.
We are looking at houses but not rushing it.  We have seen one I think we may end up with when we are ready.  It is only a few blocks from here but on a quieter street.  It has three bedrooms with a large kitchen and a pool.  It is only a few blocks from the beach in town which is not safe for swimming now.  The money has been put up to clean up the beach, dredge the bay to make it deeper and improve the water flow and then build a promenade with quioskes for food and drink.  We went to a town not far from here that has such a promenade yesterday for lunch and it is really lovely.  It is to be done within 3-5 years.
Carnival which is just before lent is a very big time in this country.  We are having a large barbeque the Sunday before with many people expected.  Pictures to follow.


Promenade at Conceicao de Jacarei



Front Yard

January 9, 2009

Happy New Year. We had a very busy Holiday season.  The first car we thought we were going to buy ended up not available due to "lack of proper papers". With help from Edson we found a Chevy Vectra in C.G. that had only 6000 miles on it.  It is automatic and has many extras like automatic windshield wipers which go on when the rain starts and go faster and slower according to amount of rain. We were able to take delivery of it the Tues before Christmas. Nice gift huh.  We spent  several days over Christmas at Esther and Zer's home in C.G. and had a great time. We were able to talk to our kids Christmas Day and that really meant alot.  New Year we spent here in Monsuba with Edson, Rita and Thais. Midnight was on the beach where everyone seems to gather with Champagne bottles and glasses and you see fireworks all around the bay. New Years Day we went into Angra to watch the boat parade and enjoy the show they put on there. Very lively and fun.  We continue to spend lots of time "taking care of business".  We got cable installed this week and a phone is to be installed in 10 days or so. Then we will work on getting internet as well.  We are looking at houses.  Many evenings we walk down into Monsuba and have some beer at the "cantino" on main street. The tables are on the sidewalk and we enjoy watching all the activity including the police station right across the street. Sometimes we go across the street to a little resturant that has a very good pizza that we like.   All costs about $20.  Before New Year Edson got one of his friends to bring around a horse for me to ride.  I rode around town and then down on the beach.  It has always been a dream of mine to ride a horse along a beach in the surf.  The weather has been unusual in that there has been much more rain than usual with  flooding in many parts of the country. Christmas was the only hot spell with temps around 100.  Some days it doesn't even hit 80 and most day are only in the 80's.  Today seems like it may be fairly nice and we hope to hit the beach after lunch.



Brenda riding on the beach

Ester's Christmas Buffet

December 7, 2008

My  little plea went answered and we got lots of replies. Thanks-we like to hear from you. Friday we got our first mail. It was quite exciting to see the mail carrier come to our house.  It was a congratulations on the new house from our Portuguese teachers Helio and Maria.  Thanks, that was very nice.  I think we are both embarrassed that our Portuguese is not as good as it could and should be but I think we are both just overwhelmed and boggled.  We both are picking up more and more. We listen to the news and are understanding more and more. When we are with others they do not need to translate much for us anymore as they are getting used to speaking slower and more simply when we are with them. On Thursday we went back to the car dealer to see if the one we like is still available.  It is and we got  three thousand Reais off the price. The manager said we have become brasiliarieos in our ability to bargain.  Monday morning we go back to the Banco Brasil to see if our money has been changed yet.  It doesn’t show up in our U.S. account or here.  Of course the good news continues to be that the dollar is still rising so every day of delay actually brings us more money but also grey hair.  We continue to enjoy the good days. Thurs was sunny so we went to the beach. Got some sunburn on my belly.  First time for me. Yesterday went to a fair in Angra that has loads of little shops with mostly clothes and kitchenware. Dai did a little dance step this morning after his shower so I guess he is holding up fairly well despite 69 years.  Yesterday we saw one of the neighbors here who lives in CG but has home here as well.  He is good friend of Edson and told us he was invited to and plans to come to barbeque next week.  I think this time we plan to hire a man to come and cook and maybe skip Rosa on Sun as there won’t be as many people spending the night.


November 23, 2008

We had our first churrasco (barbecue) yesterday, we had about 20 people including 12 who spent the night. Unfortunately we did not eat all the food so we have to live on filet mignon for the rest of the week, life is tough. On the financial side our bank account has now been approved so we have to deposit some money in it to consolidate it. We don't know why we couldn't put money in when we opened it, it's just Brazil. Now when we wire transfer money we have to go to another city in  Sao Paulo to have the money converted to Reais. Dai went to something like an ATM but it does a lot more, he entered some information and got two pieces of paper (called dudas) which we have to take to another bank and pay a fee for our drivers licenses, Then we have to get our American drivers licenses officially translated and stamped and the go back to Rio to get our brasilian  licenses, we hope. We think that when we have finished these two items we will have finished with most of the red tape and can move on to try and get our boat in working order and then start looking at houses although we will not be buying at this time of the year, a lot of people from rio rent houses in January and February so prices would be very high. we hope to buy a car next week but the one we liked may not be available. On the plus side for us the Rais has depreciated against the dollar so we are better off than we thought.
Some pictures from the churrasco:




November 20, 2008

Another week and much more frustration but also lots of fun. We spent a day in Rio and accomplished nothing. Got a list of things we need to do to obtain Brazilian drivers license all of which are extremely complicated.  The bank said no we should not have come to Rio they should have opened account in Angra. We went back there where they added to the list of things they feel we need to open account. Thurs we headed south 3 1/2 hours to Cargautatuba where Edson and Rita now live. Beautiful drive along the coast but raining. We went to  a barbecue Thurs night. Fri Edson took a half day off to help get us a bank account. After 3 hours at the bank we are supposed to have an account but can't use it yet because a federal site is down that they need to verify something. As of today we still don't have a working account. Sat and Sun we finally had beautiful weather and had a great time at the beach. Waterfall is along the roadside that you can only see from a  little bar. This weekend the party is at our house.  Folks are coming Sat pm for barbecue. Many will spend the night and then Sun am will go out on schooner type boat.  We go to the Internet cafe almost daily as we still don't have tv, phone or Internet at the house. We appreciate any feedback and news.



November 11, 2008



The second week seems to be proceeding much like the first.  Edson had a lawyer (Rita) draw up an official lease to rent his house. We went back to the bank but now they say we need the permanent RNE which we were told we will not get for 8 months.  We are going to try another bank today.  We went to the local beach Fri even though the weather still tends to cloudy and windy.  A very nice family more or less insisted on adopting us and we had fun trying to communicate and playing ball and playing in the water.  We went back again Sat. and met them again as planned.  See above picture.  Edson and Rita came Sun. and we had a nice meal at the mall. See below picture.  We had beer, an appetizer platter, meats, rice, trench fries, salad, vinagrette, coffee and some dessert for four  plus tip was $70.  All electronics are very expensive though.  We plan to go south about 31/2 hours where Edson, Rita and many friends from before are now living for a long weekend.  Their flat is on the beach and several barbecues etc are planned along with some reunions.


November 7, 2008


Nos E Brasileiros.

What a week this has been. We left Dulles airport last Fri at 10 PM and arrived in Rio at 10 AM after a 10 hour flight. Landed early  and had the honor of going through the Brasileiros line which is much shorter since we are now residents. That triumph was short lived when we had to wait well over an hour for our luggage. Poor Edson thought we had decided not to come. We went to Esther's house for a big lunch with about 15 family members. Of  course the weather had been beautiful prior to our arrival and not so nice since but today seems like it may be ok and we hope to hit the beach for the first time. As you can see above I could not resist a dip in Ester's pool the first morning.  We came to Angra on Sun and were reintroduced to the house by Edson and Rita.  We stopped on the way to meet the maid he had arranged for.  We changed her schedule from one day to two. She was here Tues and Thurs and it really is nice. For now she does the cleaning and laundry. May expand to more later.  We are planning a big party the 22 of Nov. May end up renting a schooner and go out on the bay to some islands and beaches as well as a churrasco here at the house.  Expect people we know to come from all over the area and beyond. Will include pictures then.  We have been experiencing good old Brasilian beauracracy  all week.  The first day we obtained a cell phone but could not quite figure out how to use it.  We went to the bank to open an account but they seem to feel we don't have enough documents yet. Next we went to the Federal Police to get an RNE card which is sort of like a green card. Of course we arrived just as they were closing for lunch and had to come back two hours later. Then we got a list of all the items we needed and had to go back the next day.  That day we went to one bank to pay the fee and were told we needed to go to the police first. So we waited till after their lunch only to be told no we were right we needed to pay at bank first. Went to a different bank where we waited about 1/2 hour to pay then back to the police. We now have a temporary RNE but will have to pick up the card at the police in about 8 months. Yesterday we looked at cars.  Found very few automatics. We have decided to buy second hand as new ones are very expensive and automatics even more so.  Saw a 2006 Citroen yesterday that is like a small van with lots of trunk area, is automatic and fairly low mileage. Dai thinks we need Brasilian driver's license to own or drive your own car so off we went to  the DETRAN which is like the DMV only to find out we need to go to Rio to do that.  We have also been told we need to go to Rio to open bank account since we do not have all the documentation they need here.  Almost planned to go to Rio today but decided to take the day off since Fri. is very busy traffic day from Rio to Angra as summer is beginning. Edson and Rita are coming this evening so we will go to the Internet cafe as we do not yet have the phone tv or Internet at the house. There are several Internet cafe right here in town.  We can easily walk to downtown Monsuaba in the evening for a drink or a meal.   This morning I did a little bit of cutting fabric to start an new quilt.  I am using the small bedroom which looks out over the backyard and has an air conditioner.


October, 02, 2008

Well the deed is done, last week I went to the Brazilian consulate in Washington,DC and picked up our permanent resident visas. We have booked our flights to Rio, leaving on October 31st and arriving at 10:AM on Saturday November 1st. we are now busy trying to sell most of what we own and packing things we are going to ship to Brazil. On the plus side for us is the appreciation of the Dollar to the Real, I don't understand why but the Dollar has risen by about 25% against the Real in the last couple of months, it is now at 2.05 to the dollar, compared with about 1.6 a couple of months ago. I have been having problems connecting with our friend Edson but have had contact with his sister and  also our good friend Ester. We have been selling some of our things on Craigslist , Baltimore, so far only 3 but for a total of  $125.00. Not a fortune but better than throwing it away. If you know anyone who wants an RV give us a call, this is going to to be a tough one to sell in the current conditions.

August 9, 2008

On Thursday, the 7th, I went back to the Brazilian consulate with my new passport and new FBI reports for both of us and was greeted like an old friend, I guess I've been there a lot lately. I got escorted to the interior of the consulate and met with the vice consul again, and she went over all our paperwork. She appeared to be satisfied with everything, I gave her a money order for U$670.00, U$660.00 for the visas and U$10.00 for some legalization of a copy of my passport. She said We should hear something 3 or 4 weeks from next Wednesday, which sound a bit odd but Wednesday is the day they send the diplomatic pouch. The vice consul said she will send us an email saying "Congratulations" when she hears from Brazil. She did not recommend buying airline tickets until we have the visas in our hands.

July 22, 2008

Last Friday I went to the Brazilian consulate in D.C. to get my CPF regularized (again) and to try and find out what was happening to our visa applications. The lady who took care of me said she would look into the visa status and I should come back on  Monday. About half an hour after I got home I received a call from the Brazilian vice consul who said she had sent me an email explaining what documents were missing but I didn't get it, so she gave me an appointment Monday morning.
She had unfortunately been hospitalized with a severe illness requiring surgery and no one seemed to know what to do in her absence. The documents she needed turned out to be the legalized ones noted below which should have been sent to her.
Unfortunately our FBI criminal checks are no longer valid due to the time that had passed so we have to get  new ones and my passport will have less than 6 months remaining by the time we get that done so I have to get a new one.
The vice consul was very apologetic but it wasn't her fault, in any event she gave me her email and cell phone number and said when we have everything I should get in touch and she would give me an appointment rather than just handing the papers in. All the documents will then have to be sent to Brazil to be approved which will take about 3 weeks, so were are looking at about 6 weeks to get our visas.
I'm off to the post office this morning to send for my passport which can be expedited for a mere $60.00 extra plus $14.85 for return by express mail. The passport itself only costs $75.00, not bad for a 10 year validity.


June 13, 2008

Just got all the documents back from the consulate, duly "legalized" . I didn't know that they were going to mail them back and there was a nice little sticky note attached saying that I should have included a stamped addressed envelope but they made a one time exception and sent them anyway. I suppose we need these documents for legal reasons in Brazil but it has not been explained what the exact purpose is. We don't know what the next step is but it seems we're getting closer to finalizing everything.

June 9, 2008

As of this writing we are still stateside waiting for our visas. Last week we got seven documents back from the Brazilian consulate and were requested to get them "legalized" by the Secretary of State of Maryland, a procedure I had never heard of before. A quick search on the Internet revealed that Maryland does have such a scheme, although it is called "certifying". This involves having the documents notarized ($4.00 each), taking them to the clerk of circuit court in your county who certifies that the notary public is who he says he is ($1.00 each), then sending them to the Secretary of  State who certifies that clerk of the court is who she says she is ($5.00 each). Then we sent them back to the Brazilian consulate for legalization ($20.00 each).

First post from way back

We have arranged to rent a house in Angra and will be busy getting our CPF's (Brazilian SSN), opening a bank account, buying a car,  getting our RNE's (Alien Registration Card which you can use instead of a passport in South America), getting  cell phones, satellite television, and utilities etc. Then we can start looking for a house to buy. I also need to get a Brazilian boating license (I hope I can swap my Maryland license) and get our boat fixed up and in the water.