Meat Party

I can't believe that I have lived in Brazil this long without going to a rodizio churrasco. I have been to a rodizio of pizza and pasta (another sickening experience), but the traditional barbecue experience had eluded me until today. My work changed its bonus policy and instead of giving us money, we get points towards things like meals, books, and electronics. So, this meat party was the result of my hard work last year and ability to keep students enrolled in the course.

A rodizio is basically an amazing salad bar and roving waiters constantly showing up to shave sizzling meat off skewers onto your plate. It is a knock down drag out all you can eat extravaganza and I still feel a little sick. I definitely did not indulge to my fullest, but even 6 hours later I feel a fullness slightly boarding on nausea. My husband made a nice showing, but nothing like the days of his youth (and ability to finish a Hurricane's disaster burrito).

I should confess that I was a vegetarian for about 12 years, and then added fish and chicken to the menu, and only after moving to Brazil, I started eating red meat. So, two and half years of red meat eating (on a very very occasional basis) after almost 20 years without does not prepare the stomach for this kind of experience. After Sam said, "suckling baby pig" my stomach sort of flopped over and the meat party took a new turn. It tastes good, but it is also a little gross at the same time. I have also had some misgivings about sausage lately as well. It has done me wrong more than once. I think it might be time to rethink this whole carnivore attitude. I might be ready to return to my vegetarian ways, but then again, what is life without bacon? Ahh bacon, the one meat that always brings me back.

Note: I threw up later that night. No more meat for me, at least for a couple of days



We are leaving.

There. I said it. We are leaving Recife and moving back to the US. I have made it clear that only a fool would move back BEFORE the election (considering the hijacking of the previous two), but I am now that fool, moving back to jump into the fray when it is at its most intense. Unfortunately, I have never let politics be a purely spectator sport; I am in there making myself sick and stressing out with the best of them. I am hoping that this 2+-year break will give me a little perspective on the event, but I really wish that I were voting at the consulate instead.

Of course there are a million other reasons besides politics that I want to stay here, and a million reasons to go home, but it comes down to this--it is time.

It is time to do something other than teach English, it is time for my husband to do what he wants to do, it is time to be surrounded by family and friends, and it is time to see what else is out there for us. I have always known that Recife is not the place where I want to spend the rest of my days, but it has become home and comfortable. I really like the people I work with and my general work environment, I am finally getting involved in some interesting projects at the Federal university, and we have a great little rented beach house with friends to escape to (when we can get dog sitters), but when it comes down to it, it is not enough. I miss my friends and family. I miss having people to depend on. Here we live in the world of acquaintances, they are great, but they do not fill the emotional need I have for my people.

I have no idea if this move back is permanent or temporary, but it is the next step. It is almost as though I have stepped outside and am watching myself flip channels, instead of planning the next beach vacation, I am thinking about bringing my garden back to life, getting chickens and goats, and planning mountain biking and camping expeditions. All of the things that I cut completely out of my life by moving here are slowly starting to creep back into my thoughts. Yesterday, I caught myself visualizing the mountain bike paths in the foothills, the ride to the food coop, and the view from the porch of the cabin.

Historically, I have not dealt well with these transition periods and have completely broken down. I am trying to avoid this behavior this time. My inspirational life coach (aka my closest friend here) has been propping me up with positive energy.

So that is my mantra--take advantage of this time and do everything possible. It is not the time for regrets, but for moving forward and doing new things.