I have now been living in Brazil for a full turn around the sun and a few sunsets and rises. When I arrived in Brazil a year ago, it was during Sao João festival. We went to Aracaju and spent days eating peanuts, grilled corn and making bonfires. Sao João is the celebration of harvest, rural life, of the farmers and it is a festival that is welcoming to all. People decorate their houses with farm-inspired objects, made of straws and colourful floral and affordable fabrics. They boil peanuts and corn and eat around bonfires. It is a beautiful celebration that only a year later, I can truly appreciate even more. I love all the little holidays that Brazilians have and celebrate – the breaks in the mundane for celebration or just a break/ a breather.
I especially enjoy them because I get to spend more time with Tainã- we get to hang around the farm or go on mini vacations like the one we are preparing to head off to in a few days; to Aracaju; a favourite place because of the weather, location and the many options of vegan food we get to explore. Also, to just get time to be alone. We joke that the farmhouse in actuality is a bit of a community house for friends, the immediate and extended family. While this is teaching me about community and holding space for lots and lots of people, I can still admit that at times it can get overwhelming and there is a need to have some time away from it all. Assured that no visitors will be dropping by or extended family members.
The funny thing is that the more I live here, the more I not only realize how much like my mom I am but also how “Danish” I am haha! I have become accustomed to people planning in advance if coming to visit and also having a say in who I have time/energy to see and for how long. I think the excess human interaction is the one thing that has been the most challenging to adapt to, more than even the language barrier. Even though my lack of fluency has also affected how tiring the interactions can sometimes be. I imagine that the fact that I also didn´t grow up surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents also has a lot to do with the adjustment. I think the value of family is a beautiful thing about Brazilians and how strong of a support system they have with one another. It just takes some getting used to. But I sure do love knowing that if we have children here, they will have plenty of family members around them to grow up with. That is a comforting thing.
Also, learning about my partner´s upbringing has really helped me understand him more as a person. I love how well we balance each other and how we compliment each other. Tainã is a bit more of a social introvert than I am. He enjoys talking to people and entertaining them but only for a period of time. He doesn´t need to be at every party or event and if we do go, we both don´t mind not being the last people to leave the party. When we have visitors we sometimes take turns entertaining, while the other takes a breather or two haha. We enjoy people and especially getting to really know them and building close intimate friendships and we also love being alone, just the two of us, for days on end, just entertaining each other. It is all a balancing game the overwhelms as much as it enriches at times.
Anywho, here is to a full year here, to the lessons learned and to those waiting to be learned. To family and community and the soil that keeps and feeds us.
May life find you blooming wherever you find yourself planted