I wish there was some way to record the thoughts I have right before I go to sleep. I feel that those moments are my most creative but I never remember them when I wake up. I have been thinking on what to post but have been lacking in time and energy to post something. I have been back a week and I still feel very disorganized. I don’t know why exactly but it could do with a hospital stay for my roommate or that the weather is too cold to do anything outside. In retrospect it is like Florida out compared to what the temperature will be in a few months. I spent a lot of time with my roommate while she stayed in the hospital for a few days. So very glad she is on the mend. Now what? I have another week of work then I have a long weekend in Arizona. Then I am home for a good month before I am off traveling again. This fall I waited all summer so excited for all my trips and travels and now in the middle of it I just want my couch and kitty and sleep. Must be getting old!
I knew that this month would be light in posts. I will attempt to post more next month. It too late for October. It is nearly gone. I was trying to make that sound dramatic and it totally sounds cool in my head but in black and white—not so much. LOL. I think I need more coffee or tea or something. It is early yet, I can do better. I have training this afternoon and it always makes me a little nervous. I will try to not focus on it.
I am trying to get FEMA volunteer certified. That would mean my job would be able to send me to FEMA sites if they ask for other agency help. I think it would be fun… or maybe fun isn’t the correct word. It would be a unique experience. There that sounds better. Well to get FEMA volunteer certified I have to take 5 online classes and pass 5 online tests. I have done 2 of 5 and hope to get another one knocked out today. We shall see. I think anyone can take the FEMA courses and, I believe, it goes toward college credits. Check out their website and start becoming a FEMA specialist!
Well that is about all folks. I am sure when I actually wake up and reread this I will just shake my head. You could drop me a comment so this doesn’t always have to be a one sided conversation. 🙂
I have been meaning to put my trip into writing for the last couple of days but I have been super busy from the moment I stepped on American soil. However, I will attempt to recreate my trip best I can. The flights to Brazil were difficult for both my mother and me. Hurricane Matthew was shutting down the Southeast coast and I was concerned how our flights would be affected. The night before we were to leave, my mother’s flights were canceled and refunded to her. My flights were moved up a few hours but still leaving in the afternoon. In a panic my mom worried about whether to cancel out trip all together but she decided to purchase new tickets at over twice what she originally paid and make the trip regardless of cost or Matthew. This decision left my poor brother to deal with the farm and the Hurricane. My sister who lives in central Florida paid no heed to the category 4 whirling devil approaching her coast line. I began the 5 hour drive to my airport to catch my 1st flight. I used a parking company near the airport for the 1st time. I have to day they were overly efficient and made me feel scattered before my trip even began.
My flight nearly went off without issue. My middle flight was delayed about an hour for “over-weight” issues. This caused me to miss my last connection but in a happy chain of events caused me to travel with my mother on out last connection to Rio De Janeiro. My mother’s flights went fine. Her issue was trying to deal with non-English speaking people. I, having traveled since I was little, relied more on kindness of others and the ability to hear and connect foreign words to my language. I feel my mom holds on to her comfort zone as if it would save her. She doesn’t do well in pressure situations like these. Thankfully an English speaker helped her transverse the confusing airports. I have to say that in Sao Paulo airport when you come out of the terminal it feels like you walked into a Las Vegas Mall; all bright lights and loud noises. It was dazzling.
After a short taxi ride we arrived at our hotel on Copacabana. It was a fun ride with lots to look at and marvel at. Here is a city that grew up in between towers of granite. To look at the place you imagine how it might of looked before people moved here. It was raw and wild before giving way to the desires of humans. A brief walk through the Fort of Copacabana showed that Brazil is only slightly younger then the United States and had been inhabited by many different nations. I think you can see it. The influences of these different people. The people of Brazil themselves is a mixing pot. Many beautifully sun kissed “white” skinned people right alongside the darker skin of Africans. I wonder if they have the same mentality of colored people in the United States? Do Brazilian Blacks want retribution for their ancestors? I digress. The hotel was clean and our room was fine. Could not ask for a better place on the main strip facing the beach. Mother and I immediately took off down the beach to enjoy the day.
My requirement to my mother for this trip was to preplan excursions. She, of course, did not do this. I had spent time looking at tour companies in the area before we left and had made some arrangements before leaving home. So first we booked a sun rise tour of Cristo Redentor. I have to suggest that if you are in Rio De Janeiro and want to see Christ the Redeemer the best time is first thing in the morning. Otherwise, the crowds push you out of the way. Even having an early start to our tour there were many people at the park and always in the way. I was a little overwhelmed with the height of the statue’s base. Just where you stand to take pictures feels like you are on top of the world and clouds actually passed by the statue while we were there. Amazing. We could also see the whole or Rio De Janeiro and was awesome to get an idea of the layout from on high. That tour took us till midday and we spent the afternoon walking the main strip looking at street venders and snacking on local food and beer. After traveling so far and seeing so much bed time came early. The next day we took the suggestion of our tour guide and looked at tours from a local company called Rio Line. It does all the major sights and we thought the prices were fairly decent so we booked an afternoon tour to Sugar Loaf and for the following day to a Favela. The morning before our 1st afternoon tour we walked to the Hippy Market. It was a few blocks of the main drag and was a fun walk and a great market for art. I tried to curb my spending but sometimes it’s hard. Sugar Loaf is a cable car ride between two towering pillars of granite (at least I think its granite) and while the sights were lovely it really wasn’t all the exciting. After the tour we had a very nice sit down dinner in one of the sidewalk cafes. I had fettuccini with steak and my mom had a burger with fries. Oh my dear mother. However, in my scoffing of her meal I have to admit Brazilian beef is probably some of the best I have ever had. The spices used woke up some long forgotten taste buds and made the meal very satisfactory.
The morning before our Favela tour we walked around Fort Copacabana and read about their history and took in the view from the south end of Copacabana were you are able to look around the corner to Ipanema Beach. By that point in our trip I probably had walked a few miles up and down the beach and was well acquainted with the land marks and best places to eat and shop. There was a few signs that the Olympics were held not 6 weeks prior but mostly everything had returned to business as usual. I was very excited for our Favela tour. I knew it was a slum but I always thought the color you see was because the people were still proud and brought what color to their poor lives as they could. I was wrong. The color is from the government that paints the viewable side of the houses so it’s less of an eyesore for the rich 1%. Our tour guide was wonderful and actually lived in the Favela he took us too. He said that to get his job he had to fib and said he lived in the “projects” because there was a huge prejudice toward Favela people. If you look at the Favela from the outside it looks like someone to blocks and just kept stacking them. Each small floor is a home. Sometimes 5-6 people live in 300 square feet. That itself is amazing but then as we walked into the Favela and started navigation the areas. You might take a tiny trail and some uneven stairs to end up at someone’s home. It is indescribable but know you must visit these places to see the truth about their living conditions. These people are kind and giving but are held in poverty because of a trick of the government. A trip the American government also uses. Welfare. If you pay for everything and give people no reason or desire to work for themselves then you own them. You control them. These poor people get food and utilities from the government so why do they need to be a better people. Also the schooling is almost nonexistent. The children go to school only 2 hours a day maybe for 3-4 months a year. Many of the young ones do not know how to properly read or write. It was very life changing to see this place. I have been to a lot of poor areas but this was really just beyond my comprehension. I am so grateful for my blessings.
After this tour we went off to our second hotel. This one was in “south” Rio but by taxi it took an hour. Barra Da Tijuca was a place that seem to get a lot new structures for the Olympics. The hotel, a Hilton, was beautiful and very posh but so far from anything worth seeing. The first day at this hotel we took a cab back to Ipanema and wondered around the area then in the evening took a tour to the Botanical Gardens and the Tijuca forest. The gardens were amazing a few hundred acres of 200 year old trees and beautiful flowers. It was very lovely and we spent a lot of time just wandering around enjoying nature. Afterwards our guide took us in a jeep to see the national forest and drive around the mountain some. We saw Toucans and monkeys. The vista from some of the points were wonderful. The last stop we wanted to see was closed so instead we went to where hand gliders land after jumping off a huge cliff above the beach. There I had a wonderful slushy drink made from the local berries. The night before I might have indulged in the local drink a little excessively and this slushy made my stomach very happy. The next day we had free and wandered around the mall near our hotel. It was very similar to malls here so I wasn’t very intrigued except for the book store. I found a cook book and a comic about the Secret Lives of Dogs. Having nothing to do my mother started pushing my buttons and so going back to the hotel I went to sleep.
Leaving to come home was a little stressful because my mother was nervous about the trip home. I told her it was way too early to get anxious so she went off to drink. She isn’t pleasant when she drinks. I stayed in the room and hid away from her wrath. We checked out and took a taxi to the airport only to find it was the wrong airport. So another taxi to the correct one check in and went to out gates. We had a couple hours before taking off so I walked around the terminal, probably my own nervous energy, and my mom went to her gate. Just before we were to board my flight was canceled and I scramble to get rebooked to get home. I lost mom somewhere in the airport since we were flying separately. My flights home were uneventful but I was concern if my mom made all her flights well. I was back in my home state before I heard from her and told me everything went well. I was able to grab my bags and start the 5 hour drive home midmorning. I planned to arrive home early evening. Once back in cell coverage my roommate texted me that she was in the hospital and asked if I could bring her phone charger. As if being in the hospital was no issue. I, of course, told her I would. She is still in the hospital and is ok just hoping for improvement over her symptoms. I am very happy to be home, even as much as I love to travel. I am most content with my little “purr box” on my lap.
I came to Brazil under a few pretenses. One that there would be a lot to see that would keep us busy Two that the culture is greatly different from mine. Three I wouldn’t kill my mom. Well I am being corrected on many points.
While there is many things to see and they are all beyond wonderful I think we have run short. In an effort to keep things active I have been trying to book day tours to different places. We have seen the almighty Christ the Redeemer, Sugar loaf rock, Copacabana and Impanema Beaches, and the Favelas. All very awe-inspiring and very humbling. However that was accomplished in the 1st half of the trip.
While we have one more tour tomorrow having a “dead” day wasn’t a good idea. I woke up at 5am because the window was open and my mom was looking outside. Groggerly, I asked if eeverythingwas OK and if anything was needed. My mom bade me to go back to sleep she was just watching traffic. At a more appropriate time to get up, 8:30, I got up and asked what we are doing today. Mom had read the guest book and knew about things around the area. I was chastised about getting up and rushing the day and to be quiet. So I was, quiet for the next three hours. Then I was chastized for not talking or choicing what we were to do today. I give up.
The thrid misconception I had was the unique culture. Don’t get me wrong Brazil is very Brazil but really it is like the USA. The few rich, the many poor, the unfaithful government, and everyone just trying to get by. 😛
Isn’t it amazing that one (or more) people can raise your ire just by seeing or hearing them. What causes that? That complete dislike, disgust, or disfavor. Where does it come from? I had my training the other day. It went very well regardless of people that distress me. I felt the scenario was poorly conceived but that is beside the point. We often times have these what if trainings. It is very good to keep a person thinking and the practice keeps us on our toes. I have to say that the person in charge of this exercise is a person of particular distaste with me. Now before you tell me not to judge, let me say I don’t go out of my way to detest people. Sometimes it just happens. And in my defense, this particular person overcomes his vertical challenges with an excessive ego, mean spirit, and a condescending mouth. I digress.
So myself and two co-workers participated in the exercise and were able to complete our task without many issues. Without being pretentious (at least I think so) I felt I reacted well. I have trust issues with putting my life in another person’s hands. Doesn’t everyone? Because of that trust issue, I tend to let others lead and then fill in as needed. This situation was no different. My coworker took the lead and I filled in the gaps they left. Our task got done quickly and without issue. In our debrief our instructor spent twice as long as the exercise. He would say, You did this.. and then would go off on an unrelated explanation of what he would do in the situation. I feel like he has to talk to feel important. None of my actions, though I thought they were justified were even mentioned. It was as if I wasn’t even part of the action. This is perhaps why I have such issues with training. It never make any sense and the feedback is not helpful.
I am trying to stay positive and focus on the good but sometimes it just brings you down. This might be the reason behind my not wanting to do these trainings and the anxiety that comes with it. I feel better now that it is over. I just know this is going to be a long month. Lots going on and lots to do. Winter is coming. I must prepare and get the yard in order. Start putting things away that don’t need to be out, etc. I am looking forward to my trip at the end of the week. My mom is giving my heartburn with all their questions about what to bring and how to pack. This too will pass.
On a lighter note: While I was typing this my coworker who is very grandfatherly was rambling on about this and that. I was half listening to him as I wrote but my attention was fully his when I heard this sentence. “Canada is a third world country… like Afghanistan.” I, of course, was fully enthralled at that point and asked for the reasoning behind his announcement. I was told, as an example, that in Canada you have to carry a gas can because the gas stations are so far between and most of them are closed for the winter. Like in Afghanistan where the gas stations are so far apart…supposedly. Made me smile at the very least.
Have you ever had that feeling of impending doom? I don’t know why exactly I am having that feeling but it is not fun. Like the stress you get watching a long tailed cat in a room full of mouse traps. It almost more than you can bare. I know I was very stressed over a work issue that was taken care of. It worked out to look like I was given everything I asked for. I can only imagine someone on the outside looking in would think. I have heard the rumors of some of the complaints that have come up behind my back. Maybe this feeling is from the image that is being portrayed of the whole situation. Don’t you love when people have no clue puts their two cents in?
Perhaps the feeling is anxiety for my trip next week. I always get a little nervous flying. It’s not the actual flying that bothers me but the ticket counter and getting through security. A guilty conscience from an innocent person. I know that everything will work out fine, travel wise. It is a trip with my mom which I swore last time I would never travel with her again and here we are traveling together. She becomes an invalid in the decision making process and it frustrates me to no end. I will not be making all the decisions. I shouldn’t have to. If she gets silly again I will leave her butt at the hotel room and go find a nightclub and dance the night away.
I have training at work today. It is a role-play of a scenario that couldn’t even happen. I have been dreading this training for weeks. I totally don’t want to do it. I always hate these role plays. It is good training. I am not a fan of our instructor. He has an enormous ego for his short stature. I have never enjoyed these trainings in my 6 years with my department. It may stem from a deep seeded shame I have. Just general shame. I’m not ashamed of my job or anything. I am starting to sound like a nut case. Maybe I should get counseling.
They promised a sunny day today but instead we have stayed overcast for the last week. Maybe that’s playing into my moods. Who knows. Kinda feel like this picture here. Got to have patience.
The picture is just for attention or maybe just thought provoking. It is a picture of Saint Agatha of Sicily. She is the Saint of breast cancer. Which leads me to wonder if they knew about cancer way back when. And if they did know how did they figure that out? I am really curious now. So much for an useless post. LOL. Really it looks like a horrible painting of purple nerple. OK so in my defense it is 5 am and I have been at work all night.
I have been struggling the last couple days to get motivated. I have slept more in the last three days then I have in the last three weeks. I knew I was going to get that Zika while I was in Georgia. I have to admit they ate me alive while I was there. It was too hot to wear a lot of clothes so I have some bites in very tender places. Like the back of my knees you perverts. Maybe I have malaria. I could get on WebMD and probably diagnose myself with cancer… and that brings us full circle to Saint Agatha.
Today is my last overnight shift. Hopefully I can get back into gear. I find that with a messed up sleep schedule really messes up my life. And when I am on a different sleep schedule then my roommate I end up sleeping with three feline bedmates. I don’t know if you have ever slept with an animal in your bed but they take up so much damn room that it is ridiculous. I wake up pinned to my bed because they have each plotted out a corner for themselves. Craziness.
Well I am going to go drink a redbull and get ready for the am. Gotta go shopping after work and make dinner today!
I know I haven’t written in a while. As you know, I was at my mom’s house for a long weekend. I have to say my worries were not as much of an issue as I thought. We only butted heads some of the time. Part of the issue is my mom is as stubborn as I am… or vice versa. The first complaint I have is my mom has Hugesnet for internet. OMG I thought my internet was slow but her internet is ridiculous. Multiple calls to her service provider later we decided it was all my brother’s fault.
Speaking of my brother, what a weasel he turned out to be. He is so good at manipulating my mom. Pisses me off but there isn’t much I can do. She lets him and he doesn’t care. Most of his bills are paid for and he can just lay around all day and mom doesn’t say anything. He recently got hurt and spent the entire weekend with an unneeded cane and snuggling with his girlfriend. His girlfriend, only his second, is very nice. She wears some outrageous make up to hide a large nasal bridge. I think she looks fine but we are always our own worst enemies when it comes to vanity. My mom and I speak of her as the “Unicorn” in complete love and play. God bless anyone who can put up with my brother.
Other than internet issues, wanting to poke my brother, and the 95% humidity the weekend went by fast. My mom had a honey do list for me and I was very willing to assist. I have found that the Georgia Time has creeped up on my family. That is nothing ever gets done. Kind of like Island Time but in Georgia. I would get up around 8 am, and only so late cause I would go to bed around 2am, and nothing would get started until 11am. For a person who works for a living, that really frustrated me. Of all the things on my “to do list” only 1.5 things got done. I did get my drink on though. Bought some craft beer for us to try. Got to say my mom doesn’t hold her beer very well but she is fun while she is trying.
Mom and I watched football out on the island and got a little toasted. I think I made a poor black man blush. And if you don’t know that is very hard to do. We got to play on the beach and watch the Broncos beat the Colts to the ground. I also found out that my mom drunk text too. My roommate was very impressed stating that she writes better drunk then sober.
It is hard for me to see the farm melt away. That is exactly what it is doing—melting. We replaced boards on my mom’s chicken coop doorway. I would say 85% of the boards had rotted away and the bugs had the other 15%. Not only that the horse fences are coming down. It will take a few years of dedicated work to get everything back in order. Makes me sad. Also makes me grateful that I live in an area that is only a max 60% humidity.
So while little was accomplished it was great to visit home. I see my mom in another 12 days or so for our big trip to see the Big Jesus. Maybe she will actually pose next time.