Happy One Year Anniversary to Me & Brazil.

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Yup, you've got it. One whole year. 525,600 minutes. February 16, 2008, I stepped foot on Brazilian soil for the first time after not having been here for 19 years. And here I am, still 'live and kickin'!

To celebrate, I'd like to write this post listing different happenings and milestones, because this year went by fast, but so much happened that I'm still blown away at how much has been accomplished in a mere 365 days or so...

In one year, I...

- Met 90ish% of my family.

- Got my driver's license for the first time! (since I couldn't in the US due to my status there). And faced (not while at the wheel, but still), miles and miles of traffic.

- Have had A LOT of interviews, two registered jobs and taught a number of students some English - total of 10 months working, and two new professions learned - and still learning!

- Had an American friend visit.

- Spent my first Christmas and Easter away from my parents but near the rest of my family.

- Went to Rio, a number of cities and towns in Minas Gerais, and a couple of beach towns in São Paulo, i.e., kinda dominated the southeast of Brazil.

- Have been to the North, South and West sides of São Paulo City (I have yet to venture into the East side... maybe this year), and have come to terms with how big the city is without whining about taking hour long plus bus rides around the city.

- Have gotten lost. A Lot. And in getting lost, have discovered the wonderfulness of SP.

- Have realized once and for all I don't deserve to be as skinny as I am.

- Have NOT lost my accent from Minas despite having lived in São Paulo a good 11 out of the last 12 months.

- Have had 3 haircuts in 3 different cities.

- Have gone to samba school practices, milked a cow, watched a Zé Ramalho concert outdoors at midnight, and been to a drag queen show.

- Had a 4 day birthday celebration with my new friends who I love so much, in my new home.

- Cannot count how many times people have asked me how I speak Portuguese so well and why I'm back in Brazil... and keep asking.

- Have NOT gotten held up, robbed, raped, or witnessed a shootout/drive by, contrary to popular belief.

- Realized I didn't come back as Americanizada as I had thought I would.

and finally, last but not least...

Have written 68 blog posts in this blog as your resident Americaninha, and a number of others in my São Paulo City blog!

Thank you to everyone who has kept up with me for the past year and please know my adventure hasn't stopped here. I still have much more to learn and discover in this wonderful country of mine, where, after an entire year, I can finally say with some confidence, I belong.

beijoosss no coração para todos!

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