After a couple of days up North for GitLab Commit in Brooklyn, I flew out to Brazil last week for what is most definitely my fastest trip there ever.
I really went back and forth on what was the appropriate amount of time for this visit to family, but in the end I settled on a week-ish away from home, 12 days total, as the appropriate amount of time. I couldn’t think of this trip to Brazil in a silo because that’s not what it was- it was a trip that followed a trip that took me away from home. I needed to look at the whole picture. I’m so glad I did.
I knew I was going to go to Brazil, so the flight in itself was essentially a sunk cost. That mindset made it much easier to justify that I did the right thing.
I landed in Brazil on Thursday and my family immediately started celebrating. My mom, aunt, and cousin also landed on this day. Another cousin and his wife had come from Germany earlier in the week. It was a nice way to catch up with folks we don’t always get the chance to catch up with without there being the overwhelming pressure of all the family there.
Friday, I spent most of the day working. Thank goodness for solid wifi!
Saturday was my grandmother’s 80th birthday party, and the whole reason we were all in town! Slowly, more and more family tricked in. Another aunt and her boyfriend, my sister and her boyfriend, loads and loads of cousins!
It was so great to be there to welcome everyone and see so many familiar faces, many whom I haven’t seen in years.
By the time lunch came around, there were almost 40 people there! I am always in shock at how well my Dinha handles a crowd.
Folks from all over Brazil, some as far as 12 hours by car came to celebrate my grandmother! And we kicked off the party long before the party!
The party itself was amazing. In a lot of ways, it was a mini-wedding, haha. All-in-all, I think there were over 150 people there celebrating my Vo Zica! Here are all but one of my Lima cousins, who unfortunately couldn’t attend. My grandmother also has three beautiful great-grandchildren, who were fast asleep by the time we took this picture.
Of the 7 cousins in this picture, 4 of us live outside Brazil, 3 are engineers, 1 is a doctor, and we’re all pretty well-traveled. For my Vó, for whom leaving the farm to move to the “city” was a big deal, I’d say we’ve done that legacy pretty well.
Sunday, we kept the party going! We rented a party hall and continued celebrating my grandmother, but also enjoying each other’s company! Even the most recently I’ve seen any of these folks was my wedding almost a year ago!
After half the folks who hung around on Sunday left, we decided to take a group picture. Hopefully this helps paint a picture of the sense of just how many folks there were!
Eventually, our rental ended and we went back to my aunt’s home where we, unsurprisingly, kept drinking.
By Sunday evening more people were heading back to their homes. Monday, I spent the day working, while a couple folks went sightseeing to Aparecida, the Sacred Basilica of Brazil.
Monday night, my last night in Brazil, concluded with the remnants of folks headed to a pizzeria. I wanted a Brazilian hot dog!
A Brasilian hot dog is a hot dog but topped with requeijão (like cream cheese), corn, little french fry sticks, raisins, green sauce, cheese, ketchup, and deliciousness. All of this and you get the cardiac arrest in 20 years for free! (Jk, kinda?)
I couldn’t totally resist the pizza, though, and opted for a slice of desert pizza- banana with condensed milk and cinnamon! These is the food that I’m here for!!
Tuesday morning, I worked for a bit before my uncle drove me to Rio so I could fly home.
Traveling is amazing, but there’s something special about coming home.