Archive for the ‘rêvasseries’ Category

The other day D and I had a moment of “what if”‘s as we considered our lives and all their defining moments. We are persuaded that we were meant to be together and our paths were meant to cross, but sometimes it’s fun to let our imaginations go wild and wonder at all the things that could have been.

What if my family had stayed in France, how would I have met my husband? Would I have visited Brazil one day on my way to or from Argentina as a tourist or for business? Or would he have come to France for a reason I can’t even think about?

What if he had never moved from Brazil to Canada? Would he have finished his studies in construction? Would he have become an architect? An engineer?

How about my music studies… If I hadn’t listened to my dad and explored away from classical, would I really have enjoyed jazz? Would I be composing and arranging music? (Somehow I don’t think so). If I had continued my studies at McGill U. would I really have ended up majoring in music or redirected my attention on German studies? Would I be a translator? Would I be living in Europe?

What if I hadn’t met my husband at the Conservatoire or if nothing would have “clicked” between us; would I have kept studying in Montreal or transferred to a conservatoire in Italy (as was my initial plan)? Would I still be singing opera? As a soloist or as a member of a chorus in an opera house?

Would I still be dancing tango? Would I be an instructor? Organizing cultural events, shows, trips to Buenos-Aires?

If I wasn’t married with the man I love, would I be as happy as I am now? (I doubt it, but as one says “ignorance is bliss”).

Then I come back to reality and look at our wonderful children, the twins that were never fantasized in our wildest dreams. I realize that all our hardships since we’ve been together have made us stronger and part of who we are now as a couple and a growing family. Sometimes I have so much love in my heart for D and our kids that I think I’m about to burst!

Our minds are too small to imagine all the wonderful surprises that God has planned for our lives.

Ma mère (abuela de los mellizos) était de visite depuis le 27 décembre et jusqu’à hier. Disons qu’après plus de 5 ans sans se voir ça faisait très plaisir. De plus, quel meilleur moyen de célébrer mes 30 ans (le lendemain de son arrivée) qu’avec elle, mon mari et nos enfants? D’y penser comme ça, ça fait un peu irréel; comme si je m’étais transformée en adulte sans faire exprès!

Ce mois-ci est donc passé très vite.

Pour elle qui venait en direct du plus chaud de l’été humide de Buenos-Aires, le voyage a été un grand choc thermique; de plus de 35°C elle est passée à un constant -20°C par ici (avec quelques exceptionnelles “chaleurs” de -10°C et une “fraîcheur” de -30°C)… Dès son arrivée je lui ai vivement conseillé de prendre une dose de vitamine D quotidiennement pour éviter la déprime et tout autres effets secondaires du manque de soleil. La première fois que nous sommes sorties nous promener je lui avais proposé de faire le tour du village. Il faisait un temps d’hivers magnifique. Le soleil reflettant sur la neige donnait une luminosité éblouissante. Malgrès tout, bien qu’emitoufflées des pieds à la tête, les -20°C et un petit vent glacial de face ont eu raison de notre bonne volonté, arrivées au bout de la rue ma mère commence à dire qu’elle ne sent plus le bout de ses doigts. Le tour du village s’est transformé en tour du paté de maison. Quand nous sommes rentrées, elle, bien qu’ayant connu les hivers de Montréal, pleurnichait parce qu’elle avait mal aux doigts: “C’est normal? Qu’est-ce qu’on va faire?” “… ah, mamita, si ils ne sont pas bleus ça va, on n’aura pas besoin de les amputer!” ha ha. Précisons que pour ma mère qui est artiste et professeur d’art, tout ce qui touche à ses doigts devient immédiatement une source d’inquiétude. On a bien rigolé. Heureusement quand même que nous sommes restées la plupart du temps à l’intérieur bien au chaud.

Par une belle journée de -30°C…

Mes fils se sont fait gâter de toute l’attention et l’affection de leur abuela. Parfois je me dis que c’est une bonne chose que les grand-parents habitent tous si loin, ça nous aidera à ne pas avoir des enfants capricieux et gâtés… Quoique d’un autre côté je me rend compte que c’est justement parce que les grand-parents vivent si loin qu’ils vont être gâtés aux moindres visites; autant espacées soient-elles.

*soupir* Après ce récit, devrais-je répéter combien j’espère aller vivre au Brésil? (Avant que les enfants soient d’âge d’aller à l’école, SVP merci). Combien je rêve de soleil, de fruits savoureux et de chaleur?

Ah, et avant que se soit la fin du mois de janvier: Heureuse et merveilleuse année 2011 à vous tous!

After our trip to France, we were asked if we had wanted to stay there. To the surprise of most, I answered no.

We did enjoy our visit, but it was… a visit. I didn’t feel at home the way I felt with my in-laws in Brazil… But then, in France we were visiting my extended family, not my parents.

Don’t get me wrong, my dad’s family has been welcoming and generous. But how can I explain that France and the French ways have become foreign to me? It irritates me to hear constant complaining. It irritates me to smell cigarette smoke everywhere (there is no law against smoking in the face of your neighbor as long as you are outside… on a café terrasse, at the public pool, at a park, etc). AND it irritates my husband the lack of air conditioning in public places; airports, shops, museums (I don’t really mind that; in North-America they tend to overdo it and I freeze to death each time I go grocery shopping).

So after three weeks of vacation, we were glad to come back to our home in Canada.

One of the good things about traveling is that it allows you to look at your life from a different perspective. We realized while in France that our life in Canada is not as bad as we think! Of course it does not make the winter any shorter or the weather any sunnier (we’ve had a pretty cold and rainy summer since we are back – 17 degrees Celcius!), but at least we are not as frustrated with the way things are done.

Let me correct that.
We might be as frustrated as ever with the way things are done in Canada, but we realize that there are inconvienients everywhere. We might call France and Canada “developed” countries of the “first world”, but the middle class in a “third world” country like Brazil has a better quality of life!

– Food: much cheaper in Brazil… At least a third of my salary disappears in grocery shopping here. Plus veggies and fruits are fresher and tastier over there.
– Medical care: Way too expensive in Canada! Unless your pay for medical insurance (which is a rip off, in my opinion), the social insurance does not cover for eye care or the dentist, which are both extremely expensive. On the other end, we’ve had very good and affordable service in Brazil last year. (My theory is that because of the huge disparity between the poor and the rich in Brazil, they have no choice but to make those prices affordable for the majority, whereas in Canada they just abuse as much as they can!).
– Weather: the winter is too freaking long in Canada! It might be a bit better in France, specially in the south, but it’s much sunnier in Brazil.
– People: Canadians don’t complain enough… Actually, I still don’t know what they think about anything. “Neutrality” can be quite frustrating at times. On the other end, the French complain too much, all the time, about everything. Brazilians don’t worry about anything. Life is good!

I wonder if it has to do with the influence of the climate on the people.

So. Where will we live?
We still don’t know. Actually, this does not depend on us. It depends on where D will be called to serve the Lord and His church. I hope and pray that somewhere along the line we might end up in southern Brazil, but realistically that won’t be before another couple of years serving the Church in Canada, plus maybe a year in Portugal. The Lord knows best, He knows our hearts better than we know ourselves. Hopefully, when time comes, the people who are in a position of authority within the Church will have a good idea of how and where we can serve best.

De todo un poco

expatriate blog-of-the-month-september.png