Into the bags…and into your mailbox.

1 06 2008

My apartment is on its way to getting packed up and shipped off. Today I took out all of my clothing from my closets in the bedroom and separated the things I will take back and the things I will donate. The donation bag is, at this point, much larger than the bag of things to bring back. When I moved here, I brought with me six huge bags filled with clothes that, over the months and years, have now withered away to rags. The clothes I bought here to fill out my wardrobe will sadly remain here because for the most part, what’s worn in Brazil should stay in Brazil. Fashion here is very Brazil-specific, and with the exception of a couple of bags, a dress, and some flip-flops, I’m not bringing much Brazilian stuff back with me. Therefore, the six bags with which I made the trek here will most likely be going into my suitcases to take up room. It’s nice to know I can travel relatively lightly.

When my friends came over this morning to announce their engagement, they looked around my very dusty and cluttered apartment and remarked on its bareness. I didn’t have the guts to tell them it really had been that bare the whole time, but perhaps the dust that I refuse to pick up because it refuses to stay picked up made it seem more barren. And then afterwards, I ran a couple loads of laundry and commenced packing. My guest room is the dedicated packing room and so I have all my space saver plastic bags spread out with my duffels and backpacks and paintings I’ve never framed because I knew I would be leaving someday and didn’t want to deal with trying to pack or ship framed art. It’s nice to know everything I have can fit into suitcases and I don’t need to spend time worrying about how to ship oddly shaped things. Of all the things I’m bringing home with me there is only one thing I’m nervous about, and that’s a glass bowl one of the teachers gave me last year for my birthday. I’ll have to either carry it on or else find a box to put it in and then pack around it really well with soft things in my suitcase. I also have presents to bring home and I’m thinking of devoting one suitcase just to presents. I love giving presents. 


And so here’s where your mailbox thing comes in. Nilsa, over at newsomi, had a great idea to give a goody bag to commenters on her site. So here’s what I’m gonna do. I’ve got exactly two more full weekends of Cambui hippie fairs left. And so what that means is that I’m going to make some more gift runs, which is how you’ll benefit if you leave a comment this week. Everyone who leaves a comment will be eligible for a Brazilian goody bag, and at the end of the week (winner announced on Sunday June 8th) I will draw a name and in 10-15 days you’ll receive something great from where I live!

It’s about karma, it’s about sharing, and it’s about good things. 


Any tips for moving? packing? Any ideas for how to spend my final three weeks here?




16 responses

1 06 2008
Banana Nanika

Oh, yowsa! I’m the first one to comment. Well, not for the goody bag, but for wishes of goodness on your next adventure. And to express how weird it was to find your blog, after I almost moved to Campinas earlier in the year. Oh, and I’ve had a yearning to ask you, given that you live there…Did you ever spot Rafinha? 😉
As far as your last three weeks, did you ever go on one of the trails at Serra do Japi or Morro Ipanema? Or visit Pedreira for gifts and a ride through the coffee plantation on the antique Maria Fumaça? There’s also Boituva, which isn’t all that and a bag of chips, but has a famous sky diving range, if you swing or jump that way of the adventureous tracks.

1 06 2008

Yikes. I haven’t done ANY of those things. Are they even in or around Campinas? And you were going to MOVE to Campinas? That’s nuts!! (Where you are is probably better than here…where ARE you by the way?)

1 06 2008

Hmmmm….about that fragile glass bowl….if you pack the glass bowl in a box with soft padding that is not much larger than the bowl and then pack THAT box in a much larger box with tons of packing peanuts, that should allow for a significant buffer from any rough handling if you send it through the mail. If it’s packed REALLY well it should definitely be able to make it safely to the states.

Do the craigslist thing (if you can in Brazil) to get rid of things. Kyle and I use it all the time to either get rid of or find things we need. You can even put stuff on there for free and people will come take it off your hands and you won’t have to worry about bringing it anywhere.

1 06 2008

Hi Catherine,
I do love Craigslist. I’ve been on it looking for furniture for our new place! And also, if I can avoid it, I don’t want to send anything back there. I want to fly with it all. Although, I do need to send a big load of books back, so we’ll see. Thanks for the suggestions!

1 06 2008

Don’t count me for the goody bag contest (since I received one for the coin contest), but I wanted to encourage everyone else to comment because Gina sends very fun goody bags from Brazil!!

1 06 2008

🙂 Thanks!

1 06 2008


It is sooo sad your packing and leaving in a few weekes!I’m going to miss you ms.c. You should not include me either well because I’m already from here but if you want… In these last weeks you should have a lot of fun, and I don’t know, eat doritos.I hope you have a great time your last weeks here!!!=)

1 06 2008
Triska Mae

Whee! This bit made me laugh: “what’s worn in Brazil should stay in Brazil”

I commend you on your idea, and, well, I might pull a similar thing in the future! I love sharing! Kinda like when I left the office, I had nothing when I walked in, when I walked out, I had tons of trinkets from events, people and whoah. Best wishes!

1 06 2008

I agree with Jennie…I received a sweet gift during the coin contest and that rooster is the topic of conversation when anyone enters our kitchen. It is hanging beautifully from our fridge. I love it and so does everyone else. They all ask where we got it and if they make them any larger. Haha! I love giving gifts also so I need to come up with a gift giveaway in the future.
Does Brazil sell bubble wrap or those air pocket deals so you could pack the glass safely for the trip home? Hmm or maybe wrap it in some clothes tightly until its a huge ball of softness?

2 06 2008

Just literally stumbled on your blog and am intrigued by the goody bags. Never been to Brazil. Also, have you ever tried Freecycle? Most major cities have them. It’s a grassroots org. that aims to keep things from the junkyard that other people may want or use. You might want to check it out.

2 06 2008

Welcome Triska, 3kids!
I’ve never heard of Freeycycle! That sounds like such a cool thing! I’ll definitely have to check it out!

2 06 2008

Also, Susan, if your friends are interested, I can certainly ask if the artist makes larger roosters. Just let me know!

2 06 2008
Banana Nanika

Freecycle is amazing!!! Also, as soon as you hit NYC don’t forget to

2 06 2008
Rachel L

I agree with Banana – HopStop is a god send! As is menu pages.

My advice on how to spend your last three weeks: people watch! It will be your last time as a resident observing the people of Brazil, and I’m sure your perspective will change a great deal as a tourist (when you go back to visit). NY is full of interesting people, but its nothing like being immersed in another culture!

Also – feed those cats one last time, so you have good memories of your street.

And now for packing – ROLL EVERYTHING! It saves SO much space! 🙂

2 06 2008

I, too, am disqualifying myself from your contest because I have some Brazilian goodies on the way.

My suggestion of things to do before you leave? Drink lots of caipirinhas…if you love them as much as I do. It’s impossible to get them as good here in the U.S.

And maybe bust out the brazilian bikini a few more times?

2 06 2008
Comment Karma: Day 1 « A Year Here / A Year There

[…] For details about this Comment Karma thing, read this.  […]

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