Renato picks me up and we head to their apartment in the city. (remember we had dinner at their home in Mineiros in a previous post) It is a beautiful second home on the 8th floor of a high rise apartment building. When we arrive the housekeeper has breakfast set up on the patio for us. Renato sits with me for a while as he eats his breakfast of bread, juice, and cheese, but he excuses himself to finish getting ready. As I sit on the balcony overlooking the city, I begin to wonder what life would have been had my family lived in Brazil and not in Rembrandt, Iowa during my childhood. It surely would have been different with a maid and a nanny more then likely. You see, with some many people living in poverty in the country, to hire a maid and nanny to help with the daily household chores is surely affordable. I have not been in too many homes where there is not one. My mom’s life would have surely been different with cleaning and cooking done by hired help. She would not have relied on us kids doing our chores every Saturday. Dusting, vacuuming, and general pick up, but who am I kidding, she probably didn’t really rely on us anyway and went behind us making sure it all got done right. I just remember it took a large part of my Saturday morning and she spent a lot of time cooking for our family of six. It sure would be interesting to travel in a time machine, make a few changes and see how things turn out. Unfortunately that is not reality and it can only be done in our thoughts and our day dreams.
We turn down a country road full of dust, speed bumps, and bordered by cattle on the other side of barbed wire fence. The trek takes us for a little over a kilometer and we stop at a security station at the entrance of a walled community. The gentleman Renato and Marinete are meeting is at the front gate so follow him through the gated neighborhood. The man’s home has an open floor plan with lots of outdoor living space, like most Brazilian homes. Surrounded by a lush yard full of flowers, fruit bearing trees, and a swimming pool it is very welcoming and beautiful place. The man they are meeting with (I don’t ask many questions about their visit as neither Renato nor Marinete speak much English) greets us and shows us around. (he speaks none either) All the modern luxuries I have back home with the addition of a couple and a pool of course. They begin their meeting and Renato decides to take a walk. We journey down the street we just drove in and passed where we turned to arrive at the man’s home. A little further there is a turn in the road and around the corner lies a lovely pond. This day with its crystal blue skies and wonderful surroundings is perfect for pictures.
I used to have them but in the bustle of getting ahead I have lost them somewhere. My experience in taking time off to have an extended stay here has truly brought back some of those care free ideologies. I hope I find time to relax and snuggle up under a big old tree in the near future. Our stay under the grand tree today is shorter then I want, but the time to move on has come.
We head back to the house and on the way I snap a ton more photos. The neighborhood is simply spectacular and a treat for one’s eyes. I see a couple of
lots with their “vendo” (for sale) signs out front and make a mental note. Would I like a home here? How peaceful and tranquil it would be. It would be like most of the homes here with their open floor plan and lots of outdoor living space. They are modest homes and I feel at home here. Who knows, maybe I am foreshadowing my own life?
Shortly we arrive back at gentleman’s home and soon it is time to head back to the city. We jump in the pick up and off we go. When we arrive at their apartment (to my surprise as I thought they would take me home) a traditional Brazilian lunch was prepared by the maid. Renato, Marinete, and myself just needed to walk across the street to get something to drink with our lunch and we are set.
After lunch there is a brief conversation about the afternoon and I once again wish I had brought my little translation dictionary along. I thought they were taking me home but as we passed the Flamboyant Mall, Walmart, and the Modern Museum of Art, I realized they had to make a return visit to the house in the country. I really did not care, as there were a couple more streets for me to explore. We arrived and I left to take a walk on my own. I cherished the time to myself and I soon felt like a young boy walking down the roads in Iowa. The sun was bright and hot and the breeze still cool.
Around the neighborhood I walked, enjoying the many photo opportunities and beautiful treasures to be found. I soon began to day dreaming of walking in our grove back in Iowa as a child. Searching to find hidden treasures and making up stories about life. What a wonderful time childhood was and how wonderful nature is.
questions about her flowers and what they are. It is truly one of a kind in her neighborhood. After pasteis and coffee, we hop back in to the pick up for the trip home. She invites me to her son’s birthday party but I don’t think I will be in Brazil at that time, but I sure hope we get to visit her again sometime in the future. Her energy is good and finding someone who speaks English is always a welcome treat.
(Read - "Off to Mineiros")