Some of you may be wondering what the heck I’m doing, since apparently I neglected to tell you what all this mustering and worrying and planning is all about, exactly.  I could try to make up something awesome, but the fact is the truth is awesome enough for all my coworkers to hate me.

After two years of talking about it and saying I was going to do it, after two years of planning and saving money and hoarding vacation time and using my miles debit card for every damn purchase and bill I possibly could (the one bit of silver lining on the fact that I had to purchase not one but two cars this year!! gah!), after nearly 15 years of dreaming about it, I am leaving, on Sunday, for Brazil.  I’m spending the first week with my brother and sister-in-law and totally adorable nephews, who are going to be arriving at the same time for a wedding outside of Sao Paolo, and then I will head to a city called Maceio.  The banner picture of my blog is from Maceio, but just for the heck of it here’s a few more:

I will spend the next 2 months in Maceio learning Portuguese at a Portuguese language school called Fast Forward. During my third and last month there, I will be participating in their volunteer program, where I will be teaching self defense and martial arts skills to young people of an as-yet-undetermined age for an as-yet-undetermined daily time frame at an as-yet-undetermined location.

My accommodations in Maceio consist of a homestay with a family who speak no English, only Spanish and Portuguese.  Total, absolute immersion. Oh, and their apartment is apparently two blocks away from the beach.

I plan on packing scuba gear.  I’ve purchased new shorts and tank tops, since I was woefully depleted of both items.  I have spray on suntan lotion.  I will bring some Oregon wine, some lovely Great Harvest Bakery pumpkin chocolate chip bread, several pairs of sunglasses and one pair of boots.  In case I need to kick someone.

And my laptop, of course.  Because all you crazy people insisted that I continue to make you all jealous and post lots and lots of pictures.  You asked for it.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.