I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to post! We arrived exactly one week ago and haven't had internet until today!
I already started my meetings and I start teaching on Thursday, my first full day. Wish me luck!
In the meantime, here are my first impressions of Alabama:
- Everyone is super friendly, but I sometimes wonder how "real" it is. They're a little too friendly for it to be real... only time will tell!
- They weren't wrong when they said it's the peanut capital of the world. The entire town smells like peanuts.
- Our allergies are beyond control. Even Peter, who doesn't usually get allergies, is getting them really bad. Everyone here says that they will get even worse when they start harvesting...
- Gas is so cheap!
- Hooray for Publix! This grocery store carries a whole line of natural, organic, and gluten-free items - from organic, cage-free eggs to grass fed, antibiotic-free beef. They have organic fruits and vegetables! AND they have guaraná, a Brazilian soda that Peter is obsessed with!
- Everyone knows everyone. This town isn't super small (60,000 people, I believe), yet everyone knows everyone and is related to everyone.
- The weather is very similar to Rio de Janeiro, only there isn't an ocean nearby.
- Do I miss Brazil? Yes and no. But I think that deserves a separate post of its own. I definitely miss the city of Rio de Janeiro, I miss living so close to the beach, and I miss a few people. I don't miss how stressed Peter was, not having a car, being broke all the time, and not having a dishwasher.
- I am homesick and miss my family, but hopefully when school starts I'll be too busy to notice. I also hope I can start making some good friends.
- The school is very supportive and helpful. I don't really feel overwhelmed or stressed yet. Everything is taken care of and my fellow music teachers have been helping me out a lot!
- It's soooo nice working for a school that says "We have money for that" and "You're the expert, this is your program, you can do whatever you want" and "Don't buy anything with your own money, we have more than enough in our budget" and "We trust you completely."
And last, but not least:
- PETER GOT A JOB!!! He had a preliminary interview a couple days before we moved out here and then a second interview the day after we arrived. They offered him the job right away and he starts tomorrow as well. He will be the Senior Graphic Designer for the marketing division of a local company. The company actually manufactures and sells video surveillance systems, but he will be in the marketing department. He is super excited.
Oh yeah, if you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my post from the day we arrived. Some girls from the choir stopped by with gift baskets, notes, flowers, and gift cards for me. It was so sweet!
VLOG to come soon. I haven't had time or energy to make it yet. The first couple of days I was feeling very anxious, stressed, and homesick. More on that later.