Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Moving to Brazil? Some things to know
I got an email from an American Mom of a toddler who's moving to Rio de Janeiro. It got me thinking of tips. What does the American Mom moving to Rio with their pre-schooler/toddler/baby need to know?
First off, bring toys! Pay the extra baggage cost and stuff a suitcase full. Better yet, buy a container and fill her up! The good quality toys that we are accustomed to buying for $30 are R$150 to $300. Buy some for the next age group or next bday just to cover your toosh. And have no shame in buying toys online and having them delivered to relatives or family who are coming to visit.
Bring clothes. Kids clothes are also expensive and are not the same quality. This stands for all seasons except summer. Summer is HOT down here and I prefer Brazilian made summer clothes. They are a made of a much lighter cotton.
Bring some of your little guy's favorite snacks. When you travel, it's always an adjustment. For example, you can get something called honey ohs here but you can't get Cheerios. They taste different. Bring some extra to help cushion the change.
Be prepared to cook from scratch. If you or your little one have any sort of special diet, look into it now. You can find a lot of stuff down here but there are some little things you may have wished you brought. For example, if you or your kid has Celiac disease (Gluten allergy), a friend of mine told me there's an ingredient you need to make your own bread that is difficult to find here. While I'm helpful, I'm not that helpful because I can't remember what it is for the life of me. Side note, in Brazil, all food products have to say with Gluten or Gluten free. Makes things a lot easier.
If you or your little one use a certain medication or homeopath medication, bring extra until you can find it or the equivalent here.
If you are a stroller user, make sure you have one that can handle going up and down curbs and over bumps. We have a lot in Rio.
That reminds me, bring baby gear. Make sure your car seat will work for a while, bring a breast pump or monitor, bouncer, swing, anything and everything you plan on using. We have it here but, again, it's expensive and you don't get the variety of choices you have at home.
Bring books and think about getting a magazine subscription. You can get some choice magazine subscriptions sent to your home in Rio. It's amazing what a favorite magazine or good book can do for homesickness. http://www.amazon.com/International-Magazines-Subscriptions/b?ie=UTF8&node=602346
Bring your blender, sandwich maker, food processor, or any kitchen appliance you love. Bring it! I brought my blender/food processor. I love it and I use it all the time! I replaced the crappy plastic one I had bought here.
Get maid recommendations from other ex-pats or Brazilian friends. A maid can make a lifetime of a difference even if they only come once a week. This city is surprisingly dusty and mold grows like crazy! A good maid can keep everything under control so you don't go nuts trying to do it yourself. And be prepared. You will get used to a whole new level of clean! I swear, in some apartments you could do surgery. Plus your maid can cook some food for you and your family. My maid, Soccorro, comes twice a week. She cooks a meal both days and makes backup black beans that I store in my freezer and take out when I need them.
That's all that I can get out of my exhausted Mommy head at the moment. What tips do you ex-pats in Brazil have? What questions do you future ex-pats of Brazil have?