March 30, 2010

Life in Goiás Velho

After a month in Goiás Velho, we are finally settled in. We live in an old house in the historic center of Goiás Velho. The town is quite charming. The streets are made of old stones and date back hundreds of years. There is a river running through the center of town with old wooden bridges that traverse it. During the day, there are few cars and more than a couple of horses with carts. It often feels as if we have gone back in time. Except for, of course, I have my laptop and Internet connection!

The kids like here as well. They go to a wonderful school – Vila Esperança – that is on gorgeous grounds and is colorfully decorated with comfy cushions and rugs. Plus, it has a focus on dance, capoeira, and music that is great for the children. This was a very welcome break after that strict Catholic school in Santo Domingo.

I asked my nine year old daughter Tatiana what she liked best about our house in Goiás Velho, Brazil, and her response was “our pets.” Normally, we don’t have household animals, because we travel too often. However, in Goiás Velho, a friend agreed to lend us his puppy while we are here. We’ll have to give it back when we leave, so hopefully that will go over okay. My husband Nando also picked up a few ducks and chickens at the market. When we leave, I am sure we will not have any problem getting someone to take in some plump poultry. Their destiny as pets, however, will be short lived, I am sure.

Soraya – Tatiana’s twin sister’s – response to my question about her favorite thing was the garden. Behind our house, we have a large, messy yard. I wouldn’t exactly call it a garden, but it certainly provides space to run around. It also has a fantastic outdoor shower that is the perfect remedy for Goiás Velho’s hot afternoons. I asked Soraya what she liked about the garden, and she said the fact that the animals live in it. Tatiana and Soraya are real animal lovers.

When I asked Raymi, my six year old daughter, what her favorite thing was, she said “the hammock.” We have a lovely, huge, colorful hammock that the girls use to swing on. Recently, they realized that they also can swing and jump off of it onto the air mattress. They have a game where they swing each other and dump each other onto the air mattress.

Goiás Velho also has many interesting things for the kids outside the house. On many a hot afternoon, we walk a few blocks from our house to a small waterfall where the kids can take a dip in the river. The cool water is very refreshing after a long day. And, the waterfall is set in a verdant valley. It is a most relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

Other afternoons, we go to the Plaza, where they have an ice cream stand in the middle. In addition, there are often plenty of children around with whom the children can play. Now that we have the dog – his name is Manchitas by the way – we can take him to the park. That way, even if there are no other kids, the girls can have fun playing with Manchitas.

As we are near to Holy Week, there is no shortage of processions in Goiás Velho. We live just a few doors down from Igreja do Rosario – a prominent historic church. So far, there have been two large processions that start there and go right by our house. And, they will continue for the rest of Holy Week. Tatiana in particular finds the processions fascinating. I imagine she will admire even more those later in the week – which will be even bigger and fancier.

Goiás Velho is a small town, so there is not much of a night life. However, there is one restaurant that serves snacks and beers on its patio on weekend nights that we like to go to. The advantage of this restaurant is that it is located right next to a playground. And, on weekend nights, a gentleman sets up a trampoline that the girls can jump on and hopefully burn off their energy. Last time we went, the girls were excited to have been out at night with us. Nando and I we were glad to have been able to have a beer in peace.

When we first arrived in Goiás, I had the impression that people were less friendly than in other parts of Brazil. When I said “hi” as we walked by, I got more than a couple of blank stares. However, now that we have been here for over a month, those same people smile broadly and say hello first as we walk by. It took less time than I thought for folks to open up.

Overall, Goiás Velho was a great choice as a family-friendly place to spend our three months in Goiás, Brazil.

No comments:

Post a Comment