Blissful Sundays…

Sunday morning and I had a great night’s sleep. Too tired from all the work these past two weeks, yet thankful to have these projects to work on. Last night I decided to skip the forró night and get a proper, full 7-hour sleep. Boy, was that good and needed! Interestingly, I woke up to thoughts of my friends in Germany. I guess this was because I tried remembering the last time I had such a deep and rejuvenating sleep.

…the feeling I had when I woke up at Josefa’s home, in the cozy attic, under fresh warm bedsheets, with the smell of home-made nut-bread. I remember going to bed the night before so tired yet relieved that I had been lucky enough to be welcomed by good people. Back then I was still skeptical, very scared of people and afraid I might end up at a serial killer’s house. I remember thinking “Ok, Ioanna, you’re good. You are in good hands. It is a lovely family, you are going to be fine.” I got up, took a moment to explore my surroundings, had a look outside the little window. It was so quiet and peaceful. I went downstairs and Josefa was already making breakfast, a big, rich breakfast, she had set the table as if it was Christmas Eve and seemed to be so happy doing this. She spoke little English and I spoke no German at all, yet her smile and the warm ‘good morning hug’ she gave me had no language barriers.

Little Maria, the daughter of Sebastian and Anneta had just been born a few days before, while Lisa and Matthias were expecting their little gem a few weeks later. Fast forward to today, I can imagine Josefa having long along brunch today with her two sons and daughters-in-law, the two little ones, Maria and Frida filling up the air with their happy voices. That’s how I imagine them today and I am quite confident their reality is even better.

Back to my reality of today. It’s a quiet Sunday morning. I made me some strong coffee, put a new playlist on and am ready to start working. These past weeks I have been hanging out with Goldie, a friend of a friend who came to live in Jeri for a month and whom I will definitely miss big time! We’ve been having lunch breaks from work, short walks by the beach to see the sunset and she’s always up for some forró too! We’ve connected in a beautiful way, exchanging our lives’ stories and supporting each other in moments of weakness. I don’t have friends like her in Jeri, someone I can text any time of the day and meet with in just a few minutes. People I can open up to and know they will not judge and will do their best to understand me. It is tough to make friends in a vacation place like Jeri. People come and go constantly, most people here are in vacation-mode (and who’s to blame them?) and there is no time to just sit and talk as much as is needed to start to really know each other and get connected. Still, I know I am not the type of social butterfly that could easily open up conversations with strangers and my broken Portuguese makes it even harder to communicate. But I try, there is room for improvement and I am a constant work in progress.


Work has given me a good boost of confidence. I was starting to get too stressed about finances and this had a huge impact on me in all aspects. Yet, as my friend Rean said “Things always seem to work out in the end, it’s funny how that happens” and he’s right. Just when you think things are going south and you have no way to turn them around, one little (or big) thing happens, something unexpected, something you hadn’t thought of or never imagined would happen, and it is a game-changer. I only got to meet Rean once, yet here I am at the other side of the World getting messages of support, encouragement to keep going, being offered any kind of assistance if needed from someone who owes me nothing. It is people like Josefa, Meggi, Sasha, Ligia, Funda, Savio, Karine, Goldie, Rean, Stavroula… people that came into my life out of nowhere and still fill me with their love and caring with a simple message every now and then or with entire days and nights of their time chatting with me and keeping me company. It is people like Angie, Anna, Marta, Loraine… who have known me since I was a different Me, have witnessed the changes in me and still love and accept me unconditionally. If only everyone could be so blessed at some point in their lives as to have people like them around.

Yeah, I started talking about work and ended up reciting my friend list… I am so terrible at keeping consistency in my writing! Well, work is work. It’s good to have it and great to enjoy the reaps of your hard work too. For now I know I will be very busy for the next couple of weeks until I deliver the last one of my projects, but I am also very lucky to be enjoying the real ‘location independent freelancing’ life. Short lunch breaks with Goldie by the beach, dancing nights to get some cardio in and life goes on. Blissfully.


Yesterday we went to the beach for a late lunch/early dinner and watch the sunset and new full moon. Goldie started giving me some Portuguese lessons, mainly correcting my terrible use of tenses. I can only imagine how I sound when speaking Portuguese “tomorrow I wanted you go dancing” rather “tomorrow I want to go dancing”… somehow the message gets through hahaha. So, we were sitting there enjoying our lunch and all of a sudden I hear Greek. Greek? Greeks walking by. Two girls and a guy. Really? I couldn’t believe my ears! I had to jump in and interrupt them. I was like “Greeks in Jeri? How did you end up here?” As you understand, my Portuguese lesson with Goldie was interrupted by a short chat in Greek, wow that felt good! I mean, it’s not like I don’t speak any Greek anymore, I do. But. It’s always via phone or skype. This was a real life conversation! Felt nice 🙂


Eva, the girl I chatted with said they had come for a long weekend from Rio where they all lived and worked for a Greek construction company that had undertaken a project for the Olympics. They will stay in Brazil until December when the project will be finished and then will return back to Athens, Greece. Every person is a whole new book, a new story. Although I am not a bookworm in reality, ‘reading’ the lives of new people that come into mine is an amazing feeling!

In this sense, I have been privileged to be allowed to delve in the lives of the people surrounding me. Each one a gem of its own, giving me another, new, always interesting perspective on life, love, human relations, pain, suffering, stress, expectations.

I may not have a lot of money, but I am rich.

Have a lovely Sunday



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