In August, there is a meeting in Rio de Janeiro. We decided we should go as a family. Now this will make it a bit tricky as both Jay and I will be presenting posters, but I think this will be good. First off, the girls have not yet traveled out of the country (ok, Canada doesn’t REALLY count because growing up in Buffalo, I figured we were Canucks by proximity anyway). Second, the girls have learned about South America and seriously, how often does one get a chance to go to South America? We also realized that asking our parents to travel every where with us is a bit much. So we are going to do this without the extra help.
I have permission from my supervisor to go. Jay and I are doing one poster together, and he is doing a separate one. I still have to call the girls’ camp for the summer and cancel out the week so we don’t get charged extra for that.
Then, my MIL called. She is terrified of the girls being kidnapped in Brazil and held for ransom. I did a quick internet search and did find that there are some issues in Rio with safety. I also saw that most of the kidnappings are local or football player’s families, etc. I immediately went to the library website and selected 5 books on Brazil and Rio to look over.
I have since spoken to 3 people who have lived/traveled in Brazil (two of them lived there for 5+ years). They were honest, these things happen. The disparity between upper and lower class is huge in Brazil and middle class just doesn’t really exist. Often it is locals who are robbed, but tourists can be. Most tourists are fine if they follow the general rules of safe travel. We will need to have the kids work closer with us. They will need to carry the name of our hotel on them in case we get separated. We are going to plan out more than we need so we always have a plan to deviate from (or not).
The books agree with what my friends said. Stick to the main paths. Take more tours than not. Don’t go off wandering. Relax and carry smaller amounts of money. Be aware of the scams and protect yourself. Don’t stress if you are robbed. You shouldn’t lose much if you don’t carry much.
When my MIL called, I felt like I was in a no win
situation. If we go with the kids and something happens, I am a
horrible mother. If we don’t go because I am worried about something
bad happening, I am giving into fear. I have spent since 23 trying to
not give into my fears. I ride on airplanes even though I am terrified.
I have been in a glider, I have learned that I can leave home without
panicking that the house has burnt down when we leave. I think this is
the hard part of this decision. Not to go just because I need to
conquer fear, but not to hold back because of fear.
We have made the decision to go. I just requested the Rosetta Stone Portuguese Brazil for myself. I hope I get it within 2 months so I have time to go through it. I need to learn some of the language since we don’t know any Portuguese. We are prepping the kids already, taking hikes and teaching them how to stay with us when needed so we don’t just throw this at them when we go.
I will have to get Soleil her fish tolerance test at the hospital soon, since many dishes in Rio are laced with fish and seafood. I am allergic, but I don’t want to see her getting ill too and we haven’t concluded if she has this allergy or not.
But we are going. Jay and I are so lucky to have these opportunities to share with our children. Most people rarely get to travel out of their local area. I want to teach the girls about the world. And how to interact with other cultures. And how to respect the dangers, but not to give into our fears.