In split second, it al changed.
22 July 2013, my wife Adriana start to give labour, it will become a very long day with laughs, pain, talks, waiting, trying and keeping faith. We were not alone, starting with 2 mid-wives, a doctor , the 2 children Aline & Thales of Adriana, her mother Alice and not to forget cat Clarinha. It will be a natural birth in which is still pretty special in Brazil. After almost 20 hours our doctor said we have to do the last little part in the hospital. so we packed the stuff we needed and went of to the hospital… before i knew i was already out of there again because i could not show my ID…. damn… i forgot this strict rules they have sometimes here. nb: a week earlier i did not have to show it? So i did a world record in speeding thru the streets of Santos early in the morning in our Volkswagen Space-Fox. When i came back (it was almost a time travel) i just heard her first sounds…. my Dora was born.
I was a little bit shocked of these first sounds. Than it happened. Adriana was holding Dora on her breast…… and she passed her over to me. For the first time i was looking in the eyes of my Schapie… and she was looking in my eyes.. straight. FIRST CONTACT!
Something happened at that moment…. let's call it… "i became a father" right there in that split second. First night i could stay in the hospital… to be with them both. Great service. But the start of the new adventure also counted for me. My bed was kind of ……. short. They were not prepared for a tall dutch father :)
The connection i have with Dora and she with me is amazing. I am very happy that Adriana shares it all with me, she is the main one for Dora because of the first nine month connection of the both and the delivery of the daily food by giving her breast feeding. I must catch my moments with her as much as i can… in my way. So i do it all… Waking her up, change the pampers, giving bath.. choosing the clothes, walking with her and singing for her or just try to get her to sleep. It is just the way to get connected i think. This video was made by a local TV station ATribuna for fathers day (Dia dos Pais) , i am in there with Adriana and Dora :)
Ofcourse a deep deep bow and a kiss for my Adriana.. she was already a great mother .. now she will be one for Dora too. Lucky father and baby :) She is also a great partner for me and assist and teach me the tools to raise Dora. What Adriana achieved is amazing and an example for all mothers. She got also what she wanted by not giving up…. she did put all her efforts, knowledge, power and love into this birth and she managed to give birth in a natural way to our Blue eyed Dora. Love you Adriana! … there are no words enough to express myself.. just being with you and Dora will hopefully show me, myself and i. 8 years together now .. at least we add another 50!
I am glad i was there when the labour started, and i can only say to all future fathers…. be there and feel what happens…. if you miss that moment with your wife, you will miss a lot. It something i will never forget. Every day i am learning with Dora and she with me…. I am learning her way of communicating… and she is learning mine. So…. I try to be this daddy cool for my little Schapie. nb: never forget your ID !!!
While i wrote this she is sleeping in my arms…. say no more.
Slaap Dora slaap daar buiten loopt een Schaap, een………..
I did eat pizza's all over the world… even at the source itselfs … Italy. Since i live in Brazil (since 3 years full time) i am amazed about the pizza's here. The quality is just outstanding good. My thoughts about this are that it is because of the local made cheese, the local grown tomatos and the sun combined with the knowledge they got from the italian immigrants. These italian immigrants has settled very well in Brazil in which shows of all the Italian restaurants, pizzaria's & pasta shops all over Brazil. The Italian food is very popular in this country.
These european immigrants also invented something else here, something really special… it is a sausage called Linguiça Calabresa. The name Calabresa is taken from an area in Italy called Calabria.
video about Calabria:
Everytime i order pizza, i asked for… Pizza Calabresa. After some months my wife Adriana asked me if i was not bored in asking every time the same pizza. I explained i did not have this Calabresa in the first 40 years of my life (in which i lived in the Netherlands), so i will eat it in the last 60 years for sure… i have to catch up :) But of course she convinced me one time to ask another type of pizza next time. I asked for a Pizza with cheese, tomato and garlic. And….. i liked it… but it did not beat the Pizza Calabresa. Than i thought, let's combine a Pizza Calebrasa with The Pizza Garlic. The 'Pizza René' was born.
And this week i discovered it is all over. My little Pizzaria is no more. On their location was a little 'for rent' sign on the wall. No more pizza René. The name of this little pizzaria was Barão. located 100 meters from my apartment in Santos. It was very small and simple, but it was a place were some people worked very hard…. delivering quality food to their clients. One time i celebrated my birthday there, i will never forget it.. it was special…. they were special.
The beat of life
Past months Adriana, Schapie and i had to go to some places where they 'scan' Schapie. Import to see and check if all is OK with this little one. In the first 2 scans i was impressed about what the doctor can see already, the health, the measures, if all 'parts' are there and in the right place. Amazing !! But me as an amateur seen some pictures what must be our Schapie, to reconize you have to have more experienced in these kind of early stage pictures. It is special to see that Schapie is growing rapidly now. We can not only see that at the scans, we just have to look at Adriana (sorry my love,i just want to say you are still as beautiful as always) . Schapie is 1 Kg now. In one of the scans Schapie has it's thumb in it's mounth…. just so amazing to see that…. how can be??? Look at the picture below… i can reconize that :)
Schapie , 24 week wise - Santos, Brazil
For me as a sound engineer, sound is very important. No sound… no job ;) At the last scan they let us hear& see the heartbeat of our little Schapie. That made me …. quiet . Some of you know me.. i am never quiet, but when i heard this sound, it was the sound that made life i thought.
As a sound engineer looking at the amplitude and frequency of the heartbeat i could see Schapie was very healthy , a good and stable heartbeat. The beat of life.
So… i made a second trailer of Schapie, especially for my Adriana. Watch it here:
Making some Haché
When i started to make that dutch food i found out that all food ingredients and spices have another name… good for learning the language better. Yes, and spend at least four times as much time for groceries than normal because you cannot find what you need …. or bring some Pimenta (Peppers) in stead of Pimentão (Paprika) back to home. Search 1,5 hour in the supermarket for Vanilla, and learn it is called Baunilha here .. hahaaa. This is not only happening when i buy food, it is with all i want to buy or ask…. my equipment and electronic parts i need for my company, things i try to buy to repair something in our house , even a present for my Adriana. All is different. You have also to find this new places , shops and malls where you can buy what you want. I have to explain myself to the salesperson in portuguese, and they have always a question back :) Sometimes it gives me some frustration, because i could not buy what i wanted , like yesterday i went myself to open a bank account… i did not manage because my portuguese is not good enough and the bank employee could not speak any english. I feel i have to depend on others for the most simple things and actions, in which i can do in a snap of my finger when i am in the Netherlands or any country where people speak english.. or dutch. I also knew nothing about Brazilian music, politics, history, art or the Brazil topographic. I feels to be set back in time and learn some of the local basics when you are about 6 years old. Some think here i am not smart because of that…of not knowing or understanding some basics. But i can say they just do not understand what it is to have your life what you knew for 40 years.. turned 180 degrees…. and need to learn some of these basics again. For me this is like i am breaking all the time when i drive on an uphill road on my bike… It is slow… it is hard, but it goes.
Learning the Language
That is the solution, That will solve all. Learning to communicate in Portuguese. From child on i am not fast in learning a new language, besides that i past 40…. than catching-up a new language goes much slower than with younger people. A lot of people around me react surprised to me that i am that slow in learning it, but that's it. I cannot learn it faster, i have to accept that. I also have to run a company in Netherlands from out Brasil, that also eats time and patience and is really not easy to do. Think of the 5 hour time difference already! To combine it with an extra language study is difficult. But….. i will not give up!!! , because i have to teach our Schapie besides dutch also some portuguese words. And do not forget besides Dutch i also speak English and German + little of other languages, i hope Schapie will be a better student than i was ;)
Because i am still learning my 4th language it is for me still very difficult to communicate … every day…all the time… even with my own family. I cannot speak dutch here and have to speak in my secondary language english to communicate with my wife, my family, friends etc etc…. and that is not easy. To show your 'feelings' in another language is damn difficult. Besides the talking, also listening is part of communication…. i sometimes cannot catchup with the talks. With a room full of people it's like being deaf. Everybody is talking around me and i cannot react when i want and how i want… i am not fast enough to understand what's about, you cannot even laugh when somebody makes a joke. Besides that it is sometimes about specific brazilian things and subjects… in which i do not know mostly. Or i am just missing one or two words in a sentence and than losing all what's about. The songs they sing together in a party .. and i cannot sing with them together because i do not know these old and famous songs. Than you can feel very alone in that room full of people. You are not realy part of this group. Because of that i miss certain details to react to people in the right way…… people can understand my reaction totally wrong and than get a wrong idea about me, and because as being raised in The Netherlands… i also react different sometimes. But also the feeling and enjoyment is different than when i would have being able to have learned it all 40 years ago.
Dutch and Brazilians are in some case… the same and opposite.
But the language alone is not the solution. But …..why not! you think? , it helps a lot… of course. Because i will always be a kind of Alien here…. because of the way i have being brought up by my parents and grand parents, with the almost 40 years living and working in the Netherlands. That is something you cannot just delete in a person it is in my core as a human being. I am a dutch guy, living in Brazil. Accepting my changed world and try to cope with it. But still i will react in an other way that Brazilians do in some cases, or i do things in an other way than Brazilians would do… I think different about certain things. Walk on the beach when it is raining. Watch different things on TV, like Ice speed skating on a hot summer sunday or saying something 'direct' but honest to a person. I do not like that people promise me something, and than not keep their word. When you make a bet.. than finalise it. When you agree in a business partnership to respect each others clients… than do so. When i do a job for you… pay me! If you cannot manage our business meeting in time... inform me… call me. Does it make me a bad person or a strange person when i say something about that? ! … for me those are normal things, for others sometimes not. Do others have to ignore me because of this? I do not hope so, but it makes me an Alien Brazilian for sure. It is not possible for me… or any other foreigner btw to cope and understand all these specific Brazilian habits in just 6 years, and for Brazilians it will not be possible to understand my Dutch way that easy for example… it is just accepting eachother.
I have a lot of new friends in Brazil who also come from other countries than Brazil, i know some of them have the same experiences as i have. I do not care Brazilians call me a Gringo here, i am one for them ……. but i do care that some ignore me because i am one… because i am different, think different, react different.
The results for me: it is difficult to fit in, even when you get this warm welcome always. it is difficult here to build a new network with friends, business partners & clients like i had in my 'first' country. it is difficult to get a job ( i am expensive because i am a Gringo is the first thought in Brasil ) , as a company for me it is difficult to get into a project because of the different way in doing business ( i am learning ), it is difficult being ignored by some people or even being cheated behind my back for some money…. but also to find those new real friends.. to spend some time with… being personally invited as René , doing some gaming together… playing some pool… watch sports together or just having a beer and talk. I know for some of you this all sounds small, for me it became big. This all will take time… a lot of time. I know that. I must just have the patience to build my life here so i can be fully happy. The new adventure Schapie will help me a lot with that for sure, i am looking forward to it and concentrate in that… being a father. I will also not give up, and fight for what i am worth for to learn portuguese and understand Brazil and Brazilians better.
What i hope for is that it also works in both directions and the people around me will still able to give me some patience, some space , support , time and respect for who i am…. because that will give me as a Dutch Alien in Brazil exactly what need to become a better Brazilian, better person and great father. I am not saying anybody must do this, it is your own choice. So… yes…. i can solve it. yes, i will not give up… i put my teeth in it. I will have to catchup in all that Brazilians know already all their life. I love Brazil and it's people, it's habits.. all of it. With the help and support of my Adriana, my family and support of some fellow Aliens here in Brazil i can.
If you want to read a portuguese version of this blog, copy/paste the link of this page into Google Translate than you can already experience a little what i do every day with every portuguese text i have to read ;)
Be yourself no matter what they say.
Muito obrigado e Abraços
Enjoy these video's, to understand me and other Aliens better:
The news is out,
I will become a father next july. Before you read more ..... put your sound on... LOUD!!! , start the YouTube video below an read the rest of my story:
Schapie , 7 week wise - Santos, Brazil
My child will be born in Brazil, a very good place to be born. We choose already names for both options. My wife Adriana want to know in front if it will be a boy or girl ... but not me, i want to have a big surprise. To keep this information from me will be a huge task for Adriana. Because it is for me unknow wat the sex will be... i choose a temporary name for him/her .
This was the nickname my father gave me when i was little.... it means something like 'little Schaap'.
Adriana and Schapie are now in India for some yoga courses, i am not kidding... Schapie is doing it's first travels already, first Dubai from there to India. Tasting another country. Listening different languages.. which also in his future will be a daily happening. Portuguese, English & Dutch, i hope Schapie is better in learning portuguese than me ;) When the both are back in Brazil i will prepare 'being a father' together with my Adriana.. doing some courses with her at Namaskar Yoga Santos.... building the baby place .. buying baby stuff.
I will be ready to be Daddy Cool for sure :)
To celebrate Schapie i made a first Trailer video of Schapie, watch it here:
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