It is now Spring. It is also almost a year that I have been here. I moved here on October 11th. I was back in New York for 3 months during the summer but we will just call that a very long vacation. I am still taking classes with my Professor. She is nice but it is still a little strange. She says " Tranquilo" to me a lot. I don't know if she thinks I am nervous. The fact that she keeps saying "Tranquilo" to me is starting to make me nervous. I am getting the language but I still have a lot of work to do. Especially with pronunciation. I am still practising rolling my Rs. It took me three years of Spanish to remember to pronounce J as a soft guttural sound but now I have to remember in Portuguese to go back to a hard J. Hopefully eventually it will all come together and I will find work. Toni has been speaking more English so hopefully he is finally getting it.
Today was Helena's funeral. Her stomach cancer ended up being to much for her. She was not in very good health to begin with so it was not a complete surprise but still very sad. I put on my Etro suit for the viewing and was the best dressed there. Brazilians also dress casual for funeral. Most people were in Jeans and sneakers...including her family. The funeral home was large and modern. It was in the middle of a cemetery. When you entered there was a coffee shop on the left and them 7 or 8 chapels. Helena was in Chapel 5. Most of the people were in the common hall that had a lot of seats. The room with the coffin was small. The coffin was covered with flowers with just a small window to look in and see her face. I did not look in. Since I have no idea what to say to her friends and family I kept quite and just followed Toni around. Some men came and took her coffin at the end of the viewing time. We all got into cars and went to a little building in the back of the cemetery. This was the crematorium. We all waited in the lobby as they took her in. After half and hour more time it was over and we all just left. Me and Toni came home with Marcelo. We had a churrasco last night and we still had meat here so we had lunch. Toni is sad but he is dealing with it. We both know how short life is. We will miss our evenings drinking wine with Helena. As spring is here we say goodbye to our friend.