3 Things I’ve Learned Raising Trilingual Children

Bilingual childrenIf you are a parent then you know all to well how important it is to stimulate your child’s language development, though what happens when you live abroad and are responsible for this alone?

This is the reality for us expats who live in a different country and would like to give our children the gift of a second language.

Let’s let you in on a little secret that most people don’t know when raising bilingual children: they don’t get confused by speaking several languages, as a matter of fact, they could keep learning languages!

My children speak 3 languages fluently: Danish, English and Portuguese and along this journey there have been a lot of challenges – kind of like a science experiment in many ways.

Here is the first thing I’ve learned so far in raising my trilingual children:

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3 Tips to Live Safely in Brazil

Safe in BrazilBullet ridden buildings and weapon yielding favela gang members is one of the first images a foreigner has when pondering the safety of Brazil.

Imagine this instead: walking around at night without a worry in the world about safety as you smile and greet passer-byers all while witnessing the sunset on the beach as the waves crash at your feet.

This is the reality of my life in Brazil as I’ve never been subjected to any type of violent crime – paradise is safe for me and can be for you too.

This truth is that mass media has been spoon feeding us biased images of “what sells” vs. what things really can be like, there are many wonderful places to live that are relatively crime free.

So in light of that and to serve a bit of justice, you are going to get my 3 best tips on how to live safely in Brazil.

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The 3 Best Airlines (and 1 to Avoid) in Brazil

airlineswebWhether you live in Brazil or are just visiting, it’s a great idea to know these 3 best airlines for traveling around the country so that you can get where you want in an effective and safe way – and avoid my mistake.

I should probably note that these 3 best airlines are taken from my personal experience of traveling in Brazil together with feedback from this community and within this post you will hear of 1 dramatic experience when flying TAM…

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3 Success Secrets Wealthy Brazilians Share (That You Need to Know)

sucessThere are 3 success secrets shared within Brazilian inner circles that will grant you inhibited influence and success.  They will get you a job, start you a career or grant you the connections you need to fulfill your dreams.

I would like to share these same 3 secrets that functioned to catapult me into the most influential circles with you today!

Before getting started, let me tell you how they recently helped me get into a tight-knit group of successful Brazilian entrepreneurs…

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Drivers License In Brazil | Getting One And A Holey Revelation

Today you will hear a story about how a holey road gave me a revelation.

A revelation that I will now share with you: if you wait more then 180 days to get a Brazilian drivers license, you could be testing fate…

180 days.  That’s how long you have until your time is up.

After those 180 days and no Brazilian License (CNH) in hand, then you could be on path to a kamikaze mission (no pun intended)!

Something like this happened to me and it’s time that I share it with you…

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The 6 Golden Documents You Need to Survive in Brazil

What if I told you that there are 6 documents that will get you access to most anything in Brazil?

This is everything from the start to finish: applying for a visa, buying a house, opening a bank account, getting Internet – you name it and these documents will pretty much cover them all!

Well, I’m going to tell you what they are and how you too can get your own “Golden 6”.

Here they are:

  1. Translated Drivers License
  2. Translated Birth Certificate
  3. Translated Police Record
  4. CPF
  5. Proof of Residence
  6. Federal Police proof of ID

Before I knew about “The Golden 6”, I ran into problems at every corner when trying to get things done…

Like when I tried to get a 3G mobile Internet plan: “I’m sorry sir, but you can’t get a phone plan as we need your proof of residence”

Or when I tried to buy a wardrobe: “You cannot buy this unless you get a friend to give me his CPF number…”

Or when applying for my visa: “We need a translated police record before you can apply”.

And the examples keep coming…

I call these “The Golden 6” because with them, life becomes much easier in Brazil.

Allow me to explain exactly what these documents can be used for, why you need them and how to get them…

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How to Get a Proof of Residence in Brazil

“I’m sorry, but you can’t rent a movie until you give us a proof of residence, which can be a water, electricity bill or the like…”

This is the response I got when trying to apply for a membership at a local video rental store.

And so I proceeded to prod a little more…

Me: “How am I going to give you a water bill when it’s included into my rent, can’t you just accept my credit card and keep it on file?”

Attendant: “No”

Me: “What if I prove that I have plenty of free room on the card? This is how they do it in other countries…”

Attendant: “No, sorry”

*Facepalm*

And so I walked out a movie-less depressed man, but I wasn’t going to give up!

Thanks to my HideMyAss! backup plan, my night was kind of saved…

This wasn’t the first time I was asked for a proof of residence and wouldn’t be the last.

In fact, a proof of residence is necessary to get a lot of things done such as:

  • Renting videos
  • Getting a post-pay phone plan
  • Getting Internet
  • Getting visa stuff done
  • Most notary public tasks
  • Buying a car
  • Health insurance
  • Getting a job
  • And tons of other things…

You need a proof of residence for day to day life in Brazil.

The problem was that I couldn’t get a traditional proof of residence without having one first to get one… (yep, confusing)

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Motoboys, Brazilian Motorcycle Couriers and How to Use One

Today, I’m going to talk about one of the craziest yet most useful things in Brazil: the Brazilian motorcycle couriers or “motoboy” as they are locally referred to.

If you’ve ever tried navigating the infamous traffic chaos of São Paulo or any other medium to large city, then you’ve seen the seemingly invincible motoboys zigzagging in and around traffic jams as if they were protected by some magical, untouchable force.

Though on the border of being clinically insane to drive a motorcycle in the city of São Paulo, these motoboys have their place and can be quite useful for getting things from point A to point B in a courier capacity.

And not too mention that they are cheap to use and can save you hours of headaches.

Let’s say that your car breaks down and that you need a new part for it, after your mechanic looks at it, you soon find out that the part you need is on the other side of the city.
You need the car right away and it will take the mechanic a few days to get the part through his traditional channels.

What do you do?

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Christmas in Brazil, Another Excuse for You to Party + Some Wisdom

Imagine sitting around a warm fireplace with your loved ones, while you exchange presents and holiday treats.  As you stare out the window, the snow flakes float down from the heavens.

Now, imagine throwing all of that out the window and partying until you get heat stroke, then you have the Brazilian Christmas.

In this post, you are going to get a good idea of what the real world Christmas is like in Brazil and what you should expect.

Note: this is a generalization and your personal results may vary ;)

An Introduction to Christmas in Brazil

I will never forget my first Christmas in Brazil.

Picture being on the other side of the world and in a place where new summer heat records are being set.

Where the 24th of December is spent swimming, bbqing, hanging out and drinking cold ones while working on your tan.

Tons of hoots and hollars can be heard from the neighbors’ houses while loud party music is blaring.

Sounds like a typical Brazilian party right?  Well, it pretty much is – just a huge one.

Yeah there is some history behind the , but I’m going to focus on the practical stuff here – having fun!

What to Expect During a Brazilian Christmas

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Vivastreet Classifieds 101: Brazil’s Craigslist

Classificados BrasileirosIn this post, I will tell you how to use one of the least known and most powerful tools you have at your disposal – .

This will especially be beneficial if you’ve been looking for a way to find housing at Brazilian prices for free or looking for a way to advertise your English teaching.

What is Vivastreet and Why Should You Care?

Know of ?

If not, it’s the USA’s largest free classifieds site and totally free and the place to look for anything.

Well, Vivastreet is Brazil’s answer to Craigslist and the main classifieds site for Brazil.

And it is a powerful and Free tool at your disposal.

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