The Miranda Family arrived in Recife at the end of July 2010. We had lots to look forward to: a new baby on-the-way, the proximity to the Brazilian grandparents and the opportunity for our children to improve their Portuguese skills, the apartment by the beach and plans to take several short trips while living in Northeastern Brazil.
We’re 9 months into the assignment. This post wasn’t a totally new experience for us since we’ve visited the Country several times before we moved here. Visiting was fun and care-free. Living and adjusting as a family, a little harder than we’d expected, but still very manageable.
Our familial “nucleus” is constituted of 2 adults, 2 toddlers (3 1/2 and 5 1/2 yrs-old) and a 5-month old baby, and being a parent/caretaker requires lots of diplomacy, negotiation, peacekeeping, policy implementationand strategy skills. That said, managing a household, its respective juvenile population and the consequent budgetary implications, is a… HUGE, EXPERIMENTAL and UNFORESEEN task!
There is a never-ending need to keep kids and parents sane (as much as possible). Family outings require loads of planning and logistics management – even if we’re just talking about a Sunday lunch!
- Here are some suggestions for entertaining the kids (without pulling our hair off), we’ve learnt along the way:
And, most important of all: show the children your unconditional, unreserved love. At all times! At the end, our goal is raising happy, self-confident human beings, right? We’re trying to do our part…
Surprise your children. Here are some links on good stuff to do around Recife:
- Praia de Boa Viagem (beach) – natural war water pools protected by coral reefs guarantee a delicious time a the beach. The sand and waters are continuously monitored by the state’s environmental agency, CPRH and are pollution-free.
- Jardim Botânico de Recife (Botanical Gardens) – a natural reservation measuring 25.7 acres, a member of the Brazilian network of Botanical Gardens.
- Parque Dois Irmãos (park) – one of the most beautiful and picturesque green areas of the city, the 38.7 ha park is a zoo, botanical and environmental education centre and an
Atlantic Rainforest reservation. Ecological walking trails are guided by Biologists.
- Parque da Jaqueira (park) – located by the Capibaribe river, the park covers 7ha and its the city’s largest one. Very green and has got beautiful gardens designed by Burle Marx.
- Parque 13 de Maio (park) – also designed by Burle Marx, in downtown Recife. Children’s playgrounds, jogging lanes, benches, royal palm trees and sculptures.
- Museu do Homem do Nordeste (museum) – one of the most historical and anthropological museums in Brazil. Hosts the “Family at the Museum” program.
- Paço Children’s Project – contemporary arts program in Recife.
- Escolinha de Arte do Recife (Junior Art School) – dedicated to awakening creativity and love for the arts in children.
- Mirabilândia – one of the largest amusement parks in NE Brazil, the fairground has more than 20 rides divided into radical, family and children.
- Game Station – there is an arcade in every major shopping mall, offering electronic games and fun for children and adults.