Willow dictated the following post to share her experiences of Brazil. I have captured as accurately as I can (she speaks quite fast!) Any clarifications I have added in italics. All grammatical errors are her mother’s.
Two days in São Paulo
We went to São Paulo because mummy has family there – Grandad’s first cousin Mary and Mummy’s 2nd cousins Liza and James (who she had never met). I was really sick on the flight from Panama and when we first got to Sao Paulo, so I had to stay in bed for a while. Mummy, Lola and Betsy went to see Mary, Liza, Bruno and Ben for lunch. Luckily I felt better so I went over to Liza’s a bit later and met everyone (except Bruno).
After that we went out for dinner with James, Amanda and Johnny and that is when we first had Brigadeiro on the spoon. It’s basically chocolate but it’s a different type because it comes on a spoon, or in Trancoso they come in little cupcakes holders and you can have different types of toppings on. We had just the normal one but there was one that looked like the normal one but it was a dark chocolate one. One day, we had to have that one because our friends took all the normal ones.
Four weeks in Trancoso
After Sao Paulo we went to Trancoso (this is in the north eastern State of Bahia). When we got there it was quite nice – relaxing, nice beach, sunny and we went sun bathing and boogie boarding. It rained a few days later and there were big puddles in the road. One puddle took over the whole road and it was so, so, so big.
In our garden there were monkeys and the man who owned the house said that big monkeys can come too and make loads of noise, but only sometimes. Normally only the small ones that are very cute come. One had a baby on its back. They eat bananas and we gave them lots, including the ones we bought by mistake, as they were meant for cooking and they were pink when you eat them.
One night we went out when it was really dark and I had my head torch (which is basically a torch but it goes round your head) and there were dogs barking. I turned my head torch on and lola screamed “daddy, daddy, daddy” because she thought the dogs would bite her.
One day when we went to the beach, Betsy and daddy saw big hairy legs going into a hole (they weren’t mummy’s) and it was a Tarantula that was about the size of my hand when I spread it out as much as I can. Also, when you walk to the beach, you go over a bridge and when the tide is out you can see crabs on the ground and some have got lava legs – they are really red. The beach is very nice. There was a bar on it called UXUA (but you pronounce it ‘ooh -shwar’).
One day the water hit the bed we were on because the tide was so high, because it was a full moon. When there is a full moon the waves are really big and sometimes they are bigger than daddy but I don’t know how the moon is related to the sea, I just know it makes the waves really big even bigger than my papa.
I really liked The Coffee Bar in Trancoso. I liked it because it sells baguettes, brownies and banana cake that were very good and bacon baguettes which I loved to have for breakfast.
One night we went out and had some food at The Coffee Bar and then we saw some people doing Capoeira. Capoeira is basically fighting but they don’t touch each other. It’s kind of an exercise and kind of a dance and kids can do it. Johnny, my third cousin, does Capoeira and he’s only two but he turned three when they were with us in Trancoso on the same day as Betsy’s birthday, so they had a joined up party.
On Betsy and Johnny’s birthday they had brownies instead of cakes. We had been to a restaurant and we took some brownies and mummy put decorations up and candles on the brownies. She put a 9 on Betsy’s and a 3 on Johnny’s and we all sang first in English and then in Portuguese because Johnny speaks Portuguese. I sang with kind of no words I clapped, smiled and ate brownies.
We had other friends in Trancoso. Mummy’s friend Jane came to stay and got me to do Yoga. Also we met some new friends – The Keens. They have twins and a boy. I was very happy to play with them.
One week in Rio
When we first got to Rio it was midnight and I had a really nice sleep. The next day, in the afternoon, we went out and walked to the beach and then bought some food because we didn’t have any food. The shop had a door and when you go through it and went down a big slope you got to the bottom and it was the same shop but slightly lower and there was fruit and vegetables and down there daddy got a coffee and we met an old lady and an old man. The man told us he used to lived in London and taught capoeira!
The next day we went on a tour, but it was raining and we couldn’t see Christ the Redeemer or Sugar Loaf. I sucked my thumb about a 1000 times so we had a big chat about it and Mummy and Daddy told me that I was going to have to have a brace that has metal hanging down from the roof of my mouth and I’d only be able to drink water and eat soup and so the next day mummy and daddy were surprised because on the mini bus I didn’t suck my thumb once and I didn’t for the whole day and now when I’m writing this I still haven’t sucked my thumb during the day and it’s been more than a week! I only suck it a little bit at night to get me to sleep. So goodbye thumb sucking!!!!! 🏆
On Tuesday we tried again and we did see Christ the Redeemer. We went to the very top of the mountain and I was a little bit scared because when I looked up to the statue I felt a bit sick because I saw how high it was. My tummy went funny just like mummy’s does when she looks down.
On Sugar Loaf we had so much fun. The best bit was I wrote my name on a wall. It was a special wall with pens that you could write on and I wrote ‘Follow us on instagram @Irelandhopping’ everywhere.
On Thursday we went on a food tour with Eat Rio and Tom and if you don’t know Tom, he is mummy’s friend Rachel’s brother. He lives in Rio which is cool and he speaks very good Portuguese. He tried to make the grown ups drunk so they would enjoy it and I tried some of mummy’s beer and it was actually very nice. My favourite food was the mango and drink was the sugar cane juice with lime, which is Caldo de Cana com limao in Portuguese.
We also met up with our new friends The Keens on our last night which was really good.
Mummy and I have made a video to show you some of these things.