Anyway, we decided to start our apartment search in our new city. (Once I move there and learn more about it, I'll make up a funny name for you guys.) It's a little early to look for a place, but we mostly wanted to at least get an idea of the neighborhoods that we can consider. (We're also considering renting a small house, if I can talk Alexandre into it and if I can work with the leasing office people to convince him that we're not going to get robbed/pillaged/left for dead. I think apartment living is a false sense of security! Thoughts?)
Anyway, holy cow. It's a whole other world. It's one of the bigger cities in the state and it has a high standard of living. I'd been there before but not looking at it with "where do I want to live in this place?" perspective. The poverty of this beach town and the stress and chaos of our neighborhood are really, really getting to me. So is not being able to work very much. This visit was nice because it gave me some freakin' hope.
Blog reader-turned-buddy Bianca is actually from this city, and was kind enough to take us around to show us some nice parts. She took us to a lake/trail area and I got to see soooo many birds! I've missed my feathered friends! I didn't have my camera with me (drat!), so Wikipedia pictures will have to suffice:
I FINALLY got to see a green kingfisher (because it was the male, its chest was actually red, not green) and got to sing the Joanna song and stare at it for a little while, much to Bianca and Alexandre's dismay. But I enjoyed the moment. I'd been waiting for it ever since I bought my bird book in Foz do Iguaçu a couple of years ago.
|"Kingfisher, sound the alarm!" (credit)|
And also a lineated woodpecker, which is called pica-pau-de-banda-branca in Portuguese. Man, we were SO close to it. My picture would've been amazing, but here's one from the internet:
Then of course we saw some smooth-billed anis, but those are old hat:
|the name in Portuguese is anu preto. Read Bittersweet's beautiful post about them here.|
It's a good chance we'll end up living close to this reserve where all the birds were. I can't wait!