Almost 3 months in

Next week marks three months in Portugal. I spent well over a year dreaming about this, and I still can’t believe we have been here for three months already. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to enjoy it as much as we want.

Since Christmas I have been battling something. For a few days it felt like a mild cold, but then I had a few brutal days of body aches with a fever, and I spent most of my time on the couch. A week or so later I started to feel better, but still not quite at 100%. A few days later the body aches came back along with a sore throat. Now the body aches and sore throat are gone, but I have a runny nose and cough. The symptoms seem to change every few days. It’s kind of bizarre.

Bailey cuddles

Kyle has been sick, but his symptoms have been milder (although that might be changing today). He took a Covid test and it came back negative. I really can’t imagine what else it could be though…it’s not a cold and it’s not like any flu I have ever had. I got the flu vaccine right before we moved, and I got the Covid vaccine last year. I can’t imagine what this would have been like for me without any vaccines. I would have been pretty worried. Luckily the kids seem to just have a runny nose and they are a little more tired than normal.

Being sick has definitely made me miss a few things from the states. I would kill for some NyQuil. Unfortunately whatever I have has brought on a case of insomnia and I’m not sleeping enough. NyQuil always suppressed the symptoms and knocks me out. I also miss soup! Obviously soup exists in Portugal, I just haven’t found it quite yet. I need to learn to cook some, but I don’t even have the energy to go to the grocery store at the moment.

We got our residence permits! The last hurdle after the SEF appointment is waiting to see if the cards arrive. Sometimes they don’t, and you have to go back to the SEF office to pick them up. Obviously we don’t want to make that trip again right now. Before our cards arrived I noticed that Leo’s address was not completely right on the receipt they gave us. They got the address right, but the apartment wrong. My card, Sofia’s card, and Kyle’s card all showed up right around New Years. I was worried that Leo’s might have gotten returned, but luckily it showed up a few days later. I have never really thought about beyond our SEF appointment. I still can’t believe we’re at this point!

We have a bunch of things that we have kind of started, but have also put on the back burner. We’re trying to get our SNS number, which allows us access into the public health system. We don’t plan on using it much, but we still need the number. We can’t get a Covid booster until we get our number. Normally you just go into your local health center to get the SNS number (with your NIF number and resident permit), but since Covid some offices just want you to email the documents. We’ve had a hard time with the email- so far most of the email address we are given have been undeliverable.

Kyle made an appointment with a doctor for a checkup. As part of the driver’s license exchange we need to have a physical done and the doctor needs to give us a letter saying we are fit to drive. Hopefully Kyle can get that at his appointment, and then I need to make an appointment as well.

We made pretty good progress on unpacking our boxes, but that has been moved to the back burner too. We have about 10 half unpacked boxes in various rooms throughout the house. I can’t wait to get them unpacked and put away.

There is a school in Caldas da Rainha that a lot of people on the expat boards recommend for learning Portuguese. It’s called the Carvela School. I would love to go to in person classes, but I can’t imagine taking a 45 minute train ride each way and also being in class for hours at a time. It’s just too much time. Luckily they offer an online class. I contacted them and got put on a wait list. They just contacted me and I’m good to go, starting February 8. They’re going to be kind of intense. 2 days per week, 2.5 hours per lesson for 8 weeks. Only 3-4 students in the class. It will be hard, but I’m excited.

I really want to learn Portuguese. I keep saying that I’m going to watch YouTube videos or practice on my app. I always mean to, but then life just flies by and now we’re 3 months in and I barely know any Portuguese. I can’t even count to 10. I need some accountability.

After living in Portugal for 5 years, we will be eligible for citizenship. A requirement for citizenship is having a certain level of proficiency in Portuguese. This class counts towards that requirement, so by taking this class I’m already working on the citizenship requirements!

As soon as we all feel better we are going to take a trip to Coimbra. It’s only an hour away on the train and we really think it’s going to be a good fit for us. We’re excited to go check it out! We’re excited to check out more of Portugal! Hopefully soon…until then, I’m back to my Manifest binge. I discovered the show a few days ago and I love it so far.

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