Dancing on the beach in Ipanema, Brazil

“When she walks, she’s like a samba/That swings so cool and sways so gentle/That when she passes, each one she passes/Goes “a-a-a-h” ~ The Girl From Ipanema by Jobim, de Moraes and Gimbel (Eng. lyrics) I too said “Ahhhhhh” in Ipanema, but for very different reasons. This year, I have vowed to walk with a dance in my step—one that in my head is an exotic bellydance but in reality is more like a bad rendition of the Cupid Shuffle. As I look ahead to all that I hope to accomplish, I cannot help but to look back: Brazil was the second trip abroad that my husband and I took together as a couple. He proposed in Paraty right before we headed to Iguaçu and right after I had a near death experience with a hairdryer that had gotten in an altercation with a cheap Indonesian adapter. Blue flames up…

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