This work included tearing out old ceramic walls and floors by sledge hammer, breaking plaster to put in new electric, telephone and internet wires, changing out plumbing and gas pipes, and opening some walls and moving door openings to make the rooms more efficient. Then it had to be put all back together.
Camillo and I had to stay a step ahead of the labor buying floor tiles, wall tiles, water heaters, lighting fixtures, A/C units, doors, kitchen cabinets – the list seemed to go on and on. This isn’t like you can go to one big supper store like Lowes – we took taxis to the Barra, buses and taxis downtown, to Copacabana all the while traveling back and forth from Friburgo and living in hotels.
I know some of the problem with finding all that we needed centered around wanting a certain level of quality, a certain modern look but it was still about 10 months of searching and deciding – Miracle of all miracles was that we got it done and we stayed married. (and I stayed here)
By the end of November 2003, we had moved me to Brasil, received my permanent residence card, gotten our limited household goods out of customs (a major feat in itself), had bought a bed and a refrigerator for the apartment, determined all the construction detail and finally kicked the workers out so we could start to move in. After nearly one long grueling year we needed to begin to furnish this apartment.