Yesterday morning KT had her going away party (despedida) at her house. In Brazil, the person leaving gives their own going away party. In Mexico, friends would host the party for the departing. Starting at 10:00 a.m., KT opened her doors to her friends to serve an astounding array of cookies and cold beverages. Unlike other going away parties, this was a Purge Party. KT had individual bags of stuff from her closets with individual names attached, in itself a feat of unparalleled organization. Out on the porch and in the dining room, other unclaimed items were displayed for those interested such as beach towels, books, and birthday candles.

It is well known in ex-pat circles that when a person leaves, those staying behind circle like vultures, waiting to scavenge everything from furniture to electronics, art supplies to cupcake sprinkles, Christmas decorations to cocktail napkins. Yesterday was no exception. KT was picked clean, which was her intention. Me, I went home with my goodie bag and 5 boxes of lime Jell-O.

How to thank a bible study leader, devoted school volunteer, and Christmas bazaar hostess for all her contributions? Normally, in our community, the family leaving is given a feather headdress from the Amazon. To be frank, this would not fit in with KT’s décor, style or color-wise.* Parrots just do not have celadon green feathers. So we gave her a painting of cherries by Maria Isabel Santos,** not really because it is particularly Brazilian, but because it is by a Brazilian artist she admires.

KT is slated to leave Brazil in two forty foot containers. I think she just created a whole more space. More importantly, she is leaving a big hole in our neighborhood. Someone else will fill it, to be sure, just not in the same way.

*Make no mistake, KT is an avid patron of other Amazon arts.

** To see Maria Isabel’s paintings go to:



Filed under Folkart, People, Traditions

5 responses to “Despedida

  1. MCS

    Good luck KT! Hope you’ll continue to read the blog! – MCS

  2. Hi Expat:
    I’m sorry to hear you’re losing a good friend. I don’t know if I could live in another country unless I was surrounded by other people who knew what I meant when I talked about home. Preparing yourself for your departure?

  3. expatprincess

    Gaining and losing friends with rapidity is the watermark of an ex-pat princess. Although at some times it is very exhausting to make/keep friends, my life is all the richer for all the fascinating people I have met. One day we can play Six Degrees of the Ex-pat Princess. It is important to never burn bridges: the Peruvian chick that drives you nuts might be your long lost friend at your next assignment.

    The accessories, dental floss, and camera are packed. Accessories are key in Rio! Mr. Understanding is in a foul, foul mood and he still has not seen the costume yet. It is being delivered to the hotel tomorrow at noon. xoxoxo

  4. Winnie

    What are you planning to do with all that green jello? Maybe Mr. U needs a good dose of it??

  5. KT

    Since all of you know the expat princess, you also know that when it comes time to celebrate people, she is the best. It doesn’t matter if it is a birthday, or a going away party, she makes you feel special. I think that is one of her gifts. Thank you from all of us!

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