Nossa casa é sua casa.

The view as you enter our complex.

Bem vindo! Today I’m going to post a virtual tour of our house and complex. We are happy here, and I want to share why.

Totally worthy tangent first. Neither of us had ever been to Dourados until we’d already committed to moving here, so we didn’t know much about the city. We (mostly Matt) used Google Maps a lot to learn about our new hometown. He actually found our complex on Google Maps’ satellite view, because its footprint, with a large park-like green space in the middle, is pretty unique. After we’d narrowed down potential places to live, it was fun to use Google Maps’ street view to start to imagine what it would be like to move around Dourados. This was back in early spring (Matt made his first trip here in May).

Fast-forward to August, when the kids started at Wings. The teachers there told us that there was another child attending the school whose parents had lived in Canada for several years. He was learning English at home and would be in Oscar’s class. We were delighted, and we tracked them down (in a not-creepy way at all, I promise!) at the school’s Festa da Agostina later that month. We’ve spent some really nice afternoons with the whole family, and we learned that prior to his current job, Oscar’s friend’s dad led a team to map a major region of our state, including Dourados, for Google Maps! So we owe no small thanks to our new friend for helping us get acquainted with and continuing to navigate this city.

Back to the tour. The place we ultimately chose to live has perfectly accommodated our family with a comfortable condominium, and common spaces for our kids to play and for us to interact with our neighbors. Nearly all of the standalone houses that we’ve seen in Dourados are walled off or gated. Many have patio-like outdoor spaces in the rear of the house, but very few have any space out front, which makes sense because many homes are also closely situated to the streets they’re on. It would have been difficult for us to meet our neighbors if we’d rented a house like that.

Instead, we live here.

This is the main gate and entrance to our complex. (Quick sidebar: one evening, this door wasn’t working, so our caretaker opened the service access door to let cars in and out, but it had to stay open all night. I didn’t know this until I came back from the gym and found that I had to enter through the service door- and nearly ran smack into a security guard with an assault rifle. Eek!)
There are 32 condominiums in our complex. All are privately-owned (and of course some are rented out to people like us), so while their footprints are identical, the indoor finishing is very different from one home to the next.
When you enter our front door, our living room is immediately to your right. The flag was gifted to us during our first weekend here. 🙂
To your left is our dining room. Please note the very expensive (priceless, really) art on the walls, created by Oscar and August.
Beyond the living/dining room, you’ll find our kitchen. The window opens to our back patio. It’s common to bring appliances with you when you move, so we had to buy our stove, refrigerator, and microwave.
There’s a door in our kitchen (if you look in that last picture, it’s on the very right-hand side) that leads to this small utility room. We had to buy our washing machine, too. I’ve mentioned before that everyone air dries clothes here, so you won’t find a dryer in our house!
The churrascaria! Probably our favorite part of the whole place. This is to the left of the utility room. The churrasco is that built-in oven dealio on the right. We have loved exploring the Brazilian tradition of slow Sunday barbecues that start around noon and last until it’s dark. It’s been a fun, leisurely way to spend our Sundays.
Here’s the view into the churrascaria from our patio. These two spaces are separated by a wall of glass doors, so we often open them up for an indoor/outdoor vibe.
Here’s the patio! That window looks back into the kitchen.
Time to go upstairs! We have a lot of built-in storage on our upper level. Multiple shelves, cabinets, and drawers are empty because we are living #thatminimalistlife.
Here is Oscar’s room! We bought this bed for visitors to use, so his room doubles as a guest space. Our windows upstairs all have sliding metal shutters and sliding glass panes, but no screens. It’s really uncommon to find screens on windows here. So far, this has led to two fugitive birds finding their way into our house.
This is August’s room! You may have noticed the AC units in the kids’ rooms. It’s very uncommon in most of Brazil to have any sort of central heating/cooling system, so folks install AC units wherever necessary. We have one in each of our three bedrooms and one in the living room.
We have three bathrooms- one half-bath downstairs, and two full bathrooms upstairs. This one is between the kids’ rooms. Yes, there is a bidet sprayer.
This is our room. We have a full en suite bathroom (fancy for us) and, if you’ll notice my reflection in the mirror, we have a small balcony as well (double fancy for us). We don’t actually really use the balcony much with the kiddos running around. August especially is far too fearless.
This is the view from August’s room. You can see over the wall that surrounds our complex into the neighborhood. It’s mostly residential around us with a few restaurants and shops. His room and our two bathrooms have windows that open onto this street, and almost every day, I hear the clip-clop-clip of horse feet trotting by in the middle of the afternoon.

The tour wouldn’t be complete without showing you what makes our home really special, which is our shared outdoor space. All the benefits of a yard and pool with none of the maintenance! (Seriously, this fall, Matt and I couldn’t stop high-fiving each other about not raking and cleaning out garden beds.)

This futebol field is central to everyone’s home in our complex. Other non-soccer uses include kite-flying, running around, and general merriment.
Twice a week, our local futebol clube plays a spirited game of five-on-five. It’s a lot of fun to watch, especially when other neighbors are out watching, too.
The kids dig the little playground next to the soccer field.
We have a great pool and large party room/gathering space. The larger pool is deeper with a range of something like 3.5-5 feet. The shallow pool is more like 20-24 inches.
The pools aren’t heated, so when we first moved here, we were the only ones crazy enough to swim in the “cold” water. But now that it’s summer, more and more people have been out enjoying the pool, especially on weekends, and it fills me with so much happiness to have another place where we can build community with our neighbors- who are pretty great people.

And that’s really why this place has been perfect. Dourados isn’t a mega-city with a million things to do and see, nor does it have a huge international community. We knew our adventure here would be about forming relationships with Brazilians and about experiencing life as a family in a new environment. Check and check.


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