Almost a month ago the first babywearing symposium in Brazil took place.
I started my travels in Rio where I had a meet & greet with food & wrapping!
After returning from my courses in New York I had a few days in Germany to cuddle my girls, do my laundry and repack my suitcase.
It was nice to pack summer clothing, but I also had to be prepared for rain as it was spring in Brazil.
We arrived in Rio. It was my first time in Brazil and I didn’t really know what to expect. We rented a car and I brought Emile’s carseat along from Germany.
I can’t imagine how I would have carried the seat, drag my suitcase and a one year old along without babywearing.
We stayed at an AirBnB apt. Hammock in the living room, big balcony with a view on the city and the Christ the Redeemer statue, beautiful!
As we arrived early in the morning we had all day for sightseeing. The first thing I saw in the city was a Starbucks. I had to get a Chai Latte ! 🙂
We went to the Escadaria Selarón (Selaron Steps) and afterwards we drove to a viewpoint (Mirante Dona Marta) with a great view on the city and the Christ the Redeemer statue.
The day after our arrival I had a meet & greet. In a cafe we had good food, smoothies and I answered questions. We practiced a couple of carries and I did some ‘trouble shooting’ to help with details of carries. I also brought my wraps along so others could give them a try.
After the meet&greet we went sightseeing. Somehow we ended up at a market and stumbled upon a festival somewhere.
It was great! Music, good food, nice people and sun!
Emile has been wrapped a lot, but also liked to walk (or dance) for a while every now and then. At the festival we got him sandals by trade (it was a ‘no money, just trade’ booth).
Paraty / Trindade
We had 3 days off in between our visit to Rio and getting to the symposium. We planned to travel along the coast and stay at an AirBnB close to Paraty.
In the forest, close to the beach and with colourful birds all around. I didn’t see any monkeys (I’ve been hoping to see them!) but did see a hummingbird right when we arrived at the house. We were lucky to have some sunny days (34°C) and not much rain.
The place where we stayed was perfect. Imagine a breakfast with fresh fruits, homemade bread and fresh coconut water… All of this with a view on the stunning nature & birds. I want to go back next year!
Both Paraty and Trindade have lots to offer. We went to waterfalls, a beach where we were all alone (okay, there was one other person… but still) and the second day we walked to a natural pool. In the evening we visited Paraty, a beautiful town with shops & restaurants. If you ever plan to visit Paraty, go in the evening! It’s way more ”cozy” compared to Paraty by day.
On Thursday we had to drive to Ponto de Luz, where the Babywearing Symposium would be held.
According to the mails the final 20-30 minutes would be a muddy road. A road where your phone or gps wouldn’t have a signal and you had to call the hotel to let them know you’re coming (so they could go and look for you if you wouldn’t show up).
Luckely it didn’t rain and our rented SUV got us up the hill without any problems.
The location was stunning. It’s a ‘self-realization center’, where a lot of therapy sessions and retreats are hosted.
The (all vegetarian!) food was delicious. We stayed at one of the chalets, with a great view over de valley.
The hotel has two pools (one indoor and one outdoor), a waterfall and fire pit.
For kids there are play areas, there’s a herbal garden and many other spots to explore.
The program of the symposium was designed so everyone could attend every session. The timetable was designed so even those who have a booth at the market place could attend the lectures and workshops. The workshops weren’t offered simultaniously but successively, one after another. This way you don’t have to make a choice and you can attend every single one.
The days were very long, filled with lectures, workshops, food, people…. Breakfast at 8 / 8.30 and even in the evening we got together. On the first evening we got to know eachother a bit in a playful way. In groups we had to walk up to the workshop room, the leader had sight and the others were blindfolded. We all had to walk up the stairs blindfolded, listening to the person in front of you. The evening session on friday took place around the bonfire. It was about connecting with others. I found it a bit ”woolly” but maybe that’s just because these kind of sessions get me out of my comfort zone. As I don’t speak the language it’s hard(er) to connect and feel like your part of the group too.
I loved the ‘babywearing round table’. Educators trained by different schools spoke about their education and general babywearing guidelines in their country. Things like ‘legs in or legs out’, ‘when to backcarry’ or the carries they teach. A lot of this depends on the babywearing school you choose. It was very interesting and I would like to see this be done again!
To learn about the differences and (maybe even) the reasons behind it (why do they teach it this way?) is what I could spend months doing… Trying to find a middle way or to help each single person find a way to wear their child, making sure to suit their situation and needs.
On Saturday I held my lecture and workshop about tandemwearing. It was my first time speaking for such a big group, I’ve done workshops before but that just feels different. A babywearing educator translated my talk and workshop to make sure everybody could understand. It has been recorded and I hope it I will still feel like it was a success once I’ve seen it myself.
Please be kind once it goes online & you get a chance to watch it. ( I believe they will charge a fee for those interested in watching)
I would love feedback & tips for improving!
Pictures of the market place:
What I’ve brought along:
Uppymama handwoven (with silk), Dahliawrap, Risaroo, Tinge garden. And a sweet mama gifted me a wrap from a Brasilian brand (Pé de Pano) and for our travels (airport / train) I brought my Isara full buckle along.
Blends: cotton/silk, cotton/tsugumi silk, cotton/tencel, cotton! Both silk and tencel feel very comfy in hot weather. Eventhough the Dahliawrap is pretty thick it’s a nice toddlerwrap in this climate. Silk feels cool on your skin and babywearing with 34°C is ALWAYS warm. No matter what wrap you use. The Brazilian wraps I’ve looked at / tried are pretty thin & airy to deal with the higher temperatures. I’ve also seen stretchy wraps that look more like swimsuit fabric or other synthetic materials.
Pé de Pano
(link to the place where we stayed close to Paraty: Casa Tambor)