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To keep the records straight and make sure that I mention all the countries I have lived and live in it would not be right not to include Sarasota, Florida, USA so I combined my self portrait with my painting Memories of Florida #3. Gerry is from New York and we both adore New York specifically because of all the arts and excitement and diversity of the city, but we are too acclimatized to the tropics so when we left Brazil we decided to come and live in Florida. So in 1993 our children and I came to live in the States for the first time and Gerry in Florida for the first time. Kristina and Michelle went off to their respective universities Clark University in Worcester and Stonehill College in Eastern, Massachusetts. It was a huge adjustment for us; Sarasota being an older and less diversified place was a challenge to begin with. Karen entered high school, Sean the last year of middle school and Diana the 3rd year of middle school. There was not that much for children to do so I went to the Humane Society and managed to convince them to let my 3 children and I volunteer, they were the first teenagers to be allowed to work in the Humane Society here in Sarasota and we worked there basically 3 nights a week. We started off by cleaning cages etc and then became involved in learning how to train the dogs to make them more adoptable the latter part we all enjoyed enormously and learned so much about dogs and training. The beaches and ocean are beautiful and we live 10 minutes by boat from the gulf, so every weekend except when the weather did not permit we took our children out water skiing, surf boarding and generally enjoying the water and sports, the dolphins would swim alongside while our children were water skiing, at first the children were frightened but the dolphins never threatened them just enjoyed going along for the ride, this was healthy and enjoyable living, our children loved the weekends. Sarasota is blessed with a good art community, visual arts, theater, ballet, modern dance, classical music and the opera. I became very involved with the visual arts upon my arrival to Sarasota. The people in Sarasota are very warm and welcoming and we have some wonderful restaurants here. We have been very fortunate in having the greatest neighbors during our life here. Florida has an abundance of wild life from the alligators, many types of lizards, possums, raccoons to the enormous selection of fish, manatees and turtles. Shelling on the beaches is a fascinating and fun activity. The bird life is fascinating with the pelicans, ospreys, bald eagles, egrets, blue herons, cormorants, roseate spoonbills, hawks, blue jays, owls, woodpeckers, wood storks, ducks, and vultures amongst others. I have chosen to use similar colours for my SP as in my painting illustrating the sun, sea, sky, rain, storms and lushness of Florida.
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