How to Make a Bed in Brazil — October 25, 2015


I know how to make my bed. After all, I have been making my bed since I could tie my shoes.

Bottom fitted sheet

top sheet

pillows with pillowcases



sleep in it at night and make it in the morning.


There’s nothing to it, right?  Wrong.


When I arrived at my new host family’s house in Armação do Pântano do Sol, Santa Catarina on a rainy Thursday morning, we made our introductions over breakfast.  After a quick cup of coffee in a beagle mug, my host mother showed me to my room, where I left my suitcase until I came home from Projeto Lontra.  When I got home that afternoon, I went to unpack and I noticed that the bed only had a fitted bottom sheet.  In an effort to settle in, I made the bed – top sheet, pillows with pillowcases, blanket, comforter – and went to go talk to my host sister.


“Ivi! Você está indo dormir?


Only minutes later my host mother was calling me back upstairs laughing to ask if I was going to sleep.  When I was understandably confused, she explained that here in Brazil you only leave your bed made when you are going to bed.  Instead, you leave your bedding folded in your dresser or folded out the window.  Also, that top sheet and that comforter?  Not a top sheet or a comforter.  Instead, you leave your fitted sheet on the bed during the day with either a sheet or comforter on it to protect it from dirt.  At eighteen I can legally vote in the United States, but I am still learning how to do small children’s chores in Brazil.  Bebezinha.