Whew! My visa for Brazil came today. I was worried it wouldn't come at all.
I first sent the application in two weeks ago, and they sent it back: they wouldn't accept my check (it had to be a money order), they wanted to see my round-trip ticket (and I didn't get a round-trip), and they wanted to know what the hell I would be doing in Brazil. So I re-applied-- money order, one-way ticket, and a little letter saying I would just be traveling around Brazil all the while employed by a US company (almost true). They had every right to just refuse me entry. And if they had, the FAQs say I would have just had to change my travel plans.
But they didn't, and they gave me the longest valid tourist visa they could. I may still have to spend half my year in Venezuela, but even if so, it could be worse.