Below are several pictures we’ve taken during January. Carrie has stopped using a purse so whenever we go anywhere she gives me her lip gloss and camera. It feels like I’m a pack mule sometimes but the good news is we have a camera just about everywhere we go.
This picture was taken at the Missionary Conference in Itu, Brazil (outside of Sao Paulo). The conference is an anual event where all missionaries from all over South America meet up to listen to different speakers and connect with other groups. This year 3 of the 5 families on our team made it to the conference.
Jill, Carrie and April. One night at the conference we loaded up on a bus that took us about 45 minutes outside of the city. It was nice to escape the city for a few hours and we enjoyed some good food and conversation with missionaries from all over Brazil.
Carrie and I frequently eat lunch on our balcony. Carrie found a supermarket that has tortillas, which are very rare here, and she has become an expert at making wraps. The advocados here are about the size of Carrie’s head so they are usually featured in said wraps.
I took a picture of this bike shop because I visited this place the first week were in Niteroi intending to purchase and ride away on a bicycle. No one paid any attention to me as I was looking through the used bikes for the perfect one and I was suprised that they were all is such rough shape. It wasn’t until I removed a bike from the pile to give it a test ride that I was approached by an employee. I didn’t understand every word that came out of the mans mouth but I did catch enough to find out that none of these bicycles were for sale because it is a bike repair shop. I ended up purchasing a bike at another store nearby and every time I am spotted riding by, I give them a sheepish smile as they point and laugh.
Ben, Juliana and Sugarloaf Mountain.
This is the little bread store on the street behind us. We frequently stop here for cafe de manha (breakfast) on the way to class. I order the Italiano which is a pastel stuffed with ground beef, cheese and onion. Carrie loves it when my breath smells like beef and onion during our group class.
This is a picture of the Pomar supermercado. Carrie visits this grocery store almost daily. As you can see it’s not quite as large as Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, but don’t worry there is plenty of space in this store for beans and rice.
We had a lot of fun going bowling with Rodrigo and Clara. There are a few differences in this bowling alley and the ones in the US. This bowling alley has 6 lanes, doubles as a pizza restaurant and all of the pins have cables in the tops of them to reset them after being knocked down. Carrie’s favorite thing about this bowling alley was that bowling shoes were not required or available for rent. We have really enjoyed getting to know Rodrigo and Clara better.
Our team got together the other night for dinner and invited one of our language teachers to join us. This is Juliano and his girlfriend Anaum. They are both working on degrees in Letters at a University in Rio. Juliano is an excellent teacher and speaks 3 languages.
Carrie and April are happy to be alive.
I read this today in Beth Moore’s “To Live Is Christ”.
I believe Saul set sail to Jerusalem as a young adolescent with a pure heart; but somewhere along the way the negative influences outweighed the positive, and his purity began to erode. The law became his god. That’s what happens when you take the love out of obedience. The result is the law. Without love for God and His Word, we’re just trying to be good. Nothing will wear you out faster.
In Brazil it is customary to wear white clothing and new underwear to welcome in the new year. We had the white clothes part going for us as we tried to blend in. This picture was taken on our balcony. We are on the 12 floor and our balcony generally has a nice breeze. We eat all of our meals and spend a lot of time on the 6×10ft balcony.
Carrie was talking to Jill (not pictured). I originally walked out in a white T-shirt but when I saw how nice Carrie looked, I knew that I would not be leaving in said shirt.
An upgrade from the T-shirt. This shirt is no longer white.
As you can see there is no drinking age in Brazil. Just kidding, it’s juice. We toasted in the new year as a team although not at full strength (Nathan and Sara arrive in March). We started feeling sprinkles shortly after this photo was taken.
At 10:30 it started pouring. The newspaper anticipated 400,000 people on the beach last night so as you can imagine there was not enough room under the trees for everyone to escape the rain. The shirts came off, the music kept playing and the Brazilians waited in hope that the rain would pass by midnight. At 11:45 the rain stopped and at midnight we had a spectacular fireworks display.
Fogos de artificios (fireworks)
These are our new friends Clara and Rodrigo. Clara works at Hotel Resedencial where we stayed for two weeks while we were looking for an apartment. She and her boyfriend Rodrigo have shown us some cool areas in Niteroi and he came over one night and helped me set up our wireless network. After the fireworks, we went to Rodrigo’s apartment where we celebrated the new year with Clara, Rodrigo and 25 members of his family. It was a great party with a lot of great food. Rodrigo’s family was so welcoming and we had a large meal at about 2 AM. We returned home very late declaring our first New Year in Brazil a success.
God has blessed our team so much in the 7 weeks that we have been here. I am excited to see what the Lord will do here in Niteroi in 2009.