we have been in brasil for 8 days now. how time has flown. i was able to attend mass at the sao paulo mta shrine on thursday. thais arranged this for me, and i am so very grateful. the day was to end at 4pm, and the driver drop off all of the team before dropping me off, but we were running late, and nelson (pinch hitting for thais) told me that i was to be dropped off first. anyway, i was received warmly at the shrine, and after mass, met with father matheus and (my family will looove this) sister theo.
friday morning we had free, and i think i slept until it was time to leave for the afternoon. when i woke up, thais told me that she had been to the hospital for medicine or treatment. she has been going non-stop to arrange everything we need.
last night we went to the samba. i wasn~t there 5 minutes when someone spilled a beer over my head while cheering about something. brings back memories of week-ends at kyrles and crepes. it was really fun, but i wish rickey could have been there to dance with me. i was impressed by the atmosphere of the place. it was crowded, but not rowdy. everyone there was friendly and polite. there was actually toilet paper in the ladies bathroom.
after one week, communication is still a problem for me. i am trying my best, but it is very hard to understand the words, even in english. i am sure thais is really tired of repeating everything she says.
my observations after 8 days---
1-- this city is sooooo very big. there are people everywhere. (don~t they ever all go home?)
2-- every shop or resturant has some reference to a saint. they are everywhere. thais said that in june there are three big festivals centered around feast days of some saint or the other. reminds me of home- any excuse for a party!
3-- the people here are so very friendly. everyone smiles.
4-- the food here is delicious. the fruit is so fresh and plentiful, and the flavor explodes in your mouth.
5-- i was told that the beer here is the coldest anywhere, but at our camp, we can get it colder.
6-- these people are serious about security. there are locks and gates and iron bars everywhere.
they say that you can do anything in sao paulo, but i don~t think so. i can~t walk down the road to visit my in-laws sitting on their front porch. i can~t wave to the neighbors as they pass in front of my house on their tractor or 4-wheeler. i can~t sit on my back porch and see across the bayou. ( i think i even miss seeing those stupid cows and chickens.) i haven~t seen anyone fishing along the bayou bank. come to think of it, i don~t remember seeing a bayou bank.