Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last week...

Well...I'm officially in my last week here in Brazil. The Cherry Fest was a lot of fun! I think the Woolfest needs to invest in having Churros....Kim, if you read this, then get working on that, if not, then I'll remind you in Sunday School. haha They also have rides, which were a lot of fun. I think the group's both with Acai, tapioca, and orange juice did pretty well. I sure don't want to make an orange juice anytime soon. haha The tapioca with cheese was pretty good, too! It was like a sweet version of a cheese quesodilla (or however it is spelt).

Anyway, church went well on Sunday. There was a little drop in attendance, but that's common when there is some festival in town, right? ;) This week I've continued to organize a few more rooms, and been helping a few kids with their English. I think it's pretty funny that one of them can speak it really well, but can't read it. Another one can read it almost perfectly, but doesn't understand much. Too bad you can't just combine the two. haha

While cleaning out the Pastor's office, I've got to see a lot of cool books. It's surprising to see what all you might find with the mixture between Portugues and English books. There's also a lot of things that have church names on it. I don't know if that means that they have been here, or maybe the family here has traveled to those churches, but there's a lot from Kentucky! I've also been able to look at old newspapers that have things from the beginning of Alpha Omega, which is pretty cool.

If you're my friend on facebook, you can check out my pictures! I finally added about half of them! I still need to get some good pics of the library, and of the people who work in it. There's a mom and daughter that work there. The daughter (who's 22) sits at a desk an inputs all the books into the computer to get them accounted for, and the mom keeps the library under control. They still need a little more money to complete the library and make it more family/user friendly. But all in all, it's coming together pretty well.

I guess that's all for this post. OH! But some have asked about what I've been eating. They've had beef everyday, and I don't eat that. So either Fatima (Kelly, Katia, Camilia and Totohno's mom) or Zetty from the kitchen has made me chicken, eggs, or potatoes each day to go with my rice. After a week, Zetty noticed that I was only eating rice, so they've made sure I've had something to eat! haha Also, if you remember, I had nose surgery a couple months ago. My nose is still hard a swollen, but I'm pretty sure it's lost about 3 or more sizes size I've been gone. Hopefully I'm still recognizable when I return the to states ;)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cherry Fest!

Well, yesterday began the first day of the cherry festival! Alike the woolfest, there is a ton of food, crafts, and music. But, they also have rides! Here at Alpha, they sell acai, tapioca, and orange juice. I've made orange juice the past two days...and today I sliced my finger with a big butcher's knife that I was using to cut open oranges. Anyway, last night I got to go to the was a lot of fun. I had acai w/ condescend milk, a chocolate churro ( the brazilians fill their churros with chocolate so it's even better ;), fanta laranga, and what looks like it would be peanut butter and chocolate fudge...doce de leite (too bad it wasn't real fudge). Tonight I might try the tapioca with cheese...I'm not so sure though because I'm not a fan of tapioca pudding. haha Anyway, the festival was a lot of fun. The only bad thing about it is having to walk...after you eat all the food, a 30 minute walk back home is not fun. haha

Over the past couple days I've been cleaning out more rooms. Once all this stuff is organized and labeled, it will be easy for them to move stuff around and get ready to reopen the school later. After the school closed a couple years ago, teachers just left all their stuff here...while it was all moved into one room, some of it got flooded, along with their records and receipts here. So that's basically what I've been sorting through. It's a little tougher to organize things here than back at home because if I was to put my room together at school or something, I would go to walmart to buy organizers...but here, no. Take what you can get...and that makes it a little difficult. haha

Well, I guess this was a pretty boring post. I'll probably not be able to walk after this festival is over. After making orange juice for 5 hours today, I took a nap and didn't want to get up. haha

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Okay, first let me say that I didn`t know what to make the title of this blog entry. But, anyway, there`s a couple things I wanted to mention in addition to the last post, along with some things from today.

One, if you came last year with Georgetown, then you probably remember a little girl named Ana...Portia`s girl :) Anyway, we saw her a couple days ago at the Ohio`s group program. She was so excited to see someone that knew Portia! I think Lizene went to visit her yesterday, too. One thing that I wanted to bring out was that last year we learned about how her living situation wasn`t optimal. But, I think seeing her again, knowing that she does attend church, and that because of that special bond she made with someone a little over a year ago, shows the hope she has for her future. That just goes to show that even the smallest things can really be a "God" thing for others. People may have complained last year about having to make sock puppets at the same school everyday, but obviously there was a reason for it. That`s why I believe that if you`re going on a mission trip, that you can`t completely plan it out by yourself. We didn`t have the school thing planned out like that last year, but we ended up doing that. As long as you keep an open mind, and your heart open to hear and follow God`s purpose for you each day, then you`re doing the right thing. You can`t just sit and complain and say "I don`t feel like it`s worth it" or "I want to do something else" or the worst one,  "I don`t think I`m getting anything out of it". Who cares if you`re not getting anything out if it (sorry, I should probably take that sentence out of there haha). But anyway, obviously if you have that mind set, then nothing will happen. You`ve completely shut yourself out and basically living in your selfish mind. Get yourself out of that rut because you`re wasting your time and space. ha....well I think I´ll stop ranting....there may be a lot of down sides to going by yourself, but one thing that is a positive/negative is that you don`t have to deal with other people in your group...moreover, you still have to keep yourself accountable. Luckly, in this situation, it`s not as if I went by myself, because it`s like one big family here.

There seemed to be a huge group at church this morning! All the rows were full! Morning church at Alpha is a little different than a typical church. First, it`s basically full of kids, and a handfull of adults. It`s pretty cool to see the children out number the adults...because usually you see the opposite. Anyway, I guess the best way to describe church is kid of like a kids day camp/vbs event. It starts with breakfast, then they play games, have a big quiz bowl, sing and dance to songs, listen to what the Pastor has to say from the Bible, and then play more games outside, then they finish with lunch. It`s a whole morning/afternoon of play and learning about the Bible. As Lizene says "the pastor always knows how to make it fun for the kids". Not only the kids, but the adults have things to partipate in as well. In a bit, I`ll be heading to evening church. This is the more formal/traditional service. There aren`t as many kids because the bus doesn`t run to pick them up. But a lot of adults come, along with the people here at Alpha. If I remember right, it`s a little longer than a typical America church service. An hour is not enough time to get everything said and done at the service ;) But then again, it`s supposed to start at 7:30, but that`s on Brazil it probably doesn`t really start until about 7:45 or maybe even 8. haha

Well I think that`s all I have to say for now. I´ll put the pictures up soon! And for another semi-funny story: Today, one of the American`s here from Ohio asked me in Portugues what my name was, I told her then asked what her name was in English....she was a little taken back that my English was so good. hahahaha I guess I`m not as white as I was last week when a Brazilian asked me if there was a sun in America. ;)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Clean, Clean, Clean!

My mom knows that is my favorite word. Actually, I just hate that word when it's combined with "your room" or "your car".  haha Anyway, I finished cleaning out the big room...power washing the walls, ceiling, and floor. Actually, the water got a little low when it was time to do the floor, so GiGi and I scrubbed it real hard to get the dirt up, and then mopped it. The room looks very bright and clean now!

Yesterday, I worked on cleaning out a closet that originally for Odali's tools and fishing equipment. But, it had recently become used for many other things, too. So I got the room all emptied out and Kathy helped sort through the stuff they needed in there, or for another room, or was just trash. We found a hillbilly golf game shoved in the corner of the closet! They didn't know what it was, so I showed them how to play. They are excited to be able to use it for church in the morning with the children!

Other than cleaning everything, at nights we've gone to see an American  youth group from Ohio. They are working in the city and at nights they have been at a gym, and everyone comes to play basketball, volleyball, and soccer. The other night, they also had a little worship service there as well. It was pretty cool. It's also neat to see the other side of a mission trip. Not being with a group, but being able to watch a group and see how they work together. It's also cool to be on the other side watching their programs...I think they said they've had about 100-200 people a day make decisions for Christ. They've been doing school programs, camps, and evening sports programs (which I've gone to a couple times).

Well, I don't have too much to say, other than Brazil is still great! I'm a little tired, so I'm sure this post probably isn't the best! haha One day I'll get pictures up, but I did put a couple on facebook that I took with my phone the other day :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dia de Familia

Thanks everyone for all the prayers for Family Day. I must say that it went a little different than planned, but as everyone knows sometimes God has a little bit different plan that what us humans have. Nonetheless, the parents and children all had a lot of fun. Anyway I'll catch you up with all the details:

Saturday, some of us went out to a part of town that the bus goes to pick up children on Sunday mornings for church. We partnered up and went down the streets clapping outside the door (that's their way of a door bell), and passing out the invitations. I was with Tito, Kathy and Odali's boy that's around 13 years old. In the past, usually the Brazilians speak and the Americans hand out the invitations and smile. haha But this time, Tito made me talk by myself in Portugues. Shew. That was a learning experience. Not to mention, if you've ever visited here before, then you know a guy named Peter, who loves americans. I just so happened to visit his house while walking the streets. haha

The next morning (Sunday), when I got up, Lizene (who's a social worker and pretty much runs Alpha with the Barros), said there was no bus driver. The invitations said that the bus would be passing by around 8:40-8:45, but it was already 8:30. Eventually, they did get someone to drive the bus, but it was a little late.

The church service was a lot of fun. The pastor, Odali, had questions for people to answer and if they got it right, then they got a prize. Also, had candy and popcorn for everyone. Then, there were a few games. People played either against their parents or someone else, and whoever won got prizes, too. I thought everyone was having a lot of fun. However, I asked Lizene yesterday if she thought it went well, and she agreed. She shared that one of the boys that we talked with while passing out the invitations on Saturday had talked with Lizene about wanting his mom to come to church. She always says she will, but she never does. The boy asked Lizene if she asked his mom to come and she did. But, Li told the boy that he could pray about it. So, guess who was at church Sunday morning? The boy's mother! Lizene said that he was so happy! Hopefully he learned that he can ask and pray to God through that experience, and that God listens.

Yesterday, Kathy had me start to clean out a big room (if you've been to Alpha before, it's the blue and yellow devotional room), that she has started using for the very small children on Sunday mornings. Old furniture had been piled up on the walls, and it really needs a good wash. So, some of us removed all the furniture ( I mean, there was a LOT!). Today, we got the power washer out, and so far I've sprayed down the ceiling, getting rid of mold, wasps, and other dirty things. Later, I will be washing the walls down with soap, along with the floor. Then when it's ready, I will wax it. They have an old pool table and ping pong table, so it can also be used with the youth when it's done. Kathy is going to look to get the old couches fixed, or to just but a couple new ones because they aren't in the best condition. The room will look great when it's done and hopefully it will be ready to use on Sunday morning!

Well I guess that's about all the updates I have. But I'll end with another funny story again. On Saturday, a lady asked me if there was a sun in America because I am so white. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dead cow.

Well, the past two days have been pretty interesting. Yesterday and today, I spent time working on invitations, and went to town with Lizene and Kathy for the Dia da Familia. Tomorrow, the invitations will be passed out. While not designing invitations on Wednesday, I had the privilege to help a couple people cut up a dead cow. The whole cow. I even have a picture with the inside of it's neck. I might live on a farm, but I've never chopped up a dead cow! hahaha

Today, Gislaine and myself went to the church and got it semi set up for Sunday. Dia da Familia is at 9:30 am on Sunday (8:30 eastern). It begins with Sunday School-church-lunch-games. There will be games like 3 legged race, who can eat the most oranges, different relays, along with like a quiz bowl with questions of history, books of the Bible, etc. They will also get family pictures taken, which will be printed later and delivered.  Lets just hope it's not too cold! It's been around 60-70 degrees, but for people here, that's pretty cold!

Tomorrow is the 1 year celebration of the youth group at church. If you've heard me speak at church, you might remember me talking about a few years ago when the government came in and shut down the home. Well, it's basically like they had to restart everything. So, tomorrow is a year of having a youth group again!

Also, the judge has reopened the case from a few years ago. Now, the judge is saying that they don't like that Alpha Omega is a Family Development Center now. They had to get all their documents of proof from the past back together and have it ready by today to turn in to the government. They have a young, new judge in town who seems to "know it all", a long with some lawyer's that way, too. The same prosecutor from the past is still in the picture, too. But as someone put it, "if the people think there is a problem, they should come run it themselves." Which, a few years ago, people were going to come in and stay, but they were gone before dinner time.

I guess I'll end this post with a "Did you know?"

Did you know that if you ask for "bobby pins" at a store in Brazil, you'll be directed to the hair rollers? I didn't until today. Rollers here have the name "bobby". :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Oiii! Or hello, from Brazil!

I made it here at the home around 6pm last night. The flights and buses went well. Last night, after dinner, I listened to some friends practice playing their instruments for church. They just started playing a few months ago when a teacher offered to teach the people at the home. They sound very good now, as if they have been playing for a long time.

Today, I've been working on the Family Day on Sunday. We've made invitations to pass out to the city. On Friday, some of us, along with the adolescents will go pass the invitations out. If you read this, please pray for Friday and Sunday morning/afternoon for the Family Day.

This morning, I met someone from Alexandria, KY. Pretty cool? But, he's Kathy's father, who started the home with her husband. He's actually lived in Brazil since the 1950's.

I have a lot of pictures of the home, and the new library, and I'll put them on facebook when my account is unlocked. I don't think it liked me logging in here in Brazil, even though I've never had that problem before. But, I'm locked out for 24 hours...

I guess that's all the updates for now! Until next time, I'll be preparing for Dia da Familia, working around the home, and teaching english (phonics) to some of the kids.

Also, thanks for all the prayers and messages during my travel!