We are now halfway through our trip here in Brasil. This also means that we all received our care packages from our prayer partners! Shout out to everyone who helped put those together. We all got some good laughs and “Aw” moments. It meant a lot to us to receive those little pieces of home.
As you may already know from our last blog update we got the opportunity to stay in a community known as Assentamento Baraunas located in Pernambuco for 11 days. We left the Assentamento today and it was a very sad goodbye. In our 11 days together, our host families in the community welcomed us into their everyday lives. In Baraunas, we watched the farmers vaccinate their cows, learned how to handwash clothes, and experienced how fulfilling a simple pace of life can be. We all felt loved and cared for by everyone we encountered in the community.
So this time I (Emmanuel) got the chance to write the blog with the help of Rebekah’s fine editing skills. So here is a quick update of those you all love.
For the 11 days that we were at the Asentamento, Heather and Rebekah had the chance to stay with Lindaci and Antonio. Lindaci and Antonio married young and still are happily married to one another. Lindaci was an amazing cook. Her meals, as I would tell my team every time I got the chance to eat at their house, were bombdiggity.com. Antonio was a very funny guy and although there was a language barrier, he still found a way to make us laugh. We got the chance to climb a couple mountains, but on one of our adventurous hikes Heather accidentally touched a triga plant which gave her a rash on her arms. No worries, after washing it with rain water and some sort of moss her rash immediately went away. Heather also enjoyed time getting especially close with Lauren, an American graduate student we spent a few days with, and Enrique, the 6-year-old grandson of one of our host families.
By the end of our visit Rebekah was known as the singer of the group. Lindaci invited us to visit her church on Sunday. Lindaci and Antonio attend a Pentecostal church and there were over 300 people at the service. We unexpectedly were called up to introduce ourselves. Beforehand Lindaci had mentioned to the pastor how “beautiful” we sang together so we then were given mics and a guitar to play them a song. Praise the Lord that our group had been practicing Hosanna since we first arrived, and that Rebekah (who was our Beyonce of the group) was able to sing and play the guitar on the spot.
Brian, or as some of you may know him–BriBriValVal stayed with a couple named Maria and Marcelino. They were both sweet and amazing people. On one of the nights there they had hosted a birthday party for their granddaughter. We got the chance to have bolo (cake), brigadeiros, and plenty of Guarana. We also got the chance to sing happy birthday the Brazilian way. We were asked to sing happy birthday the American way and after singing the Brazilian birthday song our American version did not sound as exciting. Brian was able to make a connection with Marcelino through playing a peg game. The goal of the game is to end up with only one peg in the middle. After many trials and a lesson from Marcelino himself, Brian was able to always end up with one peg. Oh, Brian also got the runs after a pretty long hike, but no worries–after some pepto and a good night’s rest he was fine and ready to take on the world.
Mary Claire stayed with a couple named Cicera and Dedinho. Cicera and Dedinho always welcomed us into their home and always had a cold glass of suco (juice) ready. They first met while Dedinho was in a Forro band. Forro is a kind of dance/music style that we got the chance to learn in Carauru. I think I can say that we are all pretty good at forro dancing… Cicera and Dedinho also take care of their grandson, who we all fell in love with. His name was Filip; he was 10 years old and like a mini Tarzan who did everything we did, but better. This kid has really made an impact in all of our hearts. Mary Claire introduced Filip to Justin Bieber’s music and high-fives. Mary Claire felt so loved by her host family that she wanted to be able to give them something, so with the help of Lindaci she prepared a bolo (cake) for them. Mary Claire had a hard time with mosquito bites, nettles throughout our hikes, spiders, the idea of lizards jumping into her mouth, cows staring her down, and also touching a deadly plant that we didn’t know about until Kevin told us afterwards. Thank goodness we didn’t touch the milk inside the bean-like plant, or else we could have gone blind. But no worries, we all still have our eyesight.
Kevin stayed with Floriano and Marinetta who were siblings. I can tell Kevin is having an amazing time with us; we just might be his favorite SPRINT team that he has ever gone with… He was also given the chance to be interviewed on a Brazilian radio station. He’s been having a good time being able to eat all the condensed milk treats that he can. I’m sure his wife Marian, sorry if I spelled that wrong, would not be very happy about that. It’s also Father’s Day in Brazil this Sunday the 11th so the team has prepared a small surprise for him. We love you, Kevin!
Then there is me:
I stayed at the same house that Brian stayed at. I had the privilege of doing two hikes up steep mountains and for those who know me, I am a man who loves his hikes…. On one of the nights I almost went to sleep with a chicken in my bed. After about 15 minutes of trying to get it out Brian and I finally were able to do so. I will now forever be known as the American who almost went to sleep with a chicken in his bed. I have also found myself a novela that I just cannot miss. It’s called Amor a Vida and it is a little intense, but it is my kind of novela. I am hoping that the team will come to enjoy the novela even if we can’t really understand most of what is going on. I also got the chance to slap a few cows on the butt as the cows got ready to get vaccinated!
Welp, that’s about it. We are back in Recife chilling at the unit house and we are all doing great! Please keep us in your prayers as we embark on the second half of the trip.
Also, if you are reading the blog give us a shout out through the comment option. We wouldn’t mind being able to read what you all have to say!
Much love and appreciation,
E / The Brazilian Crew