Monday, October 27, 2008


So since I have arrived in Brazil, I have become aware of two different things with spelling. First, I am bad at spelling Portuguese because I don't use the accents right. Secondly, my English spelling is in quick deterioration. I am quite nervous about this as I think spelling has a lot to do with how someone is perceived. I am very grateful for spell check that works on this blog, gmail, word-of course, but am nervous about the other places where I don't have that luxury as well as misspelling my there's, here's, and other words that have different spellings and meanings.
Oh well, at least I am aware of it. I will probably start sending the update email to my mom in the US to edit it before I send it out. But for now, I will just keep trying my best.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Almost a bad day

Well, we almost had a bad day yesterday, but it was really good. We started out early to get to town in order to register for our CPF's, the Brazilian social security number. As we got out of the taxi, I could not find my wallet. I turned around and the taxi driver had hesitated pulling away, but I caught his attention as he started driving. Sure enough, my wallet was in the back seat. Close call.
Yesterday evening, we had one of our language school teachers, Fabi, over for dinner. Sarah and Fabi left after their classes were over while I finished up my class. Sarah had a couple bus numbers in mind to ride home, but they were both wrong. So when they got on 614 she started to have problems. First, she had a 20 real bill, (equivalent to 10 dollars) and the guy on the bus did not have change and so would not accept it. So Fabi had to pay for the ride. Then, the bus turned before Sarah thought it should have. So they were freaking out inside the bus because they did not know what to do. It turned out ok though cause the bus still went pretty close to the house. So they made it home safely.
Then they were cooking dinner and the gas stove was turning on, but not lighting and they could smell gas. Sarah turned on the top of the stove and all the gas lit up. Sarah said she could feel the fire all around her and both Fabi and Sarah screamed, but it was over quickly.
We had also been having some problems with our gas heater. I couldn't get it to work. Well, Jon Trott, another missionary came over and looked at it and said, "oh did you know it was turned to off?" And then it worked and I felt retarded. But at least the gas is working now.
But it was a great day because we got our CPF's, had a great lunch downtown, had a good day in class where one teacher told me how good Sarah is doing, and had fun having Fabi over.

Monday, October 20, 2008


The days leading up to our departure from the states I was very excited about playing soccer in Brasil. At last I could play soccer just about every day I am here and make great contacts with people and get good exercise consistently. But then I didn't play soccer for two weeks. People don't play that often here in south Brasil. But finally I played last Sunday and this Sunday. I walked over to the park where I only seen games being played on Sunday afternoons. A group of younger players let me play on their team and I had fun. Then yesterday I played again. Once all the older players left, we were able to play for about an hour straight. I had a lot of fun and even played alright. I am hoping that I can be a positive influence in the lives of these kids. It is neat to see how that being a foreigner you have so many more opportunities to talk. They have asked me all kinds of questions and I have been able to ask them some. I am hoping to get into more serious subjects at times. We will see.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Yes, that is a very scary word, especially when you are in a different country. I mean, they don't even have 911 down here, so what would you do if someone were in your house in the middle of the night? Well, last Friday night, at 2:30 in the morning, I was asking that same question. You see, it sounded like there was someone walking on the top floor of our house. We live in a condominium, meaning that our house is connected to another house. The other house is under construction right now, which means we get woke up often from pounding and stuff. Well, this night I did not really consider anyone to be working and so I figured they must be in our house. So I got up, turned the light on in the bathroom, and used it so they might be scared and go away. They didn't. I could have sworn that I heard them walking and even pulling on drawers downstairs.
So I went out to the hallway and turned on a light and stood there for a while making a few noises to let the burglar know I was there. I also figured out what I would use for a weapon; the iron, or a big piece of glass from a broken picture frame. After a while I closed the door and laid in bed for a while. I think I finally fell back asleep by 5:30. As soon as it was light out, I walked around the house and saw that nothing was gone. I had in fact imagined the whole burglary. We live in a condominium with an electric fence around us, as well as a gate with a security guard. So I think that I will just try to ignore those noises next time. But I still have something in our room just in case the burglar does come.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

And the eggs made it home.

Today we needed some groceries. Today we rode the bus to and from school. Today the bus was really crowded. Today we did not get to sit down. Today we had eight bags of groceries on the bus ride home. Today we made it home safely with no broken eggs, bruised fruit, spilt milk.
And we just laughed...


Whoa, if I tell you about churrasco down here, you may start raising your support for South Brasil. The day after we arrived, another missionary treated us to churrasco in his home. Some American cities have Brazilian churrascarias in which plates cost up to 50 dollars for this steak buffet. Gauchos have perfected this grilling over coals of sausage and steak and we are now tasting their years of experience. To top it all off, meat is much cheaper down here and so churrascos are much more feasible.
A churrasco pit sits in our laundry room awaiting these delicious meals, that is, as soon as I can figure it out. My first experience of being head chef for churrasco happened on Tuesday. We rushed home and I tried to start the coals. First mistake: no lighter fluid. Every time Sarah walked in to check how I was doing, my head was surrounded by smoke as I looked down into the flameless pit. I said, well, if we were smoking this meat, we could do it here. Second mistake: I didn't have enough coals or arrange them correctly. Once I piled them up better, dumped some cleaning alcohol on it, and gave it time, it started to heat up. Which by that time, I had told Sarah to fix something else. So we had steak over the stove, rice and gravy. Turned out good. We did keep one piece of meat though. In churrascos, you are supposed to use fat salt, or ocean salt, and put it on the meat, and then at some point knock it off. I never got to that point. So the meat was really salty. Third mistake: we had brought the wrong meat anyway. We bought the meat before we received advice from anyone. The same night I facebooked a Brazilian who gave us some advice and invited them over to show me the Brazilian way of doing it. I am looking forward to that day. But for now I have a story I have been able to tell people.
And we just laugh...

Gotta love potting soil

So Sarah has started decorating our patio with flowers and it looks great! We bought flowers last week, but needed potting soil. So we went to BIG, the Brazilian version of Walmart, here in Porto Alegre. Since the potting soil and other items were a little heavy to walk and take a bus, we decided to take our fist taxi ride here (I say it like it is a roller coaster or something fun like that, it's not). I mean, it wasn't too bad, it is just that I forgot our address. I knew how to get home, so I thought we would be fine. Well, the taxi driver obviously took advantage of my being naive. He took us the opposite way in a big circle. I was a little disappointed, especially since it cost more money, and if you know my frugal self, you know I hate spending money. Anyway, we finally made it home and brought the potting soil to the back. As I set the bag down, I noticed the exact same bag of potting soil under our churrasco pit!
And we laughed...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sermon on the Mount

So I was really excited yesterday to have an English Bible study here in Brazil for Sunday school. There is a couple from Texas working for John Deere, a couple from New Zealand working as an international school teacher, and a couple other Americans. Jon, an ABWE missionary, led the Bible study and is doing a series on Matthew 5-7. He gave us a printout that had a chart on it. The Beatitudes each had some characteristics to it and if you go down the list, it could be compared to leading someone to salvation. I had never seen that before. Poor in spirit represents moral failure explaining that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Then mourning represents repentance showing that we are understand our guilt and then desire to turn from sin. Gentleness or meekness shows humility and an attitude of willingness to learn God's principles in life.
After salvation, we will hunger and thirst for righteousness and a relentless pursuit of God's righteous standards (even though we can never meet them). The rest are godly characteristics like mercy, love, others motivated, peacemaker or reconciler, and then mentions those who will be persecuted.
I had never seen the Beatitudes in that way before and it was really neat for me.