Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
|Gina's Christmas Day 2010|
|BD's Christmas Day 2010|
|Feliz Natal 2010|
Sunday, December 26, 2010
The church building has been remodeled since I was there last, and maybe one day they'll even get air conditioning :-). The ward and stake has since split and there is now a branch for a part of the ward that was pretty far from the chapel. The members were singing Christmas hymns out in front of the church when we arrived, and we were invited to join in. They were so welcoming and all the women hugged and kissed Gina. She's getting really good at the double-cheek-kissing greetings. It was good to see some familiar faces.
|São Caetano chapel|
|The Reis (Reis translates to "Kings" - very fitting)|
|The streets of São Caetano|
|View off the Reis' back porch|
|From left: Luzinete, Marcos, Rafael, Eronildes, Hebert, Rose, Gina, me|
Speaking of o gordinho, we have never seen a child so happy to get a single present from his grandparents. He immediately opened this box of Legos and played with them all night long until they had to leave. He's amazingly smart and knows all of his colors in English as well as numbers and animals. He speaks Portuguese... better than I do :-)
Finally, here is this wonderful, Christ-like family that doesn't hesitate to give of themselves to anyone and everyone. From the left, Jailson, Jacira, Grandma, Júnior, Carla, Fransisco, and Janaína. They will always mean so much to us. I'm so proud to know them and be associated with such wonderful members of the Church.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
BD again. President Jailson and his family have been members for well over a decade now and are a true testament of how the Church really functions on a fundamental level. They treat everyone as a child of God and serve one another infinitely. Jailson is currently the ward mission leader and his wife, Jacira, teaches the Principles of the Gospel class. Because of this they are heavily involved in missionary work. They know seemingly everybody in Salvador; while driving in neighborhoods far away from theirs we would inevitably run into someone that they knew. They have been more than hospitable to us while we've been here and Jacira and Lucy, da Silva's maid, prepared an amazing breakfast for us one morning.
|Breakfast at da Silva's house|
|Cashew fruit with the cashew nut still attached on top|
|Walking down to Lucy's house at night|
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
|Forte de São Marcelo (no pirates here)|
|Façade of the 3rd order São Francisco church|
|Convent plaza of the 1st order São Francisco church|
Ahh, the Pelourinho, beautiful colonial Portuguese architecture, colorful houses, and Afro-Brazilian drum beats seem to be emanating from the buildings on every street. Apparently, the Bahian sunshine brings out the pirate in Gina.
Now for my highlight of the day - Açaí. I've been craving the taste of real Açaí ever since I left. This purple fruit from the Amazon and Northern Brazil has quite the odd flavor but is somehow addicting. Gina's first taste was a success! Although she had to take the edge off of the flavor with a little bit of banana blended in. And don't forget the granola on top.
- When driving, you can get away with anything as long as you honk your horn. (the lines in the road are only there for looks)
- When walking, you can get away with all sorts of jaywalking with a quick thumbs-up, magically stopping oncoming cars.
- Brazilians give the best hugs.
- The local practice of 2-3 showers a day is not only necessary but mandatory.
- Humidity makes her puffy. She claims.
Monday, December 20, 2010
This morning we actually did wake up early though judging from how tired we were last night we thought we'd sleep forever. The little pousada where we're staying served a great breakfast and Gina got her first taste of umbu juice. She also practiced how to say "foi muito bom, obrigada" so she could thank Luzia for the wonderful food.
|Umbu translates to "Brazilian plum" but Gina says it tastes nothing like a plum.|
|Rio Vermelho neighborhood|
Saturday, December 18, 2010
|Me and Wifen|
Thursday, December 16, 2010
This year we didn't bother putting up a tree or stockings or Christmas-y decor of any kind knowing we wouldn't be home to enjoy it. Perhaps for that reason it's been more difficult than usual for me to catch the Spirit of Christmas. Usually I catch it two seconds after I've eaten my last bite of leftover turkey. However, we took our church youth group to the annual Nativity in the Glen which is jointly sponsored by the First Baptist Church, Wasatch Presbyterian Church, St. Ambrose and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Churches, and the LDS Bonneville Stake. Hundreds of people come to walk through Bethlehem and see the live nativity equipped with animals, yes, even a camel. It's quite the production. That night I walked out of the glen feeling more Christmas joy than you could ever stuff down a chimney. It's not something you can touch (like a camel) or wrap (with double-sided tape) or check from a list (even twice). It's something that sparks you from the inside where it can be yours forever. It's true indeed, that Christmas is more about the why than the where and what.
Friday, December 10, 2010
|Image via SLC Trib|
I'd love to know, who is your Hero of the Year? If you post about it, send me a link!