Sunday, May 25, 2008

Festa e Cacador

Ok.. so im going to try in portuguese as all the friends we have made here complain that they cant read our blog!..... all my english friends can try understanding or ask questions in the comment section. :)
Nos tivemos uma festa na sexta feira para festjar vinte e quatro anos do Monte Horebe em Itaperucu. Tivemos muita pizza e bolo! No Sabado, Rick e Eu fomos ao Cacador uma aldeia rural. Bebeto dirigiu durante uma hora em estrada ruim tem muito batida. Rebekah muito cansado e dormi quase todos percusos. Brasil tem muitas paisagens. Eu gosto tirar fotos.
No cacador eles tem uma grande horta com alface e repolho e outros legumes. A comida deste lugar vai para escolas alimentar estudantes. Monte Horebe ajudou aqui.

Mais Cacador Fotos

Eu vou tentar escrever um "blog post" em Portugues.
Criancas em Cacador- meninos muito bonitos! Joce ajuda uma menina com projeto dela. Em uma aula eh usado milho para ajuda com matematica. Porco ( pigs... arent they cute?? ) Peixe (fish...lots of em) Uma familia construiu um tanque para peixes para eles comer. Jogadores de Futebal no Cacador. Joce eh muito boa jogadora de futebal. Theo e amigo dele, Reinaldo Meu primerio cafe da dona deste casa. Eu nao gostei de cafe, mas eu nao quero ofender ela.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Gardens

Okay.. this is my third blog today.. Im almost blogged out! But i wanted to show you the pictures from our trip to Curitiba on Sunday. We went in to make a pancake and bacon & egg breakfast for Mariana and Celso, and afterwards, they decided to drive us to the nearby Jardim Botanical or Botanical Gardens. Curitiba is "world famous" for its many green spaces and beautiful parks, and the botanical gardens were definetly gorgeous. Although Rick hates posing for pics, I managed to get a few of us together.. including this one in front of a small waterfall in the park.
Poor mariana and celso got cornered by a survey lady and said yes to participating in a "short" survey... so while our tour guides completed a 7 page survey Rick and I wandered around and took some pictures.
This totally looks like a post card picture.. but i took it myself... really!!!!
This is one of the bus stops in Curitiba.. i love them.. they look so space age! Not all the stops are like these, but a good portion are. Anyways.. dont forget to check out the next couple of posts.. they are new too! As allways.. God Bless!

Helping Out & Having Fun

One of Ricks "responsibilities" when we are around on Saturdays is to help with the Soccer Outreach school- he helps with running drills, practising with the goaleiros (spelling??), and of course allowing the kids to practice scoring on him! It is neat to see how many kids recognize hime around town, and especially at the soccer feild when we go later in the evenings for Rick to play with the church team. This past saturday the kids were trying to teach him how to get some fancy footwork going.. he managed a few cool passes. Soccer is huge here... even in the toddler room where I help out at the mission they are teaching the little 2 year olds who can barely run how to pass and shoot! ( kinda like hockey at home!)
Here the kids are practising and in the photo below, Abel (the computer guy at the mission & the soccer school instructor) is giving directions to a group of young soccer stars.

On saturday night, Rick got to play in the goal.. or should I say ... was forced to play in Goal! He made them promise he only had to stay in till the other team scored once. Although he let in a few goals.. he did quite well considering their team won by a bunch and the other goal keepers they had let in just as many if not more!!

Cirlene ( the head cook at MH), Josie ( also a cook and teacher at MH) and Josies daughter Stephanie, and I had the best seats in the house to watch the church team soccer game. Josies family owns the soccer field and their house is directly across the parking lot. When Rick plays I go over there for some fellowship with the ladies!Here Rick is helping build a pig pen at the missions farm!

Ok... so this is that last little part of my blog.. and in SAMM Mozambiques missionary tradition... ( writing about all the gross scary stuff at the end of a nice happy blog) I will take some time to tell you about the "fun" I had at the beginning of last week. So far in our time here, I had not encountered anything particularly gross or disgusting.. but on Mon, tues and wed of last week I got my fill!! On monday on the way home from the city, the lady sitting behind me... threw up.. that was not so nice.. and made the long rather hot and stuffy ride home very smelly and much longer feeling than normal. (at least she didnt throw up on anyone!) Then on Tuesday Claudinho came over to our place because Saphira ( Bebeto and Suely's quite lovable "guard" dog- she can bark like nobodys business!) had gotten bitten by this fly that lays its eggs in the wound.. and so now she had these big larvae things crawling around in a wound.. yuck. Claudinho had to SQUISH them out.. they were about an inch and a half long and a bit thicker than a pen. YUCK- i cant even elaborate more on the yuckiness of that. And then on wednesday on our walk up town I saw THREE dead rats. Which i suppose is better than live ones, however where there are dead ones im sure there are live ones!!!! So far.. none at our home. PHEW! And then Rick came home from the farm with this lovely picture of a spider the size of his hand! AHHHHHHH (im rethinking my plans to walk up to the farm!) Anyways.. at least these kinds of days are in the minority! God Bless!

Friends & Faith

This week we have had the opportunity to build a lot of freindships (which requires a lot of talking... in portuguese of course!) One evening we had friends from the mission over to our place for Dutch Blitz and pizza, and then another evening we went to some other friends house for ... dutch blitz and pizza! (Its a really really good thing we really really like the pizza around here!) We also had our Bible Study group again, as well as spending a day in Curitiba with Mariana (our teacher) and Celso making them pancakes and getting a suprise tour of the Jardim Botanical (Botanical Gardens), in the city! Of course, all this was in addition to our studies and helping at Mount Horeb.

Playing Dutch Blitz with Duda and Edinho at our place- we had a blast!

Dutch Blitz- again.. this time at Joao and Demaris's place.. Notice the handy Portuguese Dictionary - we hardly leave home without it! (Thanks Kenny and April- great idea!!)

Bible Study ( also held at Joao and Demaris's) It is a really neat mix of people, including some who are not saved, but are really being challenged about what they believe (or dont believe). It is exciting to see God working. Please pray for our group, especially as Rick and I have invited some new Christians to join the group.

At church this sunday, a newly dating couple went forward for prayer... and for some unknown reason Bebeto starts calling "Heather" (of course with his accent I didnt even hear my name) "Heather!!" (at this point.. rick pokes me) I look up, and Bebeto is asking me to come forward and pray for this couple. I was scared out of my mind... but... up I went, I said to Bebeto.." I cant pray in portuguese" He said- "OK!!! Deus entende ingles" (Its ok.. God understand english!) So... I started praying. I prayed for purity for the couple, and that they would seek Godly adivice, and develop their relationship with Christ... and so forth and so on..... Then Bebeto prayed with them as well.. I found out later that they both accepted Christ while we were praying and also that the young man understands some english although he cant speak it. I have to say.. although I was petrified, it was such a blessing to be used by God to help bring someone to Christ, even though there was a language barrier and I didnt even know God was using me!!! I guess that is an important lesson for me.. I may not always know when my prayers or my words are impacting someone else in a big way. Anyways.. all that to say.... I invited them to Bible study. I also discovered when talking to them afterwards that the girl ( who i knew i remembered from somewhere!!) was the girl who had done my manicure when Lynn and Ruth took me out the first saturday we were here! Wow!

And of course.. all the other daily activities we have make our lives interesting too! Here rick is buzzing his hair short again... he has got to look like his passport photo!!! Thanks for all your prayers and for supporting us in so many ways... God Bless

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Stuffed in a Suitcase

Hey guys, this is Rick. Not the usual witty comedy of my lovely wife. Today i want to talk about something serious. Something truly CANADIAN. That something is Hockey. But before we speak about hockey, I want to thank everybody out there who has been there to encourage and support us as we made this journey. So many of you said you would love to come, if only we could stuff you in a suitcase. Well for one lucky friend, we did it. He is a friend I was introduced to by my friend Caleb "CRAZY LEGS" Reimer. I call him Hocky Dude. He has been a part of this journey all along, reminding us of our friends back home, the prayers that you give us, and of course, HOCKEY. And one day, this friend will be a trained missionary also, as we allow hiim to give hope and happiness to some child in Africa. But for now, he is just hanging out with us. Thanks Caleb, for being a great friend, (and I am no longer talking about Hockey Dude). Here me (playing Paul Kariya) and Hockey Dude, are making our own Stanley Cup history, as we don't have a tv, or hockey here in Brazil. I am up by three points, and Hockey Dude is noticably frusterated.

It is not all fun and games out here though as Hockey Dude does his best to help with the laundry. The best he can manage is to check if the socks are dry. Thanks Dude. Here is Hockey Dude, taking pics for all you guys back home. Most of them didn't turn out. Sorry. Here is hockey dude taking a pic of me. He has to use his new truck because he can't reach the button otherwise. And finally this is his pic of me taking a pic of him. Sorry for the black strip on the bottom. That is the truck box. It is the best he can do with his size. Please don't post comments on his size though, he is quite sensitive about that.

Anyways, thanks a bunch and hope you enjoyed this very serious post. Thanks.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dia das Maes! (Mother's Day)

First of all- Happy Mothers Day to our mothers and all the other mothers who read this blog! Here in Brazil it is quite the holiday- and we have been treated to fireworks for two days now in celebration! (of mothers day and of futball games!) We both had the chance to call our mother's today, which was a treat, but also reminded us of just how far away we are!
Well, this week we finally got into more of a routine. Aside from the fact that both of us felt slightly under the weather for a good portion of the week, we managed to get a lot accomplished! It is so hard to believe we have been here almost three weeks! We met with Bebeto (the director of the mission, and our neighbor) this week to discuss when and how we will be helping the mission. Rick will be working alongside the maintenance man, Claudinho, and I will be assisting in the infants room and possibly in the kitchen- ( dont worry.. im going to wash dishes not cook!). We also had our lessons with Mariana, which seem to be going well. Each class we focus for a while on Grammar, which is by far the most confusing and diffucult part of the language to learn- and the part that both of us struggle with.
Kids playing at Mt. Horebe!
Rick is also beginning to enjoy working with the Mission's soccer outreach school. Of course he doesnt really know alot about soccer, but he is a good teacher so it seems to work anyways! He says the funniest part is when they put him in goal and have the kids practice shooting. (I think they do it to make the kids feel good- he lets so many in!) On Saturday night, Rick played with the church league team and the teams tied, so I guess hes doing pretty good! I tried to take pictures but I just was not at a good location- I will try again another week. Here is one of the ones I got- rick is the orange and blue blur in the right-ish area. Soccer is taken very seriously here- as evidenced by the very nicely lit and artificial turf field in the middle of a "small" town!
We also were able to attend the Bible study again this week. We have started to look forward to Fridays, as the Bible study gives us a chance to really use our portuguese, as well as build friendships and relationships with many people. We have even asked a couple over for supper and games this coming week! We decided to have Pizza- but only if she would help me order!!Lets hope it goes slightly better this time around! I told someone this week that "we are adjusted to adjusting!" Every day there is new and exciting (and lots of not so exciting) things to learn, and we have gotten "adjusted" to adjusting to each new tidbit of information and culture. Just yesterday I spent some time with two ladies from the mission who live beside the soccer field where rick was playing. Between trying new tea and Brazillian PineNuts (i cant remember the portuguese name) it was quite the educational expeirience! For over an hour we conversed, shared family information and likes and dislikes- my brain was exhausted afterwards but I really feel like I accomplished something= CONVERSATION! We also took some time to do laundry this week- Rick is a great helper- and his hat comes in handy too! All in all we are doing well, and look forward the next three months, we know there are tough times ahead, but we are confident with God's help, and the support of our family and friends(both Canadian and Brazillian) we can survive! Again- thank you for your prayers.. and keep praying! God Bless, Heather and Rick

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Eu Quiero uma Pizza, Por Favor!

"I would like one pizza please!" Simple words. Most of us dont think twice when we pick up the phone and order a pizza- its simple! Call, give them your number and tell them what you want! 30 Minutes later (or its free!) a car pulls up and presto.. instant supper!
On Thursday ( Labour day Holiday here in Brazil), we decided to order in Pizza for supper- how hard could it be??? But to be prepared, I went over to Suely, with a list of carefully written questions so that I would know just what to say when I called D'Carlli's later that evening. (BTW- The pizza here is fabulous! Different.. but amazing.. i think i like it better than at home!) If you look closely at the takeout menu number 40 is the "canadian pizza" It includes such "Canadian pizza ingredients " as mozzorela, back bacon, CORN AND PEAS????!!! Oh well.. anyways.. continuing with my story.....So two hours later, armed with my carefully written script, written out by Suely.. I called. Well.. i managed to get the greeting right, but was lost after that! I knew she asked for my telefone number.. so i said.. "Meu numero de telefone es dois oito tres tres (2833)" To which she replied (in portuguese of course so maybe i wasnt understanding completly!?) "what is your telefone number?" (Now i am confused.. didnt i just tell her my number??) So i tell her again. "dois.........". To which she replies "what is your telefone number?" This goes on for about 3 minutes until i am so completly frustrated i say "desculpe..tchau" and hang up! (sorry goodbye!)
Well.. now i was just emabarrased.. i mean seriously.. how hard can it be... (for those of you who dont know.. it can be VERY hard!!) But after 40 minutes of feeling sorry for myself and crying, i pulled out my dictionary, wrote up a few sentences i thought might be useful (such as.. talk slower please i only speak a little portuguese!). Then we called again- this time using the speakerphone as we assumed two heads would be better than one! Well after some amusing moments we managed to order two pizzas and give the correct address for delivery! ( Of course only one pizza got delievered..but after that ordeal... who's counting?)
It is interesting how we take for granted our ability to effectively communicate our wants and needs. As we have now spent nearly two weeks here in Brazil, we are realising how very important it is for us to learn this language and be able to speak it clearly enough to make our point clear- it will save us a good deal of time, and also a lot of confusion and miscomunications!
We have been blessed to meet some of the friendliest people on the planet! On friday we were able to attend a Bible Study group at a home near ours. It was their very first meeting, and we were welcomed in, and accepted. They were very patient, and always made sure to ask if we had anything to add to the conversation at hand- (of course half the time we had no clue what they were talking about.. but it was nice of them anyway!)
We also had our first portuguese lessons this week- our teacher is very good at making us pronounce things properly and if we dont she makes us say it over and over until we have it right. Our friday lesson was spent in Curitiba at the shopping mall, learning the names for all the various types of clothing. Our teacher's name is Mariana- she has a degree in linguistics, is recently married and new to the area. Her and her husband, Celso (selso), have not had time to make many friends in the area, so we are enjoying spending some "down" time with them as well, building relationships and trying out our conversational portuguese on poor Celso!
(Mariana and Celso in their kitchen- the smallest kitchen i have ever seen.. it also is the laundry room. The pizza is sitting onthe stove, to the right is the cupboards and rick is standing in the doorway leaning back to get as much into the picture as possible. The whole room is probably 5x8. )Hot Shower- Brazillian Style! (Yes.. those are electical wires.. there is an element in the showerhead that heats up the water as it passes thru)
We jump into our full schedule this week, with time alloted for helping at Mount Horeb in the nursery, with the maintenance department, in the kitchen, and observing classes- in addition to our own portuguese classes and studying. This week is supposed to be a bit warmer than the last- which is good- we have been very chilled for six days now, and will appreciate the suns warmth!
Thank you so much for your prayers. We appreciate them more than you will ever know. Please continue to remember us as we study!
Hockey Dude just hanging out in our living room! (he looks upset.. maybe because it is so cold and there is no hockey anywhere !!!)
Tchau! Rick & Heather