We are thankful for a weekend. It was a pretty intense week with thirty hours of school, plus and additional two hours of studying a night. We have three more weeks of school for a total of 120 hours of class. I really enjoy learning and the subject matter is fascinating. We should know a lot about the Muslim faith at the end of this journey. There is so much to share but it would not be appropriate on a public blog, so we will share what we have learned when we get back to the states.
We are humbled by the people here. As I have said, they are so warm and so filled with joy. They live simple lives and they are truly happy. It really causes me to examine my own heart and my own life back home. Do I live a joyful, relaxed, purpose filled life, or do I succumb to the ways of the West and live my daily life rushing from place to place, doing this and that, wondering where the joy is? I know that I am guilty of the American way. It is so hard to "not" get caught up in the busyness. Taking care of my house alone is a full time job. Here it has been refreshing to live opposite of what we are used to. Our room is small, there is no yard for me to take care of, the staff cooks all of our meals, and laundry is but a fifth of what it is at home (because we only have one suitcase of clothes each)! It has been a nice change of pace and it will be interesting to see what changes we will make in our lives when get home.
Not only are the people joyful, but they are very affectionate as well. It is not uncommon to get a dozen hugs a day and kisses on the cheek as well. What I love most is that the men do not seem afraid to show affection or emotion towards each other. The young men here (college age) are always hugging and comforting each other-something that American men would do well to emulate.
The food is incredible, but it has been hard getting used to the changes. For instance, they actually eat cake for breakfast(as well as lunch and dinner)! Carbohydrates are a huge staple in Brazil-even more so than at home! For breakfast every morning we are served fruit, panini sandwhiches made from white bread, cake, coffee and juice! Can you say CARB-LOAD?!! They have the most amazing eggs here, but they don't typically eat them for breakfast. They are instead served at lunch or dinner with meat. Boy am I missing my daily scrambled eggs with salsa and feta cheese! Marko and I are going to try to find a way to boil some eggs on a regular basis. Our bodies are just not adjusting well to this current breakfast diet! Lunch, on the other hand has been pefect: some sort of meat with rice or potatoes and a green salad. Dinner, if we eat at school, is delicious, but again is a lot of carbs. They offer a lot of pasta and fried foods. Most of the fried foods at least have chicken in them. A couple of times a week we just walk to one of the nearby restaurants where they typically offer buffets. There is not a set price on the buffets, instead, you fill your plate up with whatever you want and then they weigh it. You pay according to the amount of kilograms your food weighs. You can get a full plate of food for about $6 Reis or $3.00 American dollars! Speaking of food, it is time for us to head down to that carbohydrate breakfast! Next time I will share some funny kid stories!