Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Dia do Visitando Amigos (A day of Visiting Friends)

After enjoying a nice lunch with the Staff of i2 and CTMDT today, our family walked around the community visiting friends. First we stopped by our old house-the red one that we rented for six months in 2009. As we were peaking through the gate the new renter saw us and welcomed us in for a visit. Our old neighbor was also visiting so we chatted for a few minutes and met the renters new puppies. From there we continued on to Louis and Mattheus's house to surprise them. These boys were friends of Marko and Noah's from Brazilian School. Their family invited us to their family farm shortly after we arrived in Brazil in 2009. They treated us to a day of swimming, good conversation, and Churrasco (delicious Brazilian barbequed meat)!

Marko, Gabriella, and I left the boys to play with their friends while we looped around the block to Claudia's house. If you remember, Claudia and her husband, Danihlo, were good friends to us when we moved to Brazil. Unfortunately, Danihlo died four months after we returned to the U.S. It is sad being here without Danihlo. He was a leader in the community and is greatly missed. Claudia wasn't home so we stopped a few doors down at Itimar and Nusa's (our old landlord's). Itimar was alone-roasting coffee in his outdoor oven. Marko and I spent about an hour watching as he stirred coffee beans over an open fire. Most middle to upper class Brazilians have outdoor kitchens where they are able to cook over open fires. I love this part of living in Brazil and if we ever own a house here it will have an outdoor kitchen! Something that is rare in Washington State for obvious reasons!

We ended our afternoon at the local internet cafe owned by our friends, Seshu and Zuma. The cafe is directly across the street from CTMDT and is where the students and staff hang out between classes. The cafe is new since we were here last. There is also a lunchonette in CTMDT that is equally popular, but does not have reliable internet! I am sitting in the cafe now. Marko Sr. went into the city for a meeting, Marko G. is helping in the kitchen, Noah is currently glued to the flat screen watching Brazilian Cartoons, and Gabby is playing with her friend, Lauda at CTMDT. It has been a nice ending to another pleasant day in Brazil.

I need to tell you about the photo with the young children. Our friend, Leo (on the right) was one of my English Students. He is the one who had a heart for the homeless. One of the homeless that he opened his home to was a single mom. She had a beautiful baby girl named Amirila when we were here in 2009. In our absence, she had a second baby (a boy) named Daniel. The mom gave up her parenting rights and Leo, who is a 26 year old, single man, decided to become their legal guardian. He is a wonderful dad to these two children, and it is amazing how the community here at CTMDT has come around him and to help him raise these children and provide for them. Apparently, the mom had taken the kids to live on the streets with her for a period of time. When Leo got them back they were naked, filthy, and had lice in their hair. That was two months ago. Now they are clean, happy, and very loved children. It warms my heart to see what a young man like Leo has given up in order to give these children a home and a family.

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