Sunday, August 3, 2014

One Street, Two Scary Experiences, and Some Missionary Efforts!

So the scary experiences are not life threatening, nor related to our street or our missionary efforts.  It's just that's what you're in for, should you choose to continue to read.

I have been wanting to share pictures of our street and show a few things we see every day.  The bottom line is, Fortaleza is a growing city with some lovely buildings, but no discernible city planning or oversight.  Our Street:

The picture below is taken across the street from our apartment, towards the ocean.  In fact, I'm standing on the one block that separates us from the ocean.  (So close and yet so far away...) This yellow Pandaria on the corner, which is one building away from our apartment, makes the most amazing poazhinos (little rolls.)  When we walk home from the office each day we poke our heads in to find out when the next batch of rolls will be out of the oven, then we plan dinner around that blessed event.
Our little grey Apt building can be seen right above
the head of the motorcycle rider
I joked with Craig that one day for dinner we should just eat those paozinhos and see how many we could eat.  We did that last week - one of us ate 6 and the other wimped out after 3.  With all our walking and limited food options, I would be skinny if it weren't for these.  (Though I don't eat six at every meal!!!)
Crunchy outside, airy inside. Yummmmmm.
Standing in the same place, but looking to the left is this area.  In the forefront to the left is a typical homeless hangout, though most is around the corner to the left.  There is always a fire going and lots of people sleeping, eating, bathing, begging.  Pretty scary and very sad.  And right around our corner from us.
Hard to see, but I didn't dare get closer to take a picture!
I turned around to take this picture.  It was on P-Day and we were headed out to exercise - thus the casual clothes.  This is the exact location where Craig lived when he was here 48 years ago!  200 yards from our apartment!  What are the chances?  Of course, he didn't live in that building, but a humble home, which was then at the end of the street.  The beach came up this far and nothing went beyond this.
Dang- wish you could see the ocean... Usually so blue!
Going 100 yards the other direction from our home is a little alley with this clothes store - great if you need hotpants or mini skirts.  (Hey - I grew up in the 70s!)  I just can't imagine they do much business, but they do change the mannequin every day for a change of scenery as we walk to the office.
No other clothing stores anywhere near...
100 yards farther up, looking back towards our apartment you can see that we have a nice condo right next us, and a HUGE condo being built next to that. 
Our Apt is RIGHT next to the building on the right.
So looks like a nice street, right?  But RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the above is this lovely pile. It has been there since we arrived.  Well, some of it has been there that long.  It just grows every day.  Craig's tempted to pay for someone to haul it away since I get nervous about rats each day as we come and go...
That's a large couch- this pile is huge! And SMELLS!!!

Up another 100 yards is the end of our block.  Here are "favelas."  There are several families who live here.  The floors are dirt and I don't think there is any electricity.  Not sure about plumbing.  I try very hard not to stare into an open door when there is one, but would love to go in with my camera and understand how they live.  The amazing thing is that every morning and every evening one of the old women who lives here is out sweeping the sidewalks.  It appears that the Brazilians don't care if there's a garbage dump on their street, but their own personal areas are CLEAN.  You can see piles of sand/dirt - I think it was delivered and they refresh their floors with this.  But when they are through sweeping this dirt there is not a leaf or piece of trash anywhere in the area.  (It was raining this day and nobody was out this day, so I was able to sneak some pictures.)
This blurry bike (not blurry in real life) is how they make a living-
carrying water bottles to people. Hard, hard life...

This is around the corner from the other side- I pretended
 I was taking a picture of Craig- thus the shoulder!

Up three more blocks is this interesting shot of a lovely new building across from "traditional" stores.  Interesting...
Compliments of Google Earth- but it's how it looks!
So now the scary experiences.  First was that I was asked last week to give the prayer in Sacrament Meeting.  I asked for a week to practice, and all week felt like a Jr. Primary child practicing a prayer.  But I was able to do it.  In Portuguese!  I didn't read the whole thing like I did when I was asked to give a prayer the second week I was here at a Mission Conference.  (Nobody knew I read it - I was very subtle!  And apparently my reading accent is quite good!  :))

The next scary experience is that at church today Craig and I were asked to speak at a Stake fireside next week.  For an hour and a half!!!  At least I get a translator.  Any great stories on how families can be missionaries????  All would be greatly appreciated!!!  Especially if we get enough to fill an hour and a half!  

Lastly, as mentioned last week, Craig and I get to tag along when the Elders give a lesson to a single woman.  Our Office Elders (two work in the office with us) are teaching two single women, and one came to Church today for the third week in a row!!!  We have a nice relationship, and it's been amazing to be a part of this.  We (ok, the Elders!) are challenging her to set a baptism date when we visit this week!!! I will definitely keep you posted (yes, pun...) on this!

Sorry so long.  At least you don't have to sit through 90 minutes of us talking!!!  (We'll probably make it very interactive.)  And I apologize for the different fonts and uneven spaces and stupid little white squares.  I have tried for HOURS to fix these.  Either the computer or I am crumbling apart.  Please let it be the computer!

Our Love to All!


1 comment:

  1. Wow! I love seeing all of the pictures of the area surrounding your apartment! That is SO cool that Craig lived so close! Does he have a picture of the house anywhere back home? It would be so cool to look at it and compare!

    If your clothes wear out, you get to rock a mini-skirt...awesome! :P Haha! At least they change the mannequin up each day - that's fun. :)

    That trash pile is NASTY! Yuck!!! So gross.

    My sis-in-law from Mexico was just telling us all about favelas in Brazil and how awful the conditions in them are. She said sometimes they are so bad that there are special favela police because the regular police refuse to go into them.

    That bread look delicious! No wonder you had 6! I'm so glad you found a good bakery close to home! I love that you plan dinner around that. :)

    Good luck with 90 minutes!!! The only story I can think of off the top of my head is that when we were in NY, my dad home taught an inactive family and found out they had a daughter close to my age who hadn't been baptized. I was almost 8 & she was a little older. He started bringing me with him to play with her while he talked with them and we ended up becoming friends and then we got baptized together (in NY there weren't stake people didn't usually share a baptism day.) It was a good way for me to realize that sometimes just being friendly and a good example goes a long way. Let me know if you want more details on that story.

    Also - your blog post looks perfect! Did you fix it or does it just look weird in Brazil? I don't see any boxes, the font is all the same, and it looks evenly spaced!

    Love you!!!