Oh me oh my, oh me oh my! It has been a while. By last count, I have been woefully silent for the past two months. During which time, I have been ultra busy having tons of fantastic adventures. I wanted to share some of them with you, my dear readers.
Thing #1: My wonderful, handsome, oh-my-god-am-I-lucky-he-wants-to-date-me Boyfriend came to visit me.
It was a 6 week visit and the longest time we have ever been together in the same place. It went better than I could have imagined.
Thing #2: We went to the Amazon and were on a boat.
We spent a week and a half in the Amazon region of Brazil sailing on a medical boat. This trip probably deserves a full post by itself. But in lieu of a full post click on this gallery of the trip.
Thing #3: I went to Rio (and it was kind of a disaster).
Robert and I decided that we were going to be fun and spontaneous and take a trip to Rio. So one Friday, we caught a bus to Rio. When we arrived in Rio, we realized that we had been overly confident in our collective travel acumen and not made hostel reservations. Then my phone ran out of minutes while I was in the process of calling various establishments trying to get us a room. Come to find out, I can’t refill my phone in other states. Oops. We eventually ended up finding a place to stay (in an over priced corporate hostel) and having a good time. The highlights of the weekend were:
Thing #4: I went to Ouro Preto (and it was also kind of a disaster).
A few weekends later, Robert and I decided to go to Ouro Preto. Ouro Preto is an old colonial mining city nestled in the hills of Minas Gerais. It is a World Heritage site so its 1600s architecture is impeccably preserved. Robert and I took a bus in on a Saturday and spent the day walking around seeing the sites.
At the end of the day, we headed back to the bus station to catch a bus back to Belo Horizonte. When we arrived at the bus station, we found out that the last bus back to BH was at 8pm and that it was full. We would have to wait until tomorrow to go home. We headed back to Ouro Preto to find someplace to sleep, knowing that we were there during the high tourism season.
As we wandered the streets trying to find some shelter for the night we struck up a conversation with a guy handing out flyers on the street. He suggested that we try to find a Republica for the night. He then proceeded to help us find one that would be willing to give us a room and bed for the night. It took us a little while to figure it out but a Republica is a combination of a dormitory and a sorority or fraternity. The members of our Republica (HEY YO REPUBLICA AQUARIUS!!) were really nice and invited us to the 23rd birthday party of another Republica. It was really cool to get a small taste of Brazilian college life.
Thing #5: Two groups of Americans came and my Portuguese kind of sucks now.
We hosted two VIM trips. The first was a group from Virginia who kicked butt at constructing things. They lovingly handcrafted almost 500 sq feet of concrete. They mixed it and spread it all by hand. The second group was from Pfeiffer University in North Carolina. They kicked butt at painting, trimming trees, and working with the kids. They painted the entire exterior of our campus and trimmed the trees in 3 days. They then proceeded to put some serious love on the kids.
The groups were here for a total of almost a month. Talking in English constantly made my Portuguese backslide hard core. I am working slowly but surely on rebuilding my vocabulary and fluency. I should get it back to where it was just in time to host a group in July.
Thing #6: My kids are still fantastic.
For proof, see the album below of my kids during the Family Celebration. They are super talented. Also, see the video of them at a Dance Festival doing the dance they won 2nd place for!