I made it! After months of delays, I'm finally in Brazil! I apologize that I haven't written in many months! Here are my multiple reasons:
To get the type of visa I needed for Brazil, a FBI background check was required. As it worked out, once I applied for this, the FBI started a technical update that put them several months behind schedule. It was frustrating, but I'm a firm believer of everything happens for a reason...and life seems to have worked that way for me especially now.
At the end of September, my family dog, Knox, died. He was an Irish Wolfhound/Black Labrador mix. The day Knox died, my next up older brother, Ben, became very sick with a misdiagnosed illness. He got worse and worse and eventually passed away on December 9 at my parents house with our family surrounding him. He was only 34. It was extremely difficult, and I'm still struggling with this loss; however, I cannot imagine how much harder it would have been had I already been in Brazil. God works in mysterious ways.
I arrived in Brazil Wednesday, January 21st. I left Memphis at 1 pm on January 20th, and arrived in Porto Alegre at noon the next day. I was lucky to be able to spend a few hours with The Very Reverend Marinez Bassotto, Dean of the Cathedral of Most Holy Trinity in Porto Alegre. It is a beautiful church, and The Very Reverend Marinez is wonderful!
As my apartment was not ready yet for me to move into in Santa Maria, my first couple of nights were spent at the CDC which is a beautiful conference center just outside of Santa Maria.