25 November, 2015

Learning, Living, Loving

Hi, All!

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! It seems impossible that I’ve been back in Brazil for so long now, but it’s true! 

Since being back, I have more of a schedule and more consistent plans of what I’m doing. Each month, I will spend 2-3 weeks in Erechim, a city about 5 hours north of Santa Maria, and the other 2-3 weeks in Santa Maria, my home-base. I first went to Erechim about a week or two after I arrived in Brazil to learn Portuguese. There is a school, Instituto Anglicano Barão do Rio Branco (elementary, middle, and high school) and Faculdade Anglicana de Erechim (college), that is owned by the Diocese of South Western Brazil, and I was able to take Portuguese classes for about 2 months there. My time there will be spent furthering their study abroad program, starting a book club in English, and putting together a summer camp. It’s a fun challenge getting to do all of this! I’ve also been incredibly fortunate to become friends with so many of the students, and recently, the high school students put on an educational fair. The students, in groups of 4-6 people, chose a topic and put together a booth and presentation on their topic. Different types of cultural dances, different religions, the United States of America, exercise and the health benefits, William Shakespeare, and the senses are just a few of the topics that some of the students covered. It was an incredible fair, and these students worked so hard! I am still so amazed and impressed with all of them! The pictures below are just a few of these awesome students.








Also, while I was in Erechim this past time, I was able to attend the wedding of my first two friends in Brazil, Marianne and Rodrigo. It was a gorgeous wedding and so much fun! I feel really lucky to have been able to meet them so early on and be a part of their day! 




 The bride rocking the wedding dress!

Kamila caught Santo Antonio, meaning she's next down the aisle!


I’m back in Santa Maria now. I’m working with Bishop Francisco’s wife, Talita, the Dean of the Cathedral, Silvio, and two teenage girls, Bibiana and Aline, on a children’s event on the 5th of December. It is basically a mini-Vacation Bible School that is being condensed into one day. The theme is Camping: Finding God in Nature. We have lots of activities and games planned, and I’m really looking forward to it! 

An interesting challenge for me, especially with the children’s events and the camp in Erechim, has been trying to learn what Brazil has in relation to what the US has. For example, here in Brazil, markers and crayons are much more expensive, and Crayola doesn’t exist here. There are also no graham crackers or gold fish crackers. It’s so weird for me to have a camping activity with no S’mores! :) Yet, Brazil has many things that I’ve never seen before and foods that I absolutely love! It’s a funny situation to be in, but I’m loving it!

Also, today is the 4th birthday of my most adored little friend, Ana Clara! Happy birthday! Feliz aniversário! Parabéns! Te amo! As the pictures show below, we like to play with the picture settings on my computer. :)






Until next time!
Love,

Rachel