August 18, we arrived in Campinas after, I could say a grueling 8 hour bus ride from Belo Horizonte, but actually it wasn’t so bad and the time passed rather quickly. The seats we comfortable and reclined, there were foot rests as well. The bus made stops about every 2.5 hours, I ventured out the 2nd time the bus stopped. Never thinking to look at the number of our bus, coming back I couldn’t find it. I searched in every buss, and there must have been 4-5 of them, the last one I looked in and saw Pauline and was so relieved.
Let me tell you about our luggage and the things like wedding gifts for Sidney and Eli-Ruama(the newly weds)Pauline and I had 3 suitcases each, Michelle had 3 suitcases, the boys traveled a little lighter but all in all we had 4 carts full of “stuff”. Thank God we had boys with us and strong women!
The mountains in Campinas are so beautiful, the locals call them hills but we Floridians and Louisianians call them mountains!! On a clear day and even on a not so clear day you can see forever, Just breathtaking and I will post pics on FB soon!
We came to the boys house first and rested for a few hours then met the rest of the team. On to the girls home, which is called the “chakra” or ranch. It is quite unique with several “adobe” like houses, 2 pools, one for small children and a bigger one for the older girls(in need of a good cleaning)Pauline and I were taken to a house that would be our house to eat breakfast and dinner in and every few days we change houses so we can get to know the Tia’s(house moms)pronounced “chia”. There are about 40 girls living in the houses.
I was very surprised the size of the house we would be staying in. Large bathroom and shower, which by the way doesn’t always have hot water L. The bedroom has 3 bunk beds, and 3 wardrobes to put our clothes in. Finally! We will be able to put our clothes in a place other than our suitcases.
Breakfast is usually bread and coffee and/or hot chocolate. Lunch is always at the boys ranch because that is where we spend the majority of our time during the week. Dinner is once again at the girls “chakra” where it is most always rice and beans and greens and chicken or beef or chicken stew, always good always filling!
We are always up by 6 am and at the house by 6:30 am for breakfast. Back to our house to get ready for the day and meet the ‘Omnibus” to get to the boys ranch by 8 am when our day starts with devotions done by one of the team.
August 19, today we met with the Pastor of Hope Unlimited, he runs this Cidade Dos Meninos(City of Youth). He went over the rules and regs of this campus, including not to take pictures of the kids and post on the internet. Some of the kids have been taken out of their homes and placed here due to family dysfunction and some parents don’t know where they are. I do have pics that I can show when I get home but none can go on FB.
The internet is sporadic at best, sometimes we have it for hours and sometimes we have it for a few minutes and sometimes it goes down and doesn’t come back on.
The weather has been cold and rainy, we needed to get more blankets from the house moms. During this time we had just warm water, not hot. We need to wash our clothes by hand, we were able one day last week to bring our heavy items like jeans and towels to the boys campus and do some wash here in a washing machine, no dryers, we air dry and it so totally different than a dryer, so fresh smelling!
This past Saturday we had some ladies come to the house with crafts for the girls to do, like make bracelets and necklaces, the girls had a great time and made some nice jewelry for themselves.
The first 2 weeks here have just been getting used to the houses and the kids, making friends and trying to learn the language(which is not easy)the kids are also interested in learning English so we have a common goal.
We attend church services on Saturday nights here at the boys ranch for the youth, then on Sunday night we attend church in the city of Campinas which Pastor Derli is in charge of. We are here to serve, so if they are short on help in the nursery then it is our responsibility to help in that area.
That is all for now, I will try to continue blogging on a regular basis, it might be a slow process so bear with me, there is so much we are doing here it can’t be all said in a blog, and I don’t want to have the blog so long that no one will want to read it, so I will try to keep it relatively compact!
Love you with all the love of Jesus! Till next time, Ciao! J J