Today we left Exu for another city in another state- Petrolina, Pernambuco. It is home to the Reiner’s, but it is my first time outside of Ceara since coming to Brazil. We woke up around 7:00, packed our stuff, and ate a breakfast of French rolls and butter, cheese, goiaba juice, hot milk, and cake. We quickly ate and loaded up, moving on to our next destination which was several hours away.
I went with William and the Reiner’s in the large Panjero, but awhile after leaving town we stopped at a gas station, and Uncle Jim asked me if I would like to drive his car. I eagerly agreed, and a few minutes later I was enjoying my first opportunity to drive in Brasil. He allowed me to drive rest of the way to Petrolina, a full 296.5 kilometers. 🙂
Along the way I saw muitos, muitos (many, many) goats, cows, and donkeys along the side of the road, and I had to pass them cautiously, wary of any that might decide to cross the road as I passed. One time I had to stop for a wild pig and three or four of her piglets as they crossed the road. I also got a little experience passing big trucks and small motorcycles.
It was a fairly good road so I didn’t have to dodge too many potholes. Speed-wise, I never went over 120, and I normally hovered between 90 and 100 (yes, mom, it was kilometers per hour, not miles per hour 🙂 ).
Not only was it my first experience driving in Brasil, but it’s also the longest I’ve driven a manual transmission on a public road. My total stick-shift experience in the past was shorter than my driving time today. All in all, it was the most fun I have had driving in a long time, and it probably will be awhile be for I have that much fun again because the roads in the US are fairly boring (except when we have blizzards).
We arrived in Petrolina and went straight to the Uncle Doug and Aunt Renate’s house. They have two houses right now that sit on the same piece of land. They built a smaller house right behind their original house and have moved into it, leaving the old house vacant.
The houses are adjoined with a single wall that has a door in it. Each of us visitors were given our own rooms in their former house, and we are the last people to ever stay on this property while it is in the Reiner’s possession. The day we leave, the door will be filled in, making a solid wall, and the new owners of the house will move in later this year.
I put my stuff in my room and spent the next hour just relaxing with the others. We ate a lunch of rice, chicken, lettuce salad, and cajuina, and rest of the afternoon was spent resting. They wanted us to be well-rested from a busy Sunday as well as energized for another long week of ministry. William also left on a bus to go back home.
I actually went up to the porch on the second level of the “guest” house and spent the afternoon in my hammock. Danae and Destiny also came up and we just laid there and talked awhile. It was Destiny’s first time in a hammock, so we tried to break her into the Brasilian art of sleeping in one.
In the evening we ate a quick meal of chicken salad sandwiches, chips, and cajuina, and we drove to Juazeiro Oito for the first night of a three-night EBF (Escola Bíblica de Férias), also known in America as Vacation Bible School. Danae and Destiny and I are in charge of the games, and things went fairly well for the first night.
The church is small and not established yet, and it has a small property. We divided the kids into four age groups, but we didn’t have enough room to do all three groups on the property without them distracting each other. So we took the kids about a half-block away to a large open piece of dirt and we did the games there. It wasn’t well-lit, but it was enough for our purposes.
We had about 50 kids total come for the evening. They all live in the neighborhood and just roam around at their own free will. So when VBS started they came on their own, and when we finished, they all left and walked back home on their own in the dark. Back in America, we would NEVER do that. But here, it’s just normal and we go along with it.
It was the congregation’s first time doing a VBS, and they did most of the work, so it was really encouraging not only to be part of it but also to see such a good turnout. The whole program also ran smoothly, so that was a blessing.
Back at the house we went back up on the porch for the evening and eventually we came back down so we could sleep. We were told to get up early in the morning because we were going to a grape plantation. Oh yes…I love field trips!