Hi from Brazil! We have been here for 9 days now and are finally feeling like we are getting into a routine—there is always so much to do! So how are we adjusting and what have we been doing?
Ben has been observing his dad’s seminary classes and has started teaching in the missions training program. He also gave a devotional for the seminary yesterday and will be preaching in a Brazilian church this Sunday. Preparing to teach and preach in Portuguese takes more time than in English, of course, but it is a great opportunity for him to get re-acclimated to the language. He has also enjoyed playing soccer with the seminary students. They play on an outdoor cement court about the size of a basketball court—for those who know soccer, it’s called Futsal, the official Olympic indoor soccer game. It is a fast game that requires quick ball handling skills. Caleb and I love to come watch Ben play and meet the student wives and their families.
I (Becky) have been focusing on caring for Caleb, helping Kathy (my mother-in-law) cook lunch (the main meal of the day here in Brazil) and studying Portuguese when Caleb is napping. Everyday Caleb and I walk up to the park at the seminary so he can play. He has made several friends including a little boy who is one year older than him named Josué (Joshua). While the boys play, Josué’s mom and I talk in Portuguese. I am thankful for the Portuguese I still remember and am excited to keep learning new vocabulary and grammar.
Caleb is enjoying Brazil but even at his young age has been going through some culture shock. With his blond hair and blue eyes he stands out and many people come close to him, squeezing his cheeks and telling him loudly in Portuguese how cute he is. Brazilians think he is at least three or four years old (he’s only 1 ½) which increases their expectations of him. Despite these cultural differences Caleb is adjusting well. He is saying new words in English and in Portuguese and enjoys jumping on his Aunt Joy’s trampoline. His friend Josué also let him borrow a little tricycle which he carries with him and rides around.
When you enter a new culture, it’s a good habit to make note of the many things you see that are different from what you’re accustomed to. Even though Ben grew up in Brazil and this is my fourth time visiting, we are both trying to make an extra effort to observe what might be unfamiliar to those who have never been to Brazil before.
Here are some of our observations:
-The Sunday church service is at night, usually from 7:00pm to 9:15pm.
-Pregnant women, women with children, and senior citizens usually get priority with public services (it’s nice when boarding airplanes).
-Motorcycles usually don’t obey the “Rules of the Road”, and will weave in and around cars.
-Police vehicles drive much slower than traffic with their lights flashing, but without sirens on. They make their presence known, but generally don’t give tickets to those who run red lights or speed off in front of them.
-The dirt is red, kind of like “Georgia Clay”, which Caleb loves to look at and get dirty in as he walks.
We'll include more observations in our next update.
-We arrived safely and all our luggage finally arrived!
-Ben has had many opportunities to preach and teach.
-That we will have the chance to rest amidst all the work to be done here.
-For Caleb’s continued adjustment to a new language and culture.
-That I (Becky), will be able to learn more Portuguese every day.
-For our safe travels in Brazil as we visit language schools and as Ben travels to teach and preach.
Thank you for your prayers. We will continue to keep you updated. Remember to visit our website for more regular updates and pictures!
In His Hands,
Becky (for Ben and Caleb)
Here we are eating a traditional mid-western Brazilian dish: Pamonha and Caldo de Milho, boiled corn puree (in corn husks wrapped with rubberbands) and corn soup. Caleb really loved the corn soup once he tried it, we think you would too!