Saturday, December 29, 2007

More Pictures

I uploaded more pictures. Here are the links to different albums. If you haven't already, you can also check out pictures from my first week in the december post "Pictures" If for some reason you cannot access the pictures, let me know by leaving a comment and I'll figure it out, ok? :) enjoy.


Church Christmas dinner, Taubate, Bowling, Pizza
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=210&l=842b0&id=1588230003

BBQ at Molly's and Pizza in Taubate
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=213&l=2dca2&id=1588230003

My house and the trip to the temple (house and scenery shots)
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=214&l=bc3d6&id=1588230003

The wierd temple place
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=215&l=653bb&id=158823000

Ubathuba and my tattoo
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=216&l=4d45b&id=1588230003

My room and the two Rotary Christmas dinners
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=217&l=b396c&id=1588230003

Youth group dinner/gift exchange, random pics, and church
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=219&l=e49b4&id=1588230003

Christmas Pictures:
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=220&l=a1fed&id=1588230003

Feliz Natal

So Christmas was... different. Here's the run-down:
We spent most of Christmas Eve in the grocery store in Taubate because my host parents were really late picking us up (no suprise there. I wasn't too frustrated- I'm getting used to it.. ) Then when we got home, we weren't doing anything so I decided to watch The Grinch (with Jim Carrey). At like 8pm we went to this place where they cook your meat for you, and got a ham. Then we got home and (WOW) we had dinner at home for once! I turned on my christmas music (from my laptop) while we made a salad and set the table. Then I asked them if I could read the Christmas story. They let me. So I read from Luke and a bit from Matthew. When I was finished, they said, "that was nice" so i was like, "have you never heard that before?" (cause they said they were "catholic") and they said no! I was rather suprised, but it was cool that I got to read it to them.
Then we had dinner. It was weird. When Christian families back home get together- there's not just good food, but talking and laughter and stories and anecdotes and more laughter. There was none of that at our christmas dinner. :/ There wasn't much joy, you know?
At a bit before (and up until) midnight there were some fireworks going off in the city. My family was getting ready to go to some god-children's house in an hour (i was ready). So, because I was impossible to see them from anywhere else) I crawled out and up onto the roof (it's not too hard to get to) and watch the fireworks for a while. :) It was cool.
Then, at like 1AM we went to their god-kid's house, a little 2 year old boy that made me think of Titus :( I missed him so much! Then after only like an hour (we were really tired) we went home to bed.

On Christmas morning I woke up at like 10, ate some cereal, read my bible, sang some hymns ;) and then opened my christmas present from all of you who went to my "going away party." Thank you so much for all those sweet notes. It was very special. (for those of you who don't know, It was a scrapbook of pictures of and notes from friends from my going away party- extra special thanks to my parents and brothers who put it together and Mrs. Knight who took all the pictures. )
Then my family woke up at like 1PM and we opened presents. I got a pretty little jewelry box and a iTunes gift card from my parents, some chocolate, a pink stuffed animal (a dog) from leticia and a Bosa Nova/Samba cd from my host parents. :)

After presents, we drove to Campos do Jordao. We went to this man-made waterfall place up on the "mountain" (it really more like a hill) called Chuva de Prata, pronounced: "shuva je prata" It means "silver rain." Then we looked at all these little shop-huts where I really should've done my christmas shopping at, but too late. :) We then drove back down into town and ate these fried-bread-filled-with-meat-and-cheese things. they were really good, but I could only eat half of mine. :( they were WAY too filling. :) Then we drove home. Which was yucky. I hate the cars here. The backseats have NO leg room and any trip longer than 40 minutes makes me SO claustaphobic if I'm tired.. so that wasn't very fun... :/ but then we got home and I asked if we could watch White Christmas. I didn't really want to watch it by myself, so I was willing to wait. Four hours later, I stared White Christmas without them. :) Then I paused it after the "Snow" song on the train and called my family. They were having christmas dinner with some family friends. That was the only time I have been really upset since I've gotten here. I tried to wait until I hung up, so I wouldn't make then sad for me, but I think my mom knew I was about to cry... i think it's a mom thing, lol. After I hung up, I cried for a little bit and my host mom and leticia came downstairs and gave me big hugs and watched the rest of White Christmas with me (isn't that so sweet! i love them!) and my host mom doesn't even understand english- so I consider it a sacrifice that she was bored for me. lol :D

Anyway, It was... different. Not bad, and in fact it was cool that I didn't have all those christmas traditions that i get so excited about, so I think I was focused alot more on trying to celebrate and meditate upon Christ's birth. So that's really neat, but I'd think I'd like to celebrate His birth with my family next year. ;)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

O Come O Come Emmanuel

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel"- which means, "God with us."
-Matthew 1:13 (Isaiah 7:14)



"Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our life-work, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor."
-Morning By Morning, Charles Spurgeon



"O Come, O come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel, who mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appears.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan's tyranny. From depths of Hell Thy people save and give them victory o'er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here. Disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Key of David, come and open wide our heavenly home. Make safe the way that leads on high and close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might, who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height, in ancient times did'st give the Law, in cloud, and majesty, and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!"

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas! :D

It is now 1:30 AM in Brasil. Allow me the pleasure of being the first person to wish you, "Merry Christmas!" ON Christmas. :D
May you be filled to the brim (nay, overflow!) with the immeasurable blessing of fine food and fellowship this day. To Him be all the honor and glory!

Friday, December 21, 2007

So there was this guy...

I went to another christmas dinner at the presbyterian church tonight, but this one was for the "youth" which was basically everyone under 30, lol. It was really fun. I've gotten pretty close to this woman named Eloa and her husband (a Decan), Samuel. Anyway, they gave me a ride home (as usual) but this guy that I briefly met at chruch last week (He didn't speak any english), Leonardo, needed a ride home, too, so he came with us. A few things need explaining here: the first is that I don't want you to get the wrong impression from this story- I am NOT planning on dating/courting/having a "special friend" (lol) while I'm here in Brasil, so this is just a cute story, ok? the second is that I have heard alot about Leonardo this last week: he doesn't speak english, he used to be in this intense gang or something, but like 5 years ago he started coming to the church and became a christian and Christ totally turned his life around. Now him and Samuel are pretty close, I think he studies under him or something. He's the most mature of the "youth" in the church (they're all pretty much newcomers, which is cool, but they're either new in thier faith or not christians at all). He's really fun and cool, but he like never talks to girls, they say that he's really shy with girls now that he's a christian, i dunno. He works during the day and lives at home and helps his parent(s??) financially. He's a really hard worker. He's 21. ok. so I had heard all that from samuel and eloa. It caught my attention- he sounded like my guy friends back home (except for the gangster part, lol) and seemed like a person that i would want to get to know, you know?? All this to say, as we they were driving us home i tried to made conversation in my broken portugese with him and he started saying a few things in english. we talked (with help from eloa who speaks perfect english and portugese) and laughed. it was fun. Well, he gets out of the car and samuel is like, shocked. he tells me that leo is usually so quiet around girls so that was weird that he was talking to me so easily. AND he doesn't speak any english, so he must have been studying english all week on his own, after he met me last sunday, so that he could talk to me. Isn't that hilarious?!?! I'm not really interested in him or anything, but I thought it was really sweet. :)

Pictures

For those of you who do not have facebook. I have included this link to my photo albums that (I hope) you may access to view pictures of me in Brasil.

The first few nights:
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=206&l=506d2&id=1588230003

In Campos de Jordeno:
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=207&l=6d729&id=1588230003

Taubate, the puppie, and Junio's concert:
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=208&l=b0a0f&id=1588230003

I hope these work! I will add more as I upload more pictures. :)

Tools

I once heard that we as christians are like surgical tools. Allow me to take that concept and run for a little bit, if you will.

God is the surgeon and we are his tools to bring about his purpose. You may think that being a tool would be a rather dull existance, but there are may things that, as a tool, we need to accomplish if we are to be of use to the surgeon.

We need to be clean, first of all. A surgeon cannot effectively work with equipment that is dirty, stained, or otherwise unclean. Unfortunately we, as tools, cannot just "will" our way to cleanliness- we must allow the surgeon to wash us clean, because nothing that we can do will make us clean enough to be of use to Him.

Another thing we must be, as effective tools, is sharp. A blunt knife, even if it's clean, will cause much more damage than good if put to work on a patient. We must sharpen ourselves against a two edged sword. We must sharpen ourselves with the Word; reading it, "wrestling" with it, memorizing it, dwelling upon it, praying it, ect.

What other things must we be in order to be of service to the Surgeon? We must be avaliable. A clean, sharp tool hiding in the back corner of the drawer is of no use to the Surgeon if He cannot find it. On the other hand, an overly eager tool that jumps from the drawer and starts stabbing the patient without the guidance of the Surgeon's steady hands, is just as much of a catastrophe. We must be avaliable for the surgeon's use, but also keep with Him- knowing that He's holding us in his hand is a great comfort as we are used for great and sometimes difficult things to His purpose.

I was reading Esther this morning and took some time to reflect upon chapter 4. In it, Esther, the queen, is told by her uncle Mordecai to go before the King and plead for the lives of her people, the Jews, who are currently sentenced to death (again. it seems to be a trend, lol). She responds by informing him that if she goes before the king without being summoned, the law states that she must be put to death unless he holds out his septer to her in mercy (and i don't really think she put much stock in the man's mercy, who banished his old wife for not feeling up to going to a feast- i don't blame her). Mordecai answered her by saying," Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" So Esther was given the choice of hiding in the corner of a drawer (probably to later be disposed of for being a useless tool- a fruitless branch, so to speak) or at the surgeon's call be available, and let Him hold her as she walked into the king's inner court to fulfill His purpose. And she was. For she remembered that the Lord the God of Abraham was her true king- what could an earthly king do to her? Her reply was this, "And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!"

We must also understand that there are many other tools in the drawer. Most times we must work together with these other tools, efficiently and without strife, to reach the goal. But it is also like what Mordecai told Esther; that the Lord would procure deliverance for His people with or without her- there were may other tools for His choosing that would do the job. But perhaps, she was placed next to the operating table to be of good use "for such a time as this." If only she would be clean, sharp, and avaliable- not hiding in the queen's quarters- then, by the hand of God, she would be a tool of deliverance for the Jews. You may be a small tool, a seemingly worthless tool, but there are some jobs just perfect for you to be used for. So when the time comes, you must be ready.

We, as tools, must remember that we cannot see the whole operation from where we're at. We may find ourselves with a terribly difficult job, or maybe one that's just doesn't seem very important. We must all play the parts we were assigned, each guided by the Surgeon's hand, remembering that He sees the big picture, Remembering that there is as much of a holy calling in being a stay-at-home mom as being a missionary in China; That each are essential to the overall ("checkmark"/ postmillinial) operation.

We must also be steadfast. We cannot give out or break down halfway through an operation. What use to the surgeon is that? Sharpened and clean, we must be strong as well, with a look to the end.


It is very important to remember that it is not us, in the end, that accomplishes the purpose. All was crafted by the surgeon's skill. We are His tools, and therefore we can only boast in the Surgeon, not in ourselves.



Therefore, my brothers and sisters in Christ,


Be clean- repent daily; remember His glorious covenant with His people, and having such a promise, "let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God"; keep short accounts with others; "Be excellent at what is good, be innocent of evil;" "Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things." ; And finally, "May streams of living water pour fourth from within you"- for "out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks"

Be sharp- "For blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."

Be avaliable- Do not hide away in the back corner of a drawer, in the queen's quarters (think not only of Esther's temptation, but of cowardly Hrothgar, in "Beowulf"), or in the complacency and lethargy of modern christians. Keep clean, sharp, and humble, working diligently with others to His glory. Be ready and eager to answer God's call.

Know that you are in His steady hands, that He will guide you when you cannot see.

Keep an eternal perspective- Remember that He sees the whole operation, that each small role is important, that "He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose," and that it's all about His glory.

Be steadfast- "Run in such a way as to recieve the prize," for "we have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first."

Be humble- " 'All these things my hand has made and so all these things came to be,' declares the LORD. 'But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.' " Therefore, let your "soul make it's boast in the Lord."



Well, that was a bit longer than I was expecting, but there you go: just taking an analogy and running with it; tossing out some ideas and applications like Pastor Helsel did with the football analogy on that first "First Friday." Just some stuff I've been thinking about... :) I hope you all are having a good week. May the peace of the Lord be with you, my dearest brothers and sisters in Him. Beijus (kisses)!
tchau tchau,

-Robin :)

Ubathuba

We went to the beach on wednesday. We went to Ubathuba. It's a really cool little beach town. Getting there made me think that we were stuck in Jurassic Park (on a steep, winding road through the jungle), until we arrived and it loooked like the bay from Pirates of the Caribean- complete with small wispy clouds floating randomly between the green mountains rising from the water on either side. It was a really cool beach... except is was raining. hard. It rains here like every other day- not cold rain, but heavy rain. And then the next day it will be unbearably hot. After we had wandered the beach "shacks" (vendors on the beach) full of touristy/beach stuff and jewelry, we just sat down in the sand and watched the surfers. It was weird. We were all wearing shorts and tee shirts, but we were completely drenched to the skin. The rain, and I really am not exaggerating, was the spray of a heavily dripping shower head- big thick drops, but alot and quickly. I don't think I've ever gotten that wet from rain. ever. One time we were driving to pick up thalita and go to a bar, and it was a bit gray outside, but hot, really hot, and all of a sudden it was pouring- those same huge heavy drops- on our windshield. I've heard of sudden thundre storms, but I thougt that there would at least be a gradual increase from a light drizzle- even if it was a really quick increase. It was so bizzare: all of a sudden it was raining harder than ever. Looking outside the window you saw pll that didn't even know eachother (as it seemed from their manner) practiaclly holding one another crammed underneath one of those half-egg shaped public telephones. Others were stuck under nearby vendor's tarps, other by the slight overhang of a buildings roof. All were stopped in the middle of thier activities and waiting out the rain. It was so weird. It was like the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" were there's hail in the middle of tokyo and people hid in the funniest place (though, not quite so desperatyly, since it was just buckets of rain, not hail). Yeah. I can't describe it well, but I must say that those were probably my strangest experiences so far- seeing the down pour from inside the car and being in one and just sitting there on the beach. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Patriot

I showed my family some of American history last night. We watched The Patiot, lol. :D And they actually liked it alot. :)

Ducky and Wink and The Other Robin

Ducky-
I got your letter today after I got back from the Centro (center of town) and it made me SO happy! I miss you so much! And i loved the pictures too! Is there any way I could get the pictures from my going away party from your mom? email perhaps? I hope you and Ty are well. Send my love on to the rest of the family. Beijus! (kisses!) Tchau! (bye! pronounced, "chow")
-Bowe

Wink-
Yeah, don't worry about the phone calls. My number here is (for anyone who wants to give me a ring..) 55 12 3645 3042, but I would be an international call so I would suggest calling me on Skype as the best solution. It's free to download and free to talk over the internet, plus on that I have voicemail so you could leave me a message if i wasn't online. :) I hope you have a fabulous time in Mexico! What city are you going to?? I miss you!! I will talk to you soon, k?? Tchau!
-Robby

The Other Robin-
Hey yeah I was just exausted for the first week, but I think I'm getting my energy back, so that's good. And I will try to keep everyone posted on ym doings here a bit more regularly. Oh, and apperently I'm supposed to give a presentation in portugese to the Rotary here and present them with like a small flag/banner thing of our club. Could you send me one of those?? Thanks so much! lots of love! Tchau!
-Robin The 2nd

Tidbits

Here are a few more tidbits about Brasil:
-Everyone here LOVES McDonald's and they were completely flabbergasted that I, as an "Americana" don't like it at all
-With the exception of McDonald's, the food here is exeptional. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. You just have to be careful about the meat and water if it's not a very nice place.
-Guarana and Caipaneras are like, the unofficial drink of Brasil. Guarana is this really good soda (and I don't even like soda) and a Caipanera is this lime and vodka drink that, to be honest, is way too strong for me. :)
-Almost every meal, even in fancy resturants, is served with either beans and rice or, get this, french fries. The funiest part, though, in my opinion, is that they-at home and abroad- eat the french fries with tooth picks one at a time and squeeze the ketsup onto each toothpick-impaled fry. :)
-No one. Even the Christians. Absolutely no one stops at stop signs. The Christians just make an effort to slow down and check for oncoming traffic- my host dad, for instance has been in two accidents this fall from pulling onto a street after he should have stopped and didn't. I sometimes fear for my life when he's driving. lol.
-Men and women, and women and women kiss eachother on the cheek (no guy-to-guy kisses). every time they greet eachother. It's awesome. It's sometimes a little weird (for me) when it's a guy my age, but it's totally normal- all the christians do it too, so i didn't feel like it was a bad thing. And it's always right cheeks touching- not lefty's or you might have an accident, lol. But yeah. I'm so used to it now, even the american girls do it to eachother and try to speak portugese to eachother. :)
-Here, if you're an american, you're like, somewhat famous. It was kinda cool at first, but now it's just a bit annoying. I understand though- when foriegn exchange student came to WHS, we all thought they were really cool... :)
Eveyone in my family (except for Pai, my host dad because he works) sleeps until at least 111 every morning, today it was 2pm. It varies, but it's funny because I used to do that, but now im less tired and getting more used to things and i wake up at like 8. So, I'm staring to get some routine into my days: Wake up, cold shower (their hot water's out.. but it sure does wake you up! ), breakfast, quiet time, reading, study portugese, and if my family is still not up, I will walk (only like 2 miles or so from my house) to the town center and have lunch and an Acai (a really good fruit smoothie thing they have here). Then I might just wander the shops or visit my friend, Eloa (one of the Decans from my church's wife), who is a dentist downtown. Then I return home and see what we're doing that afternoon and evening: rotary meeting? clubbing? bar? taubate? swimming? movie? church activity? (it IS summer break down here). This isn't everyday, but when we aren't doing anything in the morning like visiting another city or the beach or driving to Sao Paulo, my schedule looks somewhat like that...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Obrigado!

A huge "Thank you!!!!!" goes out first and foremost to my Heavenly Father who thought it for my greatest good and His highest glory to send me to Brasil- :) I'm not complaining!; to my family and friends, for putting up with me long after I was supposed to be in a foriegn country; to my church, for the most joyful food and fellwoship I think I shall experince before heaven; to Mel Miller, Carter Fjeld, and Jack Sabey for countless hours of their unofficial time getting me on an exchange- no words describe my joy here in Brasil; the DeRocks- especially Robin, my hands-on support from the Rotary side; The Wenatchee Rotary Club, The Pindamonhangaba Rotary club, Kiersten Ellez- my ever optimistic travel agent; and Wentachee Link Transit for prviding me with a fabulous short-term job "bunburying" about town. :D
Obrigado!

First Things First

First things first: God has a wonderful sense of humor.
Now, to begin, there are a few things you need to know about Brasil. The first, is that everyone here likes to take their time. The second, is that everyone here is consequently late. to everything. The third thing, which is also connected, is that time moves in manner reminicent of "The Twilight Zone". The fourth, is that they pronounce "r" as "h". The fifth is that they believe in eating out. for lunch and dinner. almost every day. The sixth, is that everyone (middle class and up) has one or more maids. I do not wish to complain, merely to show you that God has a wonderful sense of humor.
Anyone who knows me, could tell you that I am infamously late to everything. Coming to Brasil has forced me to rethink my "Robin Minute" policy- I have never been more frusterated in my life at the lack of punctuality these people demonstrate. If they say that they will pick you up in two hours, you had better count on 3 or 4 (I am NOT exaggerating). If they say that they will get you home by the afternoon- buckle up; you will want to bring a pillow, toothbrush, and some for of entertainment, eg. a book (again, not exaggerating. I take all three wherever they take me now and I've had to use them almost every time we "go out to lunch" in Taubate.) When they say they will pick you up at 6:30AM to go to the beach, you might as well have slept another hour and a half, because they won't get you until 8. And once they arrive, it's "Hurry up, Robin, everyone is waiting for you in the car.." (again. true story. and there are many others, but these will suffice to make my point.)
My point in telling you of my "misfourtunes" is not for you to feel sorry for me- because, lets face it, I'm not really suffering down here in this paradise. :) My point is that the Lord has a wonderful sense of humor. I though it quite fitting for Him to send me, of all people, to such a place- not that I might fit in, but that I might get, shall we say, a "taste of my own medicine." I can see Him laughing himself to tears listening to me bitch and moan to Him over "everyone always being so rudely late and no one respecting my time" -disregaurding completely the fact that I do that to everyone. all the time. for everything. ... It makes me laugh out loud just remembering the numerous occurances of such a scene since my arrival to Brasil. Picture me: Robin Bowe, originator of the infamous "Robin Minute" getting completely pissed at having been made to wait for the late arrival of someone- and upon their arrival, looking completely scandilized at having to wait for so long, deciding to hold an especailly long grudge for the especailly long wait.

All this to say, my dearest friends and family:
I am deeply sorry for making you wait; for being ridiculously self-centered and not giving a crap about your time. How terribly horrid I feel now, because each and every time I wronged you, you were patient, good-humored, understanding, and forgiving- even though I was too wrapped up in myself to even imagined I might have wronged you. Please forgive me for this. And please know that I will not be perfect upon my return to the states. That I will be late again. :( That I will again ask for your forgiveness. But know now that I understand a bit better that being late is not "ok." And, Lord willing, I will learn quickly to respect people's time.

As for the fourth, fifth, and sixth points, allow me to explain. These are simply things that annoy me that are surely meant for your's, God's, and my future self's amusement and for my current person's "building of character." The "r"s sounded as "h"s is a small annoyance, of which its purpose is to simply remind me that I may be the "cool new american girl" but my name is, and I quote, "Hobin." That one was sure to bring the ego down a few notches. ;)
The, fifth thing you should know about Brasil has me a bit worried: they always eat out. This presents three main problems. The first is that I am going to get fat. The second is that I'm going to starve to death. The third is that I am going to run out of money. It is a well known fact that eating out for every meal is ridiculously bad for you and usually leads to obescity (im not sure where i heard that, but it sounds about right.. ;) Unfortunately, it is an even lesser known fact that eating out requires leaving the house. (lol) And since I'm sometimes left alone in the house during a meal time, there is naught but spoiled meat and rotting fruit (see the next paragraph) for me to feast upon, so prayers for my general health would be greatly appreciated. :) The last of my worries is that I am rapidly running out of money. I might go so far as to say that it's all really an evil plot of my host family's to save money by not having to pay for extra groceries for me, but I suppose that they're not really saving any money with going out and not paying for me rather than just buying groceries for all of us. Plus, I think they're too nice to do something that mean. But a greedy person like me will question all possible motives when my money is at stake.. ;) (jk, lol) Anyway, please pray that I will diligently pravtice self-control and good stewardship.
The final thing you should know about Brasil is that everyone has maids (well, middle class and up). I lied. THIS is the final thing you should know about Brasil: everyone has maid that only work during the week. One the weekends, all hell breaks loose. There is no such thing as me accepting a delicious steak (otherwise unheard of) if the meat was bought before that monday. For if it had been bought the week before, then it had spent it's weekend unattended by the maid (for she was on her break) or my host mother (I'm not sure what her excuse was... "slothitis" or some such disease) upon the kitchen counter or the low table where their 5 insane dogs took licks at it, competing with the overwhelming number of bugs. This my friends is why it would be a horrible idea to get a maid (so if you were planning on it, do reconsider...). For thought the house would be spotless and your laundry done and your messes cleaned up and your breakfast made for you and your water cleaned- on the weekend you will have grown accostomed to such luxories and would simply rather wait in your own squallor for the maid to return that have to do anything for yourself. I know I'm complaining about my family, and all this sounds horrible, but it's really not. It's completely great during the week and a lady comes to the house and gives us manicures and pedicures every tuesday- so son't think that my life here is hard, It has just firmly planted in my mind the horrendeousness of the idea of having a maid. I'm thinking about starting a support group: E.S.A.M. "Exchange Students Against Maids" What do you think??? (jk, LOL) ;)
Ok, well, now that I've gone over the worst of it. (which, all things considered, isn't bad at all). I plan on writing to you of all of my wonderful adventures. I've posted some pictures on my facebook so you can check those out in the mean time. For now, just keep swimming just keep swimming, jk. just please be patient: I'm going to make you wait again. :/ But I WILL try to update soon. I love you all and miss you very much. Grace and peace be with you,
-Robin
PS. I just finished "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and it was SO good! Thanks goes out to my mom and the Helsels for the great recomendation.
PPS. don't forget to keep your eyes open for God's great sense of humor- you'll be suprised at what He comes up with! :D

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Safe & Sound(ly snoring, soon) ;)

Hey. It's 2 in the morning, so this is going to be quick, but I wanted to let you all know that I am safe and sound in Brazil. If you want to send me anything (letters, christmas presents, etc.) *wink wink, nudge nudge* ;) My address is below:


Avenida Antonio Cozzi, 468 B. Lessa
Pindamonhangaba - Sao Paulo
Cep: 12422-510
Brasil


I will update as soon as possible with all that I've been doing. :) I love you all and really appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Grace and peace be with you,
-Robin

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Farewell!

"My friends, I now must leave thee. I go my way though grieved be. A strange land soon I'll meet. I pray that come the 'morrow, our joy will grow from sorrow and we again shall meet."
-a German lullaby ( translated, obviously ;) )

I have my visa and I am leaving Wenatchee Wednesday at 4pm. Then I am leaving Seattle at 7:45AM on thrusday morning. For those of you in Brazil: I will arrive at 8:15AM Friday. Please pray for me, not only for safety, but for strength because I have a feeling that the next few days are going to be a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. I love you all so much and will miss you dearly. I would love to hear from you: Curlybiird15@hotmail.com or Skype me. I'll get you all my adress in Brazil as soon as I have it. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Going Away Party!

Guys. Party. My house. Be there. ;)
4-6pm
today (sunday, 12/2)
prayer and possibly singing @ 5pm
tell everybody. hope to see you there. :)
call me w/Q's 663-8373