Whenever we come to Brazil I meet a lot of people who have known my parents for years and years. A few of them remember me from my teen years and usually I remember them too. It’s nice to come back “home” and find old friends and family members—Brazilian family that is—since my parents took in and cared for abandoned and needy children for many years. Most of the children who came to us stayed in the orphanage, but some stayed in our home and wove their way into our hearts and lives as well as into my drawers and my private stash of Wriggley’s Spearmint gum! Many of these kids who grew up in the orphanage still live nearby: now married with families of their own. Their children are the Brazilian grandchildren my parents boast about. And me, well, I’m a long-lost auntie to them who they really don’t know that well, but they always hug me and kiss my cheek anyway when I’m around. It’s the Brazilian thing to do.
(Dad and Mom with some of their Brazilian family.)
This week I met a number of people for the first time who have been closely connected to my parents for many years and whose lives have somehow been impacted by the work in this community. The usual response to our introduction is, “Oh, you’re in Mozambique? How wonderful! And don’t you look just like your mom!” This is followed by “You know, your parents are like my own parents too” or “Take good care of these people, they’re very special” and so on. Everywhere we go in this little town of Itaperucu, there are people who at some point were helped by or served the mission, and when they see us they rush over to greet mom or dad and give them their latest family news and so on. There’s no hurry to move on. That’s how my trip to town with mom this Saturday went: greeting, meeting, talking—connecting in general—that's also the Brazilian thing to do.
(Mom with Elizete: one of the many women who attended sewing and literacy classes at the mission.)
(Kids in the lunch room at the Mt. Horeb mission school.)
Next week is our last week here, and it will likely be our busiest week as well. On Wednesday Rick and Heather (new SAM missionaries on their way to Mozambique) arrive from Canada to begin their 4 month stint of Portuguese language immersion. We’ll show them important places like banks and grocery stores, wonderful people, and the Brazilian way of doing things :).
On Saturday we will attend Mt. Horeb’s annual general meeting, and on Monday, the 28th, we head back to Africa with my dad. He will spend the next 2 months with us in Mozambique lending his expertise to just about every aspect of the work there. Mom and Lucas (yet another of their Brazilian kids) head from here straight to Canada. In the next week or so however, I’m sure there will be plenty more people to greet, meet and talk to!
Random traffic jam in Curitiba last week that we got caught in.