Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Camp vs Carnaval

Every year Brazil celebrates Carnaval (same as Mardi Gras). It is the most wicked time of the year and is celebrated throughout the entire country. The largest celebrations are held in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It's basically a 5-day party where anything goes. The most unimaginable things happen during Carnaval. The Catholic priests even encourage people to be "safe" and pass out condoms.

That being said, the Nichols run a camp during Carnaval each year. It is such a blessing for the people to be able to get away from the city and the events of Carnaval. Other churches also come. This year, we had the biggest turnout ever - about 125! The preaching was good, the food was good, the weather was good, and everyone had a great time!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

About Formiga

I know the map is a little hard to read, sorry! Formiga is located in the state of Minas Gerais. It is southwest of the state capital, Belo Horizonte. Formiga has approximately 80,000 residents. It is a quiet and calm city. It has all of the basic necessities and many modern conveniences. It does not have any American stores or restaurants. The downtown area is located at the base of several hills that surround it. The city is aptly named...formiga means ant. There are all kinds of ants here! You cannot get rid of them! Sugar cane is one of the primary crops in the area. The people are friendly. Most people are Catholic. Those that aren't tend to be charismatic. They are willing to hear the Gospel, but hesitant to receive it.

Trip to Belo Horizonte...What a Treat!

Yesterday we went to Belo Horizonte with Charlie and his family. We needed to get some paperwork for our visas done and Charlie needed to buy some chairs for the services out in Corrego Fundo. It was a fun day and a profitable one as well. We were able to go to TGI Friday's for lunch. Wow! Everything was so good! We also went to a store called Carrefour. It was a lot like Wal-Mart. I found M&Ms, Twix, and my favorite, Snickers! It was like Christmas or winning the jackpot! It was a nice day, full of treats!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oh! The things we can live without, but sure are nice to have!

I think we, as Americans, take so much for granted! I understand that when you are used to having certain things, you may not even realize how fortunate and blessed you are!

At the beginning of our deputation, someone offered us their camper to live out of. That way we wouldn't have to pay rent. As we moved from our mobile home into the camper, I discovered that there were alot of things I could live without. It was an adjustment, but we were gone a lot too. So, not too bad! After all, it was just temporary.

Now that we are in Brazil, there are a lot of little things that I don't have here. Nothing major really, just some things that, as an American, I was accustomed to having. You know, things like hot water, a bathtub, a dryer, a large selection of cheese, seasonings, and anything else I cared to buy. Now before you get too concerned about the hot water, the showers have an electric water heater on them. As for washing dishes, I just heat up some water on the stove and go. The lack of a dryer is not an issue unless it rains nonstop for more than a week. Hanging clothes on the line works just fine. I'm just glad I don't have to wash them by hand! :) A tub would be nice, but a plastic stool in the shower gives you almost the same affect!

For my husband's birthday, we went away to a place out in the country. They have pretty nice rooms. We of course got one with a jacuzzi. Oh the joys! It was so nice to sit and relax in a tub! Now, if I had one at home, that would not have been such a treat! I'm beginning to think that I'm not going to know how to act when I go back to America!