Oi! Showers were good . . . sleep was better . . . breakfast was great . . . and the day was full!
Today was lots of planning and logistical coordination in preparation for Saturday's arrival of our two volunteer teams. Lecio & Ilma have been working extremely hard to coordinate the facilitation of three concurrent VBS's for next week, including setting up translators, locations, worship music, meals and of course, the arrival of the kiddos.
Because we are being blessed with nearly 60 volunteers, the plan is for there to be THREE different VBS locations near THREE different favelas - allowing us to conduct two VBS's per day in each location and hopefully touching the lives of nearly 1,000 Brazilian children!
Besides the 60 people who are Brazil-bound tomorrow (travel safe one and all!), there have also been dozens of people back home helping prepare. Last week, a group of Fort Worth folks made 350 beaded bracelets for gifts to our VBSer's moms - and guess what? Still not enough! So, off to the Brazilian bead store we went.
Ilma's sister, Lucy, arrived to live in Recife today after an 18-hour BUS ride from the northen coast of Brazil, so she naturally had to leave us to go pick her up. Three American gals in a Brazilian jewelry-making store with no one who spoke English . . . now that was a riot! Thankfully, two employees must have decided we were mildly entertaining and agreed to help - and 37 bracelets later, we are almost finished. (We confess . . . our math isn't always the best in America - much less in Portuguese!- so we must shop again tomorrow.)
Unbeknownest to us, Lecio had to have dental surgery this morning. Didn't get the whole story, but something about pulling a tooth, cutting some roots, bleeding gums . . . . none of it good. But he's a fighter, and with cotton stuffed in his cheeks, he still plugged away at the last details for next week. Transportation in Brazil to and from the favelas by bus for that many people is no easy feat. Truth is, transportation anywhere in Brazil is a little challenging. When Lecio asked one of us to drive out to camp today, no one raised their hand! Bikes whizzing by on either side from both directions - few traffic signals - and no noticeable seatbelts . . . driving in Recife makes Dallas traffic at rush hour on Central look tame.
Speaking of camp, Julie M. & Illma drove three hours round-trip today out to the VFC land to pick up more supplies that were leftover from last year. Seeing all that has been given to share with the Brazilians is an excellent reminder of how plentiful our lives are in the U.S. Here, nothing is wasted and nothing is excess . . . recycling is simply how you live, not a way to "go green."
Finally, a toothy smile from Baby Leahanna . . . she laughs, she dances, she sings - and all for a few simple items of clothing that were donated from the States. It was Christmas in June for her today when her daddy unpacked the duffle with her gifts. She is truly joy personified!
Until tomorrow, Ciao!