Friday, August 27, 2010

A Day (or 3) with Grasiele

Visiting Grasi at her university
Our third Compassion International visit was with Grasiele, the college student we sponsor through Compassion's LDP program. I started sponsoring college students because at the time, I was in college. It has been very rewarding to correspond with students who are close to my own age and in a similar stage of life. Granted I'm already 29 and out of college... (The college students are also better at writing letters than the children. ;)

We met Grasi at her university, where she gave us a quick tour, then we went to some of her favorite places in the city.

Watching surfers from the pier. The guy in the middle is Mauricio; he works with the various students in the LDP program. He was also our translator.
We went to lunch at a very impressive buffet restaurant (they weigh your plate, so you can have as much or little as you want), then we went to Grasi's house and met her mom and 2 of her 3 siblings.

Most of the family sleeps in ordinary beds, but Grasi's sister sleeps in this hammock. Well, not right now, she doesn't...
We had coffee again. This time Keith managed to politely refuse. ;) We made plans to come back the next day to attend church with Grasi and her mom. Church is at night in Brazil. Maybe because it's less hot then? I don't know. We went to the "youth service." It was very loud and enthusiastic. The music, had it not been in Portuguese, could have been Seattle grunge. :) We gave a quick "thanks for having us, we love your enthusiasm, we're praying for you, please pray for us too" sort of speech at the end of the service. Then they prayed for us.

Grasi serves on the worship team at her church as a vocalist. She wasn't on duty this week, but she and her friend Debra sang a couple songs for us after the service. Debra helped out with some translation; she learned English by reading novels and listening to Jars of Clay and other English language bands. I wish it were that easy to learn Japanese!

After church, we ate ice cream and talked to the pastor and some of the other students in the LDP program.
Grasi and Debra invited us to meet up and go walking on the beach the next morning.

Everyone becomes a kid again at the beach. We started by looking in tide pools.

We saw some awesome hermit crabs.

Random loose donkey on the sidewalk. He seems friendly, though.
Lunch was locally caught Pargo (red snapper) with a traditional rice and beans dish.

We walked back to our hotel (oh my, it was hot), and had coffee in the cafe there (delicious). We prayed together and then we said goodbye. (I have to say I felt kind of bad for not crying as much as Grasi did.) We headed for the airport, and flew back to Belo Horizonte!

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