Monday, March 26, 2012

They Just Keep Growing....

Well, here's a little update on our chillins.  Omar got a chance to take a few pictures of the kids this past weekend, so here's a peek:  

Mahalia is about as ornery as they come - no REALLY - she has quite a stubborn streak in her that will hopefully one day be aimed in the right direction.  Until then....she's ornery.  

But she is fun, loving, and very, very girlie.  She LOVES getting dressed up with dresses,  hair bows, and bracelets.  

She loves her dollies, and drags them all over the house and yard, whether they like it or not :)  

Johnathan is growing up so much already.  He is his daddy's and my big helper, and his sister's protector.  

And he's getting to that "please stop taking so many pictures of me, Dad.  I'm only going to make silly faces for your camera now" phase. (As you can clearly see below.)

He is starting to learn his alphabet, and loves to "read" books all day.  

That is, when he's not outside riding his tricycle, aka: motorcycle.

By the way, if you were wondering, this is his "tough guy" look.  Try not to laugh be frightened.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Paula - People of Brazil

     Paula was one of the younger campers at Family Camp this year.  However, she thoroughly enjoyed the week (especially the playground!)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Family Camp 2012 - Escaldado

On the very last night of camp, we had a special guest come to cook our supper - Jesus! No, I'm serious, Jesus cooked soup for us - a special soup called "Escaldado."  The word literally means "scalded." 

First, he cooked and shredded 40 pounds of chicken down until it "scalded."  He cooked and cooked and cooked all of the juices from it.

Then his wife added chopped tomatoes, onions, and green peppers, some broth, a little bit of tomato paste, and some salt.  

Then it had to simmer for a couple of hours.  During that time they added several eggs to  it, but I missed getting a picture of that step because I was off bathing my incredibly filthy children in a sink somewhere.  Sorry - both about missing that step and having incredibly filthy children.  

ANYWAY, the eggs cooked into hard-boiled eggs throughout the escaldado.  
Oh, and if you didn't believe me at the beginning, here's a picture of Jesus with his supper!  This was just one of the three pots of escaldado that they made, although this is the largest of the pots, and there wasn't ANY left.  Yes, it was that good. 

They served it with French bread rolls.  It was very nummy.  It tasted much like chicken noodle soup minus the noodles and plus the egg.  Okay, so maybe that makes it not much like chicken noodle soup after all.
 Anyway, the joke all night was that Jesus came to camp, just to make our supper!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Family Camp 2012 - Cleaning

This is the way we mop the floor,
 Mop the floor,
 Mop the floor,
 This is the way we mop the floor,
 When we live in Brazil!

When I was taking these pictures, you should have seen the weird looks that I was getting from the Brazilian ladies (you can see the smile on the lady in the second picture; she REALLY thought I was nuts!)  When the camp director's wife explained to them why I would take a picture of something so common (she understands because she is a Brazilian, but she's been to the States) they looked at her like she must be crazy!  How on earth do American's get their floors clean, anyway?!

When a Brazilian washes her floors, she starts by dumping a large bucket of soapy water on it.  Then she takes a broom and scrubs the suds around, brushing any "sticky" areas.  Then comes a bucket of rinse water.  Now, how is she going to get all of that water out of her house, you might ask?  With a squeegee, of course!  See the lady on the right in the bottom picture?  She uses a large squeegee and pushes all the water outside where it will quickly evaporate in this heat.   

You may be thinking, "that would ruin my house!"  And you're right!  But there are no carpets, drywall, or wooden floors here.  The floors are tiled or concreted, and the walls are block or tile, so it really is a faster, easier way to clean the floors.

And now you know:

This is the way we mop the floors,
When we live in Brazil!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Family Camp 2012 - Activities

Here are some of the fun activities that go on during free time at family camp.

Ping Pong


Here is the zip-line at camp.  The kids love it!  They wait and wait in line until it is their turn.  First they have to be strapped in.... 

....then they jump off the edge and ride it down the hill between the trees....

....then one of the kids waiting at the bottom of the hill will grab the rope that is dangling from the harness and pull them back up to the top for the next person in line.  

Every afternoon the ladies would gather together to do crafts.  This year they made pretty little canisters and decorated flip-flops.

I think they really just enjoy the fellowship more than anything.

Canteen: one of the most important places at camp - just ask the kids.  They sold drinks, Brazilian chips (like cheetoes, but many different shapes and flavors) and various candies.  And even though we didn't buy any candy from this canteen for our kids, they got plenty of it!  Brazilians love to share food with our kids, and they don't think to ask an adult first.  I don't even remember how many times I saw Johnathan or Mahalia wandering around with a sucker, or chips, or candy that someone had given to them.  I thought about putting a "Please don't feed the Americans" sign around my kids' necks :)

Meanwhile, the men and teen boys would get up a soccer game or two every afternoon.

And the kids all loved playing at the playground. This big swing was always full whether it was kids or adults!

Here's my little pale face at her favorite place at camp: the merry-go-round.

And here are a couple of crazy American boys going up the slide the wrong way.  Who's boys are those, anyway!?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Family Camp 2012 - Services

Here's a look at the services that went on during the week of Family Camp.

The theme of the year was "Passo a passo com Jesus" or "Step by Step with Jesus."

This is the main service for the adults with the Camp's special speaker, Pastor Marcelo.  He and his family are from a different state in Brazil, and they continually commented on how HOT Cuiaba is. (It makes us feel a little better about feeling so warm when the Brazilians complain about the heat too!)

During the morning services, the kids split up into different classes.  This is the 2-4 year old's class that Johnathan was in.  The teacher is holding up a card that says, "sin" in Portuguese.  Hmmm....I wonder if she's pointing that toward my son for any particular reason....

Here's Johnathan and his teacher working on a craft paper.

This is the "juniors'" class with their teacher.

Here is our co-worker Jeremy Lockhart teaching the young teen boys' class.

This is the young teen girls' class...

...And, the singles class.

For the evening service, everyone would meet together.  There were many musical specials before the preaching service would start.

Even though we still can't understand everything that is being said during the preaching time, we're able to understand more and more, little by little, "Step by Step."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Family Camp 2012 - Food

Ahhhhhhh! Food.  Be prepared to be jealous.  Brazilian food is GOOD!  There were so many yummy meals to choose from, but finally narrowed it down to these tasty dishes.  

I (Tracy) had the oportunity to work in the kitchen quite a bit during Family Camp.  It was interesting to see how you go about cooking from scratch for 200 people.  It's a lot of hard work, that's what!  The cooks were in the kitchen ALL DAY LONG!  You can't buy many canned or pre-packaged foods here, so everything has to be done by hand.  And you can trust me, tearing every leaf of arugula off of its plant to make salad for 200 people takes FOREVER!!! (thank you for letting me get that out of my system :)

Rice.  Brazilians could not survive without rice and beans.  Seriously!  Just ask every woman, and she will tell you that she has to make rice and beans EVERY day for her family.  It was funny to hear the cooks grumble about how much rice they go through in one month.  Even if they were to make a complete meal, they would still have to make rice and beans too.  It's just expected.

At camp, they made 33 pounds (that's dry/before cooked) of rice for lunch and supper every day.  That's a lot of rice, folks! Here is one of the cooks scooping the rice from the main pot into a serving tray.

This is the head cook at camp.  Every one asked her opinion on everything before they made a dish, and she knows what she's doing!

I thought you might find this interesting:  None of the Brazilians I've seen use a spoon to taste for seasoning.  Instead, they poor a little bit of the *burning hot* broth into their palm....

....and straight to the mouth for tasting! *OUCH*

They also cooked 65-75 pounds of meat for every meal!

Have you ever seen the black/green overgrown bananas in Wal-mart's fruit section?  Well, it's this - plantain. They're much sweeter and less "woody" here though because they are left on the plant for longer.  

Mmmm....fried plantain.  It's yummy.  Trust me.

And on a hot day, what would be better than some refreshing lemonade?  The cooks would pull two men out of the morning service to come back and squeeze enough lemons for lemonade. 

 Many, many lemons were juiced in the making of this lemonade.  And we enjoyed it.

And here is a parting shot of everyone getting their plates full so that they can sit down and enjoy it all.  Well, was I right?  You're jealous, aren't you?  :)


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