We have had another couple of really busy weeks visiting the last parts of our mission area. We were intent on getting it done before Carnaval started - as most of these cities get a little crazy during that time. Carnaval officially starts on or something and lasts for a week. But most areas start early and party after. There was a huge celebration here on February 2 - Festival of Yemanja - the mermaid god who makes sure everything goes well with the ocean I guess. People crammed into the streets celebrating - getting a little practice in before Carnaval I guess.
Our visits last week and this week were based out of a Port/Beach city called Porto Seguro. Evidently the Portuguese when they were exploring here couldn’t find a place to land their boats because of the rocks and finally found a safe channel that went inland. So the name Porto Seguro - or Safe Port. Lots of beaches and resort areas - we still haven’t gone to the beach yet. We visited several houses and churches in Porto Seguro and then traveled to Eunopolis followed by Texeira de Freitas and Mucuri is at the “toe” of our mission and is closer to Rio than it is to Salvador.
We came back from Mucuri to a little beach town called Trancoso - took the barge to Porto Seguro and had dinner with the only other married missionaries in our mission. They were great - from Curitiba, but originally from Rio and Santa Catarina. They are serving as the branch presidents there and are doing a great job. They have had a really interesting life - he played on a national Brazilian basketball team for twenty years and they won two championships. After he joined the church he tried to play a little basketball with the members but found them too unskilled and hot headed - evidently that’s an international tendency for church members. They showed us some sites and we ate at a small cafe that was great. I let on that Kaye was having a tough time cooking Brazilian cuisine which led to a whole lesson about how to properly cook beans. They live on a little farm - we noticed two chickens who climbed up a large tree - evidently they sleep there.
This afternoon we are headed back to a coastal town called Valenca - we have already visited there - but they need some help so we are going back for a few days. After - I think we will be in Salvador for awhile.
We miss and love you all and are very grateful for the notes, pictures and videos we receive. It’s easier now that we finally have wifi in our apartment. Here is a small assortment of some photos from recent visits. I really liked the statue of the watermelon - it’s a town hero in Texeira de Freitas. Also the small fire extinguisher at the airport was interesting. We had lunch with the Elders at a great churrascaria in Salvador.
Paul and Kaye