Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 21st, 2017 - Mission Update

Wow – we are really lousy at keeping our blog up-to-date.   I guess we haven’t had too much sensational to write about.   We kept busy trying to avoid the Carnival impact – we didn’t realize it would go on for so long and most everyplace shuts down except for the stores that sell beer.   At least that’s the way it seemed.   Our apartment is on a street that leads to one of the main areas and for a week it was jammed with cars.   They put up plywood boards all in front of the complex and the stores – to protect against people throwing stuff out of the cars at the buildings – looked like they were preparing for a hurricane.   We didn’t go down to the party but did have one picture that got in a couple of the costumes – everyone dresses up in some way I guess.   Not my style though.

We spent another several days in a city across the bay called Valence.   They are having some problems there and needed some assistance.   You need to use the ferry boat to get over there.   Takes about 45 minutes and the taxi ride is about an hour.  Our hotel there was fumigating the kitchen area for cockroaches and other pests – so I think we will choose other accommodations next time.

We went up north to a youth and single adult encampment – President and Sister Bangeter asked us to go with them – they spoke and did a great job.   We met a lot of great people there – about 450 folks attended.  On the way back we stopped at an old castle – that had been built in the 1500’s.   The main house burnt down but the stones are still in place.  Pretty impressive when you consider how old it is.   We were going to visit the beach there – but ran out of time – they have a turtle conservatory there and evidently every evening at 5:00 the turtles head for the ocean.   Worth the trip here, yes?  Here are a few of the pictures we took at the castle – good sized fig tree and a few more.

We spent on of our Saturdays with Kaye learning how to make feijão e carne. (Beans and Rice – the national food here.   Kaye had tried to follow the recipe but it just didn’t work out right.   So we went to the best to learn – we have made a great friend in Robert Barbosa – he is in the mission presidency and just a terrific man.  He teaches school but for several years he was a cook, including in the marines.   So he invited us to his house to show us (Kaye) how to make the national dish.   It was really quite a process – we sped up his invite a bit with a jar of Jiff Peanut Butter that Craig managed to get to us.   He loves Jif – so he said it was a good trade.  He would reveal all of his secret ingredients and processes.   You would just love this guy – I hope some of you meet him some time – he is the quintessential Bahian Brazilian – loves life, loves others – is so animated and loves to help people out.  He also is an expert in Brazilian fruit juices.  He always has a mix of juices at meals and you are required to guess what they are – usually about six or seven fruits.

He is a character – the whole process takes about three to four hours.   But it was worth it and the food was superb he is the best entertainer we have met.  He could make pulling weeds fun – well maybe not that good.   At the bottom of the picture is Kaye’s plate tonight – she made feijão e carne yesterday with arroz and it was great.

We did have one major food mistake – we ordered a pizza – Kaye ordered her half as an Italian pizza.   We couldn’t figure out why it tasted so awful until we translated the main ingredient – which was minced tuna. We don’t recommend it.

This was a fun Saturday night –we went to the Farol da Barra – a really old lighthouse.  Wonderful views of the beach and ocean – great restaurants and a terrific ice cream place.   It’s on our list.

This last picture Kaye didn’t want me to put in – but it’s so funny in Brazil when they can’t figure out what words might mean in other languages.   This is a sign advertising a company that specializes in branding and creating a great image.   Their name speaks for itself – well I thought it amusing.

Well – “ending” on that note wouldn’t do justice to how much we love getting your packages, notes, emails, pictures and updates on what’s happening back home.   They are super important to us.   Some of the videos I think will be worn out--if that’s possible.   It was especially great to see all the birthdays and especially our newest birthday boy – Chase.  The hospital also thought he was great and put a picture of him up on a billboard in Albuquerque! What a wonderful and special family we have.  We couldn’t ask for a better group.   You are the best and we love you all – like really love you all.   Take care and we’ll talk soon.  Go Gonzaga!!!

Sister Briggs and Elder Briggs in Salvador and the rest of the state of Bahia in Brazil

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