Christmas decorations in downtown Rio Branco.
Playing with a new friend at our host’s house in Rio Branco, while waiting for the taxi to take us the rest of the way to our destination.
Our longest taxi ride to date – 3 1/2 hours.
Paved road part of the way, clay road part of the way.
In wet season.
Alfredo and Fabia and the girls gave us a very warm welcome into their new home.
Let the fun begin:
Everybody waiting eagerly for coloring pages to come out of the printer.
Jevon and Alfredo learned to drive a motorcyle. They only dropped it once or twice. 🙂 After a little practice, they took it on the clay road to visit the people group that Alfredo and Fabia will be working with. It was an insightful visit for Jevon, as the people were VERY different than the people he grew up with and the people Alfredo worked with before.
Well…sometimes it was easier to start than others.
Alfredo and Fabia’s front fence and coconut trees. The yard is too wet to really walk in, though.
this couple was chillin’ on somebody’s roof across the street.
look at the parrots, Mom!
Lais’s birthday…two days before Christmas.
The crowns are because Fabia told the kids the story of Esther…God’s princess who was beautiful not only on the outside, but especially on the INSIDE. She had me translate for our girls to understand…and thus it became my first official translating job for a speaker. 😉 Good thing it was a story I already knew well.
The moment we’ve been waiting for: CHRISTmas Eve!
The girls in their pretty Christmas dresses, waiting for the Christmas service to start.
I was very excited to understand alot of what the pastor said about who Jesus is and what He does.
A new thing for us: eating the Christmas meal lat at night OUTDOORS in a nice warm breeze on Christmas Eve.
Alot of Brazilians traditionally eat the Christmas meal at midnight.
Isaiah slept…graças a Deus!
Kiki wasn’t so far behind him.
Trying to mix it up with people, but it was hard to hear in the crowd, and hard to think in Portuguese that late at night.
The kids woke up to a few treats from Daddy and Mommy in their little socks, and to a present from Tio and Tia at the foot of their bed.
Our kids also got a present from Grandma Studtmann before breakfast.
Christmas dinner – Santos and Rich family style…in the daytime. 🙂
We finished our Christmas day with a family meeting…with a couple songs in Portuguese and a couple in English. Alfredo spoke to his family and Jevon spoke to his…about how Jesus left his “chiqui” (fancy) home in heaven and chose to be born in a very simple context that was far from chiqui, even though He is the King.
Everyday Life Together:
okay so this picture is really dark but it has a good story. That is Cali below, standing on three flipflops and hopping up and down. She is trying to kill her first cockroach sized bug…which turned out not to be a cockroach, but was just as hard to kill (or harder) than a cockroach. She is standing on three flipflops because the first one…and two…did not work. lol.
reinforcements…her faithful friend Lais came on the scene with a broom.
And half an hour later we find them…still killing the bug. Eventually it did get demolished and swept off the porch.
where is the basin?
who took this picture when i wasn’t looking? 12 days after getting off the plane my ears still hadn’t equalized pressure. the worst thing about it was it made hearing harder, and while being immersed in a second language on the fourth month of study, hearing is REALLY important. it’s not like i couldn’t hear sound, but everyone sounded far away, and similar sounds were difficult to differentiate. sometimes I don’t understand the things God does…even in the small stuff like that, (“I thought I was supposed to be learning lots of Portuguese, here, God!” but we trust Him always. i thought the reason for the ear problem was probably because of sinus congestion and a complicated cold…thus the towel and pan of hot water.
eventually after a few more days and a culture-shocked trip to the small town doctor and yet another couple of days…God answered prayer and popped my ears open. oh sweet sounds of Portuguese!…clear as bells.
bedtime rough-play for the little boy, with Daddy and Tio
floating canoes in the yard (it is wet season!)
books. Cali reading to Lais in English. 🙂 and Lais patiently listening.
talking on the back porch
stringing beads. (those are dyed açai seeds.)
clean up crew
did we mention that our friends live in Venice?
just kidding. it’s only wet season in Amazonas.
Jevon shaved for New Year’s Eve…what do you think?
New Year’s Eve
everybody all dressed up…quick! get pictures while we are waiting for the church meeting to start!
The Alfredo and Fabia family – one of the answers to prayer God gave us in the year 2012.
Feliz Ano Novo, Amor da Minha Vida!
dancing in pretty dresses with friends in the back of the church, happily waiting for the meeting to start.
and 4 out of 5 didn’t last much longer after the church meeting started. 🙂 Only Cali stayed up with the adults until midnight. There was a big meal in a different building after the service..but we didn’t want to split up our families, so Jevon and I with Alfredo and Fabia ate together by flashlight in the dark room where our kids slept. 🙂 we took turns going out to fill plates and wish other people Feliz Ano Novo. Life is a little different after kids than before, but none of us were sad. We have each other.
One thing I wished I had a picture of was the streets outside, packed with people…cars and motorcycles weaving slowly through the crowd of people standing around in the street in their pretty summer dresses and shorts, under the starry sky with music blaring and fireworks going off here and there and people calling to friends on other people’s porches. Where I’ve lived, the cold streets were always pretty empty and people’s parties were mostly indoors. 🙂
New Year’s Breakfast
Our two young families enjoyed a much more lively New Year’s morning than Eve…:) with a special breakfast of our American egg casserole and their traditional Brazilian holiday bread – big fluffy yellow round loaf interlaced with smooth chocolate cream.
I meant to go to a lady’s meeting at church and listen to Fabia give a very good devotional in Portuguese, which I was able to get the jist of, more or less.
I did not mean to end up in front…but after agreeing beforehand that I wouldn’t speak because I can’t speak Portuguese yet, the Pastor’s wife called me to the front in the middle of the meeting, anyways. So I was really on the spot and did a terrible job because I didn’t even have a chance to write anything down and have it checked by someone who speaks Portuguese, but my best guess culturally was that it was probably better to fumble around trying to speak than to refuse the Pastor’s wife’s insistent invitation to come up front. I asked the pastor’s daughter, Jamili, to stand beside me and I asked her for phrases I couldn’t figure out how to say. Fabia was laughing for joy at my distress and taking lots of pictures. lol. what a good friend.
the ladies of the church…muitas gentes boa!
oh and um…Isaiah got a new style.
Walk around Town – Fruits and Flora
Guava tree and ripening fruit.
Cashew fruit…there was a prettier one but Jevon ate it before I got the picture. 🙂 no amount of protest could make him regret it…lol. “it tasted good.” he said. I personally have yet to be convinced that they are even edible…they pucker the skin of your mouth so sharply.
Jevon getting an “acetona” for each of the girls…he will almost for sure get chiggers for this but for love of his daughters and commitment to their Brazilian experience 🙂 …
i’m not sure what these actually would be called in English because they are not olives, even though everybody calls them olive in Portuguese: “acetona”.
this street is lined with açai trees. and it is wet season, as you can see.
close up of açai berries on the palm.
banana plant…can you see the baby bananas growing?
somebody’s sugar cane garden.
did I say yet that it was wet season?