Last day in Floripa!

April 3, 2010

These last weeks have been full of excitement, new experiences and new impressions. I have been snorkeling on a little island, been to a truly brazilian football game, paddled in the Atlantic ocean and gone hiking.

I have also said goodbye to many of my friends, who are traveling home for Easter. Me and Hilde had our last day in the favela this week, and it was with mixed feelings I left. I was kind of happy, knowing that I had completed my work there, but kind of sad thinking about all the kids and workers there who I most likely will not see again. We also had our last bible group, our last meeting with Munil and tomorrow will be our last service here in Florianópolis. Today I even took the dogs out for a last trip around the neighborhood.

It has been a wonderful experience to be here in Florianópolis, and I have met so many friendly people. I leave here with more knowledge, which I hope will be useful in the future. The people here have included me in their community, their families, and their lives. Especially thanks to my host family, obrigado!


78, 68, 34

February 9, 2010

Veeeeeeeery long time since last time, I know. Sorry!

Since last time a LOT of things have happened. I’ve had a lot of vacation, since the summer vacation has started in Brazil, and during this time there is not much to do in the church or in the favela.

One of the more exciting things we did was to visit a church project in Laguna, south of Florianópolis, where I’m living.

The local church was an old factory, and it was only 6 months old. We got the job to go around and inform everyone in the area about this new Lutheran church.
And so we did, 4 days in a row. We were splitted up in teams, and walked through the favela, handing out flyers and talking with people. We were supposed to re-visit some people that some other church members visited 6 months ago. This turned out to be quite a test.

We had the addresses we were supposed to visit, and a map with all the street names. This came in handy, as there were no signs with street names on. Also, the number system was a big challenge. I’m used to that the numbers start in one end of the street, and end at the other. Not in the favela. I’m not sure how this came to be, but the numbers of the houses were scattered all over the place. We saw 78, 68 and 34 right beside each other. Add a baking sun and tired feet, and you’ll get the picture.

But still, we always found a way. Even though we did not always find the house we were looking for, we always met someone who we could talk about Jesus with. I have never seen such spontaneous openness to the word of God as I did there. It was not necessary to chit-chat about other things first, it was just straight on, and people reacted with being open and sharing their experiences.

I also met one old lady in the favela who insisted on that I was a girl, and a drunk man who hated everything in the world except my hair.

All the people who worked on the project did everything together the entire day. We ate together, sang together and every evening there was a short service. The girls slept in a house, while the boys slept in the church. It was a nice place, except for the casual mouse peeling by and not the best shower in the world. The scariest thing by far was the last night, when a scorpion came crawling right behind my computer.

But even so, it was a very nice trip. I met a lot of fantastic people who I will never forget, and I truly got to experience the power that lies in the word of God.

Feliz Natal!

December 22, 2009

Christmas is closing in, and it truly is strange. I walk around in shorts and sandals while hearing Christmas songs and seeing big Christmas trees in the middle of roundabouts. Still, it’s comforting. I don’t experience any stress with buying presents, and it makes it easier to focus on the real meaning of Christmas: an action of divinity, which had unbelieveable (or believeable) consequences for all of mankind. Like a father who stretches down to help his child, God stretches down to us to help us.

Yesterday me and my host family travelled to Blumenau to celebrate an early Christmas with relatives. Among many of their Christmas traditions, one caught my attention; they had made paper hearts, on which every member of the family would write what they were thankful for. Then they would hang these hearts on the tree. A tree decorated with gratitude!
Once again I experienced the tremendous hospitality of Brazilians. The grandparents of my host family opened up their house to me, gave me presents and nothing but smiles and laughter. They had even rented a Santa Claus for the kids!

It was an amazing trip, and I also got to see more of the German influence on Brazilian culture, which is the subject of my first paper to Hald.

On Friday, my family will arrive here in Florianópolis. We will stay in Floripa one week, and then travel to Foz do Iguazu in Brazil, and also Paraguay and Argentina, before we spend some days in Rio de Janeiro. I think it will be great! Norwegian chocolate, hehe.

So, until next time, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Hillsong United + roadtrip!

November 22, 2009

At the very first student meeting here I saw a poster for a Hillsong United show in Porto Alegre, and me and Hilde decided to go! We were supposed to take a bus together with other people from the congregation, but suddenly, some days before the concert, we were told there wasn’t enough room. Luckily, our friend Rodrigo and his classmate were going there by car, so we hitched a ride with them.
The GPS told us the trip would take about 6 hours, but because of “engarrafamento” (traffic jams) the trip took almost 12 hours. The worst part was standing still for 1 hour, in the burning sun, right behind a garbage truck. We arrived very tired at 01.00.

We were going to spend the night in the house of the family of Rodrigo’s friend, but they expected us to arrive much earlier. I thought that since they expected us at around nine o’clock, the family would not be awake, and that we had to be silent and maybe fill our hungry stomachs in the morning. And then I experienced the unbelieveable hospitality of brazilians; the whole family was up, they had made all our beds ready, and had prepared a warm meal for us. Amazing!

The next day we drove into Porto Alegre and went to the city’s best churrascaria (barbecue restaurant). I had food on my plate after sitting at the table for 10 seconds. Later we visited the Metropolitan Cathedral, and a huge shopping mall (which we got lost in).

The concert was magnificent. Great light show, great performers and great atmosphere. The pastor from Hillsong church was also there, and held a great speech and reminded us that they did not come there to entertain us, but to worship God with us.

We were supposed to sleep at another friend of Rodrigo’s in Porto Alegre, but we did not manage to contact her. So we asked if we could sleep at the same place as we did the day before. We were more than welcome! We arrived sleepy at 04.00 in the night. I entered to find my bed made, and everything in order to get a good nights sleep. The next day we had barbecue for breakfast. I love Brazil.


November 7, 2009

Last weekend was awesome! Got up at 3 o’clock to take the bus to Ituporanga! Long journey, but RadioResepsjonen on podcast kept me company. When we arrived my first reaction was; “Brazilians have a totally wrong idea about camping!”. Everyone were putting up their tents inside this big cement building! With a roof over it! I didn’t understand it until the sun really kicked in for the day. One word: WARM. Camping in that heat is impossible, almost dangerous, so to stay in the shade people camp under roofs!

The camp was nice, lots of people (2000), lots of worship, seminars, and speeches. I did not understand much of it though. All the heat made me really sleepy, so I slept very much in the tent. And I found out that brazilians make amazing food, even when they’re on camp! Thumbs up for the food!

Among the strange things on the camp there was a Christian country band all dressed up with cowboy hats with song titles like “Jesus is my sheriff”, and “Cowboy of God”. Loved it.

Know Your Onion!

October 31, 2009

Alot of things have been happening since last time, I’ll try to sum it up:

-Got lost while trying to get to the favela
-Visited a big church gathering
-Actually had a successful trip with the dogs
-Visited many beaches
-Really started working

So, my schedule is kind of getting complete! I have many tasks related with music, which I am really happy with! I will also work in the favela at least two times every week, something I look forward to.

Tomorrow we are going to a camp which lasts until Monday. The place where the camp is going to be is called “The land of onion”, because of all the onion farmers. I have seen some pictures from former camps, it seems great! The bus leaves tonight at 04.00, so maybe I should be getting to bed.

I’ll bring my camera on the trip (I keep forgetting to bring it) so I’ll post some photos next week!:)

Who let the dogs out?

October 19, 2009

My host family here in Brazil have two dogs with very different personalities.

Leika and Luna

Laika and Luna

Laika is the smallest, but oldest. She’s the boss. I have never ever heard her bark. She loves to play, and fetch tennis balls. Luna is the biggest, but youngest. She is not the boss. I hear her bark everyday. She likes to play, but not so much as Leika. I have never seen her fetch anything.

They both like to go on trips, which I discovered a couple of days ago. They went wild as soon as I touched the leashes. Due to my inexperience with dogs, I attached the leash wrong, but I didn’t notice it. So as I was taking them down the street, Luna suddenly pulled her head out of the leash, and started to run away. I was shouting (in german, they’re trained that way) at her, telling her to come back, when suddenly Laika did the same.

So there I am, chasing two dogs through a neighborhood while shouting my limited german at them.

They ran to a roundabout which was full of mud and water. I was panicking, and therefore I jumped out in the roundabout, ran through the mud (bye-bye nice shoes) and tried to get them. Laika came over to me, and I put the leash back on her. Then I tried to get Luna over, with little success. She ran around, chasing birds and swimming in ponds. She loved every minute of it. When I finally got her back, I heard a whistle. It was the son in my host family. He’d been watching for 3 minutes, laughing. I have to admit, it must have looked hilarious.

So ever since the trip, Luna has wanted me to take her on another, probably hoping for another little adventure on her own. Apparently, I’m not the only one who like to see new places on my own. Well, at least I now know how to put the leash on properly.

Hiking trip!

October 11, 2009

I went on a trip yesterday with many people from the congregation. We walked from one beach to another beach and then to another beach and then we ended the trip on a beach! The nature of this place is just stunning! I took some pictures:

To witness such amazing nature makes me speechless. To stand just a few meters away from roaring waves, to watch the vultures as they fly by; it’s awesome! It’s hard to put thoughts into words when you’re watching it.

Impressions of Florianópolis

October 8, 2009

Let me just start by telling of the journey to Floripa (nickname for Florianópolis). The long-distance buses in Brazil are much better than in Norway. Big, comfortable seats, and a lot of space for your feet. I slept part of the 4-hour drive, read a little, and listened to music. I was feeling a little tired when I suddenly saw the first sign pointing towards Floripa. What an energy booster! Just as we were approaching the bridge which connects the island to the mainland, Bob Dylan sang the last words of his song “Billy 4”;

“Billy, you’re so far away from home”

When we arrived at the bus station, Rafaela (our “boss” in Floripa) welcomed us along with her husband and also the father and the daughter of Hilde’s host family. We drove directly from there to the house of my host family to eat pizza. I was amazed at the beautiful house. My family consists of a father and two sons. One of the sons is studying in Germany, so I am using his room while he’s gone. There is also two dogs (dalmatians), who are really cool.

The first day the father of my host family took us on a sort of sightseeing, and we went to the top of one of the mountains, to a place called Morro da Cruz. I would have loved to show you pictures, but my camera has stopped working. The view was amazing, and on the top of the mountain there was a big cross. while we were there, a white dove landed on the cross. Now there’s symbolism for you!

We have not been designated many tasks yet, as we only have spent two days here, but I think we’ll have a great time here. The people here are always welcoming and friendly, and it seems that people are more relaxed here than in Curitiba. We have been meeting many students, and today we took part in arranging a lunch for students from UFSC, which is the only federal university in the state.

Tomorrow we are going to start learning some Portuguese! Looking forward to it!

Curitiba —> Florianópolis!

October 6, 2009

Sitting all alone in the house right now, prepared to leave in 2 hours. I’ve had a great time in Curitiba! Visited many parks, met many great people and experienced many new things. Chocolate-pizza? Check. It was really good, and really strange. One of the things I was really surprised about was the local pharmacy. You can get anything there. Chocolate, chips, bread, milk, juice, Guaraná (Amazing! Been drinking it everyday since I got here), and everything else you are used to find in a food store.

The last days have been really good, just taking things slowly, talking with our contact person and getting used to things. One of the most surprising things for me was the differences in this country, and how little separation there is between the rich and the poor.. One neighbor can live in a shed while the other neighbor is living in luxury.

I’ve been trying to upload some images to my blog, but I think my connection isn’t good enough, or my pictures are too big. Either way, I’ll post some up when I get the chance.

Me and Hilde are leaving for Florianópolis soon, we’re taking the bus. I’ve only heard good things about the buses in Brazil, so I’m not worried about spending 4 hours on one. When we arrive we will be met by our host families. I am really looking forward to meeting them.

Until then, goodbye!:)