Saturday, February 23, 2013

Futbol de Brasil

 Sunday Jess and I went with a group of people to a Ponte Preta game and like many things in Brasil, it did not disappoint.  Crowds here take their team very seriously, think Duke vs. UNC times 10,000. They played Santos, Neymar's team, and the place was packed.

  The game started at 6:00, which was perfect because if it had been in the middle of the day it would have been hot, hot, hot. 

They let the opposing team's fans in at a separate entrance and have a wall, empty section, and multiple armed guards sectioning them off.

Ponte Preta cheer! 

There he is, blonde hair and all!  He was so quick and even scored, but they called the goal back because he was offsides. 

After we scored they cover the stands with the Ponte Preta flag.  Jess seemed to like this. :) 

Beautiful night for soccer.  

Unfortunately Neymar was attacking the opposite goal and then got a red card before the half was over, so we didn't get to see him up close.  

Neymar was hounded by the press as soon as he left the game.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Let Me Take You to Rio

As our flight to Rio was taking off that infamous song from the animation film Rio was stuck in my head.  I was so excited to be going to Rio, but wasn't sure if I'd be down for all the crazy.  We left Friday after school and boy am I glad we did.  We arrived after a flight that was a little bumpy thanks to the "broken" weather (the Captain's words).  We hopped on a bus and two hours later arrived at our hotel on Copacabana beach (I use the word on loosely).  We freshened up and went to find some dinner.  The board walk was packed and it was close to 11:00 at night.  We were exhausted after a long day of work and then the "broken" flight so we headed back to bed so we could get up early for some beach time.  

Saturday we woke up, but on our suits, and headed to the beach.  It was so great to feel the rays of sunshine on my face and hear the crashing waves.  We laid on the beach for a couple hours, but then headed to a little bar/restaurant to wait for our friends coming on later flights. Brazil knows how to do pastels and cold beer.  Of course, we had to try Rio's pastels. 

We spent the rest of Saturday hanging out with our friends and at the beach, it was an early night for us on Saturday.  Sunday was much of the same, beach and sun. 

During Carnaval people dress up in whatever costumes they want.  It's similar to Halloween, but lasts a week and people are much crazier. 

On Monday night at 8 we headed to the Metro to go to the Sambadrome.  It was unreal and the most over the top parade I have ever seen.  It puts the Macy's parade to shame.  It was so much fun to watch all the different schools perform.

Each school has 90 minutes to preform on the strip. There are multiple sections in each school with different costumes, floats, queens, and samba dancers.  Each school has a theme, some more cohesive than others, but all breathtaking and detailed to the last sequin. 

Sadly, we didn't make it the whole 10 hours, we left around 3 in the morning.  Our friends made it even further into the night/morning staying until almost 6 AM!  Yeah, not me, this girl loves her sleep too much, plus I felt like after seeing 4.5 out of the six schools I had a pretty good idea of Carnaval.  Although the last school was the school that won the whole Sambadrome, so we could have seen their performance, but I was happy in my bed fast asleep.  

Tuesday was our last full day, so what did we do? 

Ipanema beach of course.  We were all craving the amazing sandwiches at Post 9, so Stetson, Jess, and I walked on over to Ipanema.  We soaked up all the sun, sand, and food/drinks we could for our last day in Rio.  We decided to take the long way back to our hotel and walked to boardwalk.  Such amazing views and lots of good people watching assured us we made the right decision.  

Tuesday night we tried another Anthony Bordain recommendation, Galeto Sat's. It was a little hole in the wall, but had amazing chicken, broccoli rice, and some other Brazilian side dishes. 

The trip went so fast, but we will definitely be back soon.  Next time we will do the Christ Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, and Botanical Gardens, we just didn't want to deal with the huge crowds of tourists that were there for Carnaval.   

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Being Intentional

God has been teaching me a lot about being intentional in my living.  I am currently reading Kisses from Katie, an amazing book written by a twenty something year old about the journey God is taking her on in Uganda.  Throughout the book I can feel her passion, intensity, and love for God and doing what he wants her to in her life.  She lives each moment purposefully and intentionally, something I struggle so much with.  I often just go through the motions of my daily life, not realizing that I can truly impact people for eternity and that God has me in this exact moment for a reason.  It is humbling, if you think about it...the God of the universe loves me so much that He has chosen a place for me in His big plan. 

It is not a coincidence that I have each one of my 19 students in my class this year. 
It is not a coincidence that I am living in Brazil. 
The people I am meeting here are not coincidences.  
It is not a coincidence that our shipment is taking FOREVER to get here. 
It is not a coincidence that I woke up this morning.  

I am challenging myself to be more intentional in my life.  I want to seek God in everything I do, not just my quiet time, worship, and church time.  I want to see Him in the little things daily.  Like noticing the vibrant purple flowers on my run the other day.  Or laughing when a student asks a question about the directions I just gave.  While it is hard to be intentional, I feel it is honoring God and to try is one of the best ways I can show Him my love.