Sunday, April 19, 2015

Another day another dollar

So, what do we do here? Let me give you a typical day... The alarm goes off at 6:00 am which starts our day. We exercise, shower, eat breakfast, and get ready to leave the apartment around 8 am. On Mondays we need to be in the office for an 8 am devotional. Other days of the week we need to be there by 8:30 am so we can get through the back gates before they close. We have two ways to walk to the office, both requiring us to cross Avenida Professor Francisco Morato, a busy street. The most direct way is to walk along Ave Morato and enter the front gate, which is very noisy. The second way is to take the back roads to the rear gate, which is nice and peaceful.

We give a lesson on the Leadership Pattern (a training program set up for church employees) in English every day from 9:00 - 9:30. Sometimes we only get through one slide of the lesson, but that's OK because we have no time schedule to finish the program. We then work on technology - updating the spreadsheet of technology specialists (Sister Wheeler is getting quite proficient in Excel) or preparing training modules of the time we will be visiting the coordinating councils across the country. We do this while the rest of the group answers phone calls about anything technological that doesn't work for church employees, mission presidents, or the CTM. They are the ones who have to solve the difficult problems. Most of them live a long way away from the office and may take up to two hours of travel each direction.

We usually go to the temple cafeteria for lunch (except on Monday when it's closed) for a good Brazilian lunch for about $5 for the two of us. On Monday we can go across the street to the mall for a more expensive lunch and a lot more noise. Come about 5:00 pm we go back home (a 10-minute walk). On Monday and Wednesday we have a half-hour choir practice for a big meeting scheduled in the mosque at the end of the month. We have now been disinvited because of time. There are many churches and dignitaries who want to speak at the occasion that they won't have 5 minutes for the choir. We will sing at several other occasions, however.

In the evenings we have a nice home-cooked meal. We often go to the market on Tuesday evenings to get stocked up with groceries. On Friday morning we often leave early and go to the Feira for fruits and vegetables. Other evenings we are free to remain at the apartment to read or watch TV, etc. or we may go out for a movie.

As you can see, our life isn't really exciting, but we have work to do and good people to be around as we do it. Now of the photos of the week:
The sun on a hazy day
 We had a guest speaker for Family Home Evening - Alex who had quite a story. He grew up in Bahia  where his family was so poor they were often evicted from their home. He joined the church, left school to go on a mission, got involved in the production of the short movie "Brazil, Meu Lar" and went on to work with Faye Dunaway in Hollywood. His parents were opposed to the direction he took in joining the church, but felt better after he was able to buy them a house. He left all of this to work for church productions in Brazil
Alex, our producer
 This was the last week for the Fergusons who went home on Tuesday.
Goodbye gifts
 We like our back-street walks to the office.
A green wall with green plants
 The streets really have deep dips. This bus got caught on one in front of out apartment.
Stuck bus
We have already mentioned the parrots that like the trees around the temple.
Anyone for a free parrot?
On Friday mornings we go to the Feira, an open-air market.
A melon cutter
 We have a basketball court in on the church property.
Hey, that's not basketball they are playing it's soccer!
Our office building taken from the mall
The train in the mall
 I came down with a cold and spent Saturday morning resting. In the afternoon I had to get out so we went on a little walk around the neighborhood. By now you should know that a little walk is really longer than we expect it to be.

The São Paulo soccer stadium
 We saw signs to the Palácio dos Bandeirantes and didn't know what it was so we stopped (we needed the rest) and saw it. It ended up being the home and government offices of the Governor of São Paulo state.
Entrence to the palácio
 We had to wait for the next tour which gave us time to sit in the shade and look at the orchids.
The grand hall
Here we are :-)
 We had another family on the tour with us. The father was from Goa (a Portuguese area of India) and the mother from Mozambique. They met in Mozambique and got married in Portugal where they raised their family. One daughter is finishing a residency in São Paulo and the other studying economics. Paulo, our tour guide (next to Sister Wheeler in the photo) had trouble understanding them at times.
Our palace tour group
 My cold was worse in the morning so I stayed home listening to the Mormon Channel while Sister Wheeler went to church at the Morumbi Ward. We have an old apartment building across from us that looks fairly drab except for one apartment that puts flags outside their window to brighten things up.

We like the flags
Another week has gone by and we are still alive (I think). Our choir was asked to sing for an area public relations meeting tonight. I took some decongestant and got through OK, even playing the harmonica (with guitar and flute) for an instrumental interlude. It was raining when we got out and we forgot the umbrella so we are soaked.

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