Monday, February 8, 2016

The Devil's Cave

It sounds like we live in a very dangerous place. For Family Home Evening we had the head of security talk to us. He told us about all the problems that are around and how to help prevent them. Our leadership training moved from daily at 9 am to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 1 pm. We decided to do our grocery shopping Monday at noon.
Clean fruit and vegetables
On Tuesday we were ready to go to lunch when people from travel came and asked us if we could find a place for Elder & Sister Clark to rest. They just got to São Paulo on their way to Manaus (go figure) and don't leave until evening so we took them to our apartment for lunch and a rest.

The Clarks, tired, but alive
I had a meeting this week with the church engineers and a representative from Phidellis (the company who makes the equipment for chapel sound systems). I commented on how bad the system is in our chapel so they decided to update it. It is the building used by many general authorities when they come to Brazil.

Friday morning we had a meeting with Elder Aidukaitis of the area presidency to update him on our work and get permission for the direction we are going this year. It seems he is pleased with what we are doing and likes our plans, so we will proceed.

Friday night we went to El Dorado shopping to celebrate Elder DePaula's 79th birthday. We went Mexican.

Elder DePaula
We are in the season of Carnaval. It is a 4-day holiday so Saturday through Tuesday the office will be closed. On Saturday we decided to leave town, just like the other 22 million people in São Paulo. So, 15 of us got in a van at 6 am and went to Parque Estadual Caverna do Diabo (Devil's Cave state park). It is in the very southern part of São Paulo state. With Carnaval traffic and construction it took us 6 1/2 hours to get there. 

Houses along the road - notice the satellite dish
 It was very nice to get out of the city into nature. We arrived just after noon and headed for the cave.
Caverna do Diabo
Park restaurant
 The park is in the Atlantic Rainforest ecosystem. Only about 8% of this ecosystem remains. It is more endangered than the Amazon rainforest.
Bird nest with a head and tail
Trees of the rainforest
Local critter
Forest stream
 The cave is like many we have visited with many stalagmite and stalactite formations.
River in the cave
Large column
Baby elephant
Leaning formations from falling
Rock flows
 We followed along the Ribeiro River to return to the main highway. The river was brown from sediments from recent rains.
Ribeirão River
We stopped for a late lunch at a roadside convenience center. they had a little village beside the restaurant.

Lunch with the pig 
We found a waterwheel
Pretty girl at a pretty house of music
It was a lot of riding, but it was good to get out of the city. There is another Brazil out there.

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