Sunday, March 6, 2016

Doctors and Snakes

For Family Home Evening on Monday we had a lesson on China from the Burkes who spent two separate years there teaching English for BYU. It brought back memories of our visit to China.

We have been going through files on the computer to organize our work so someone else can figure out what we have been doing. For example we had over 100 PowerPoints, some duplicates, some previous versions, some in development, and some never used. Being the end of the month, Diane started compiling the metrics for technology specialists.

We had an early meeting Wednesday with the director of finances for the area to figure out how to handle travel. He said we could get a credit card to use for travel. It will make it much easier (especially for our replacements). I was surprised when I arrived at the Portuguese class on Wednesday. They had treats and some thank-you gifts to show appreciation for teaching the class. It was really thoughtful.

Friday morning I took Diane to the hospital so she could have them check on her ankle she sprained three months ago and still hurts. The hospital is only a block from our apartment complex.

The Leforte Hospital
After getting signed in we waited for a consolation with the doctor. He suggested having an MRI to see the condition of the tendons. This meant going across the street to the hospital lab for some blood work (and returning next Monday to pick up the results), going in on Tuesday for the MRI, then returning next Friday for the results. It took us most of the morning.
Waiting patiently
When we returned to the office we were invited to join the team for lunch at a new churrasco place where they were cooking the meat on a fire they built outside the building. It took quite a while to order the food and the others were short on time so they headed off to another place and we went to the apartment for lunch.
In the evening we went to the theater on Paulista Ave to see a movie, Concussion, that would start about 6 pm. It ended up they didn't have that showing so everyone decided to eat first then go to an 8:50 pm showing. It seemed quite late for us so we went to eat with them with the intent to go home afterward. Diane decided she wanted to go to the movie so we did, getting home about 11:30 pm. It was a late night.

The Hales had a big Saturday activity planned and invited anyone to go along. It ended up we were the only other ones to go, so we had a foursome.

We took the bus to the metro station then walked to the Butantan Institute (part of the University of São Paulo). It is a biological research center specializing in microbiology and antivenin for snakes. 

Selfy outside the Microbiology Exhibit
The institute has a large collection of laboratories and museums in a wooded area. 
Ready to walk up the path to the institute
One of the tree museums
They had an outdoors snake pit showing several snakes they work with.
Snake in the grass
In front of the library
 While we were there two members of the church stopped and talked with us. It is always nice to be recognized by our name tags.
Elder Hale talkes to members
Boa constrictor in a tree
 We always like meeting new people as we go on these side trips.
Workers preparing another exhibit
 The first museum we entered taught us all about microbiology. It included a lot of educational information about common (and less common) diseases. There were several microscopes set up to look at microorganisms. I could actually see them. It made me want to study microbiology.
No, Paul, that's a stack of glass bottles, not a microscope
Microscopes in the exhibit hall
Famous scientists in microbiology
As we were walking to the next exhibit a boy rolled down the window of his car and said, "Look, the missionaries". It was a young LDS family living in Brazil. The father works for the state department.
Looks like a Mormon minivan
 The second museum had a lot of snakes and other reptiles in enclosures. It made me want to study serpentology.
Snake in the glass
From there we went to the museum that showed the history of the institute with old laboratory equipment.

The history museum
Old scales (major or minor?)
Serpents on the wall and pathway
 It was a lot of fun to visit the Butantan Institute.
Leaving the institute
We then took a bus ride to Feria Lima street where we had a late lunch. Another bus took us to an old church "Nossa Senhora do Brasil". It was like a lot of the Baroque churches in Brazil. 
Nossa Senhora do Brasil
Azulejos - Portuguese tile
Is this the Cistene Chapel?
The alter
Side porch
 A lot of the Brazilians in São Paulo want to have their weddings in this chapel. We can see why - it is beautiful. We attended a baptism there. The parents were told that the baby was too young to remember what was said so they should bring her back when she is 19 for communion.
Flower outside the church
 We started walking toward a bus stop on Brasil Ave and passed some grand buildings. Sister Hale decided she would return to Brazil and live in one of them.
Sis Hale's new home
 We passed another one that looked like it was open. It was a home furnishing store with a lot of modern fixtures. We enjoyed looking through it.
Home Depot São Paulo style
This house had at least 20 bathrooms
Exhibit of Brazilian city profiles
We got back in the evening tired. After a short rest we cleaned the apartment and had leftovers for dinner.

We had another fast Sunday today. They seem to come quicker than when we first arrived in Brazil. We start with Priesthood/Relief Society meetings at 9am then have Sunday School, followed by Sacrament Meeting. There are a lot of people who like to bear their testimonies. They keep them short so more people can participate. Technology is alive and well in the Church (at least in São Paulo). Today in priesthood meeting the pianist used an iPad for a hymn book, the conductor used his iPhone, and several of us used iPads. Who needs books?

High-tech priesthood meeting

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