Sunday, March 13, 2016


We didn't spend as much time in the office this week as we normally do. On Monday we went down town to get our CPF (like a social security card). We went about a year without one, even though they ask for it every time we buy groceries. We will need one for medical receipts. Last Friday we took our documentation to the post office (close to the apartments) and paid our fees (about $1.75 each) and got a receipt. On Monday we went to Shopping Light downtown and picked up our CPF numbers. We didn't get back to the office until after noon. We saw some areas of São Paulo we hadn't seen before.
Sculpture in a city park
Municipal Theater
After returning from downtown we went to pick up the results of Diane's blood tests. They finally found them and we got to the office about 3 pm. At least it was in time for Family Home Evening.

Tuesday was the day for Diane's MRI. We had an appointment for 12:30 pm, but didn't get in until about 2:30 pm. We finished about 3:45 pm and got something to eat to hold us over until dinner.

Isn't she cute in her MRI outfit?
Diane's laptop has had problems picking up WiFi so she took it to the office. She downloaded instructions from the Internet which told her how to open the laptop and check the WiFi card. Swapping cards helped it work in the office, but it still has problems in the apartment. Wednesday afternoon we went to ElDorado Shopping to look for possible video cameras stakes can purchase for webcast. We didn't find any, but had a good break. As we were leaving we saw two security men chasing a man who must have stolen something. He jumped a barrier and got away, but lost his flip-flops in the process.
Easter table setting at El Dorado Shopping
On Wednesday evenings we meet with Christa and Allen for practicing English as part of the Pathway Program. They are doing very well.

Crista and Allen
We got word that Paulo needed to run some errands on Thursday so we decided to go with him to price video cameras. He first took us to Shopping Morumbi, a very high-class mall.

High tech at Shopping Morumbi
 The city was building a monorail system. There was a big fraud scandal with the contractor so the construction stopped. We don't know when (or if) it will start again. Meanwhile we have some giant sculptures in the district of Brooklin.
The Brooklin corruption sculpture
We then went to Ifigênia street, famous for electronics shops. You can find anything on Ifigênia street (if it is related to technology) in one of the many small shops along the street. Sure enough, I was able to find and price the video cameras we wanted. The street is crowded with a lot of people yelling  to attract your attention for their wares.

Ifigênia Street

Electronics wonderland
 Paulo then had to deliver some papers in a rougher section of town. It was good to have him as a body guard, however, he dislikes the city even more than we do.

Urban living
Amplified salesman
We didn't get back until it was time to return to the apartment. We returned in the rain, which continued most of the night.

Friday morning we went to the hospital to pick up the MRI report. We had a 2:30 pm meeting with the doctor to tell us the results. Sure enough, Diane broke her ankle about 3 months ago and it has fused together. She needs physical therapy to help it heal and to reduce the pain. 

We had another excursion on Saturday with the senior couples. We went to Holambra, about 2-hours out of São Paulo. It is a little Dutch town known for flowers. About half of the cut flowers in Brazil come from Holambra. We went in a 15-passanger van to Holumbra where we picked up a small school bus (yes, it was crowded because it was designed for children) for a small tour of the city.
Flower farm
Lots of flowers
Our school bus
Modern farming
 After visiting the flowers we went into the town to look at a windmill, have lunch, and look in the gift shops.
Holumbria windmill
Pretty flower in town
Look what we found for Kamary
 There was a family of Capaveras in the city park. It is the largest living rodent. Some people use them for pets.
Capavera family
 We then got back in the larger van for our 2-hour trip back to São Paulo to get home in time for the evening session of stake conference.
Gateway out of the city
Our stake president (São Paulo stake) has been called as a mission president in Angola so he was released this conference. Elder Aidukaitis presided at the conference. He always speaks with a lot of excitement. He has a heavy gaúcho accent, but excellent grammar. He gave a masterpiece talk on Saturday about the Savior and how we all showed faith in him in our pre-mortal life. Those who asked, "what if he fails?" didn't make it to their second estate. He also gave an excellent talk about self-sufficiency on Sunday. I didn't expect to know any of the new presidency, but I knew them all. President Ret, the new stake president was the 2nd counselor and is in our ward. The first counselor is also in our ward and sits on the bench in front of us most Sundays. The second counselor is the Director of Temporal Affairs (DTA) for the area. 
Pres Ret is the one singing with his iPad
Even though we didn't do a lot in the office this week we were kept busy. We'll see what next week brings.

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