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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » Travels » Brazil, Day One

Brazil, Day One

It’s been a long time since I have written an article. Since I embarked on the France-Kyrgyzstan trip last fall, many things have happened. I played a year of football. The Avengers came out. My baby sister was born. But now, here I am at the keyboard. And here I am in Manaus, Brazil: ready to try more things, eat more food, and do more work for the Lord.

To you give some background: my dad had received a request to go down to Brazil to install a load of new telephones for a ministry that works down there, and he invited me to come along. I didn’t want to turn down a chance to go to Brazil (duh), so I said yes. We packed our suitcases, and we packed up the phones, and we set out for the city of Manaus last Wednesday. To start the journey, we left for the Chattanooga airport a little after two in the afternoon; our flight embarked from there at 3:55. After a short delay at the beginning, that flight then took us to the Atlanta airport, and from there we caught a flight to Miami, where we ate supper, rendezvoused with another computer expert that came with us, and stayed the night in a hotel. During the plane rides, I spent the time reading, watching movies, and looking at the beautiful clouds outside the window.

The next morning, we woke up at five (a rare occurrence for me), received a complimentary pat-down from TSA while going through security (an even more rare occurrence for me), and skipped breakfast (something that happens about as often as Halley’s Comet). We did eat on the plane, though, and the food was delicious. As we approached the landing strip in Manaus, Brazil, I was growing more excited by the minute. We passed over the Amazon river on our descent: wide, majestic, and unstoppable. The sight of it running through the jungle green on dither side was beautiful and awe-inspiring.

Because this was my first time ever below the Equator, my first time in South America in fact, I had no idea what to expect. Well, I found out several simple things very quickly. Number one: when you’re just below the Equator, it’s quite warm (a little obvious, but very true). I found that out as soon as we left the plane. The only way to describe it was like I was being slapped in the face with a wet blanket. Number two: it’s a wee bit humid as well. It’s sort of like taking a bath with a drizzle nozzle on the shower head, only the hot water never runs out. Number three: whenever there is a combination of number one and number two, the end result is something called sweat. Lots of sweat. So much sweat, in fact, that it makes summer in Tennessee feel like a dry, cool, humidity-of-zero-type spring day. In the Himalayas. With a minus sixty wind chill.

We grabbed our luggage and waded through customs, where we declared some of the items we were bringing with us. After getting settled and unpacking a bit, the head honcho here, SeƱor Philipe, went out to dinner with us. We ate at a genuine Brazilian fish restaurant, which (other than Captain D’s and Long John Silver’s) was my first real experience with a large quantity of marinus. The three types of fish we ate were pirurucu, spotted bass, and tambaqui, a local fish. We also had French fries with ketchup which was a little taste of home. For drinks we had peach and goiaba juice (a local fruit). That was a really good meal. When we got back from the restaurant, Dad and the other computer guy started working immediately on the server configuration process. I mostly watched and learned. I also got to help assemble the parts for a KVM switch and help install it in a server rack.

So, after spending a day in Manaus, Brazil, I think I can safely say that it has been fun, hot, and very tasty here so far. The people are extremely friendly, the techie language is freely flowing, and the rain is finally falling, coating everything with a nice sheen. Although maybe I shouldn’t have worn my long pants today. Yeah, that was a bad idea.

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