Brazil, Monday-Wednesday

Not much has happened since we got back from the school, but I have experienced some new things this week. So, here’s an update on the work that’s been done so far. Monday saw Dad and Mr. Tom working on the E1 line for the phone system. That is the medium over which the phone company provides the telephone service for us to plug into. It’s very important, so it was necessary to establish a connection early this week. It went pretty smoothly, except for the fact that the configuration was different for Brazil, and that threw a monkey wrench into things and made it take longer. The guys finished it Monday night, and we went to a nearby restaurant to celebrate. We ordered dessert and French fries; just the necessary basics. I had a crunchy pie and a vanilla milkshake with chocolate chips in it. It was pretty good, and it went with the fries surprisingly well. I also had my very first cup of coffee today. And my second. And my third. My head now throbs every time I bend over.

Tuesday saw the guys do more computer techie stuff, and we ate some more food. It was good food. That pretty much sums Tuesday up.

Wednesday the guys got up at noon after working all night. I spent the morning helping one of the men here connect phones and run lines to various rooms here at the house. It was all going mostly well until I made a boo-boo. The man drilled a hole in the concrete wall, and then he went outside to feed me the wire through said hole. I decided to see whether or not the hole was straight and if it went all the way through, so I leaned down and looked through it. At that precise moment, the other guy decided to clean out the hole from the outside by blowing through it. One moment, I was seeing daylight and grass. The next, I saw his face lean down, and then it all kind of went dark in that eye. I helped him finish the job, but my eye was watering and hurting like mad, so Dad filled my eye with contact solution and made me take a nap. I guess it could have been funny, looking back at the incident, but I don’t think I’ll be laughing about it anytime soon.

This afternoon, after I had recovered, I hung out with one of the younger guys here at the mission house. His name is Kyle, he’s 21 years old, he’s really cool, and his favorite team is the Minnesota Vikings. He was born there, but moved to Brazil when he was a kid, and he loves it here in Manaus. Anyway, he invited me to come hang out with his youth group that night. They were going to play a game called “soap soccer.” It sounded really cool, so I accepted. Kyle and I were picked up by a friend of his, also coincidentally named David, and David’s family. We left early, and spent the time hanging out at a local park, waiting for the rest of the people to show up. I got to talk to David some, and learn more about people here in Brazil.

We were finally joined by the rest of the crew, and we made our way to the place with the soap soccer. It took place in a big, rectangular inflatable fun house with goals built into two of the sides and a net covering the top. It was pretty much a mom’s safety nightmare. Picture, if you will, a bouncy castle with eight people running and sliding around, kicking each other, smacking the soccer ball off the sides, and getting liquid soap in their, eyes, nose, and pretty much everywhere else. Pushing, shoving, playing the ball on the ground, tripping, holding, mildly assaulting the goalie, and other normally card-worthy actions are fine. A person could slide almost from one end to the other; that’s how slick it was. In short, it was absolutely sick! There were three teams, so the winner would stay and the loser would leave. I played two matches, and there were some pretty crazy moments just in those games. On one play, I ran toward where the ball was and kicked at it as hard as I could, just as another guy from the other team was kicking at it as hard as he could. Neither of us made contact with the ball. It was actually pretty amusing, I’m sure, watching us writhe in pain, holding our feet, and performing the hop dance of agony for a few seconds. All part of the game, I suppose.

After the games were finished, and everyone had said goodbye, David and his family took me and Kyle with them for some food. We had a type of meat pastry called pastel, which had cheese on the inside and a tasty crust on the outside, and then we washed it all down with Coke. What better way to end a day then with scrumptious fare and cold bouquet?


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