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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » Travels » Brazil: Thursday & Friday

Brazil: Thursday & Friday

Well, it’s been a week since we first showed up here in Manaus. Since then, I have experienced a flurry of sounds, sights, smells, and (of course) tastes. I almost wish I could stay here forever, and not have to return to the life I once had. However, it’s never good to dwell in the past, so here’s what happened on Thursday and Friday.

We woke up later than usual because of another late-night work day. In case you’re wondering why we kept staying up, here’s the reason. The people here at the mission house work from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The work that my dad, Señor Phil, and Mr. Tom are doing sometimes requires them to shut off the phones while they are working. So, from noon to five in the evening, we do configuration, cable running, and things like that. Then, after 5:00, the guys turn off the phones and work on that until four or five the next morning, when they turn it back on again. It’s a good system, it just messes with a person’s sleep schedule something fierce.

For lunch, we all went to the house of one of the people who works at the mission. He and his wife and their three kids welcomed us with open arms and plenty of food. We had chicken, beans and rice, a type of green leafy vegetable, and mango juice. For dessert, we ate ice cream that their neighbor down the street makes. It was delicious, but the mango juice was definitely my favorite; I must have had seven or eight cups!

That was the highlight of the day, right there. We worked for the rest of the afternoon, and dad and the guys were still tapping away at their computers when I went to bed. The next morning, I woke up earlier than the rest of the guys and treated myself to a large breakfast; five pieces of toast with jam and butter, three fried eggs, and alternately Fanta and water to wash it all down. I had been helping the guys with their work a little so far, but up to this point, I hadn’t done anything really important. This afternoon, that changed. We needed a huge list of recordings for the telephone menu (press one for store hours, two for returns, etc.), and dad put me in charge of it. Around seven, the lady whose voice we were using came in, and we got to work. We soon developed a system: she would pick up the phone, I would press the necessary buttons, give her the green light, she would record, and then I would stop it. Then, I would save the new recording to the system, give it the appropriate name, and we would repeat the process. If the recording wasn’t clear enough, or if I started or ended it at the wrong time, then we would do it again. By the way, the Portuguese for “again” is de novo. Rote memorization, baby.

It took almost three hours, but we finally got the voice recordings done. Now, if you call the mission house, you will get a nice, clear voice prompt. You will also most likely have your call dropped as well, unless dad changed the configuration for the system. Halfway through my first trip to Brazil, I am extremely glad that I came. Far from being worried about missing things back at home, like football games, basketball practices, drama group, and guitar, I had forgotten all about them as I spent time here in the mission house this week. If there’s one thing that I have taken away from this trip so far, it’s this: being in another country and serving the Lord shows you what’s important in your life. I hope that you can come down soon and experience that as well.

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