Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Circo Imperial da China

This week the Imperial Circus of China came to town.
No clowns, elephants, or bearded ladies here.
This circus consisted of acrobats, dancers and contortionists from China.

After getting our popcorn and finding our seats, we were ready for the show to begin!

The Imperial Circus of China is considered one of the best circuses in the world and is currently touring all the major cities in Brazil.

Don't try this at home!

The Chinese have been doing this for over 2,000 years. Maybe that's why they are so good at it. 


The artists in this show are true pop stars in Asia!

Intense training can begin as early as age 6 and classes can last up to ten years in the Ministry of Culture.

Members of the Imperial Circus of China dedicate their lives to performance.

The company is made up of 50 artists, including skilled acrobats, dancers and contortionists.

This tour celebrates the 25th anniversary of the circus company.

Generally, retirement comes at the age of 40.

I, for one, can certainly see why!!

I must say that a good time was had by all - and we didn't even miss the clowns, elephants, or bearded ladies!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jots & Tittles

I guess you could say that this blog post is just a bunch of "small and miniscule" things which haven't been posted yet, but may be of interest to somebody out there.
Anyway, here ya go...

Last Sunday was Father's Day (Dia dos Pais) in Brazil - the second Sunday of August. Just like in the States, it isn't that big of a deal. Take a look at that treat!! Ha. 
Every ward needs a good choir, don't cha know. 
While we're talking church, Don and Wayne have taught the Gospel Doctrine class a couple of times. I'm sure they did a fine job, but since it was in Portuguese it was a little hard for me to tell.

Sylvana and Jefferson Rasaro invited us over to their house Sunday. He is the 1st Counselor in the ward and she is the stake Relief Society President. They both work with us in the temple, as well.

While we're talking food, yesterday the temple presidency cooked up a wonderful feijoada lunch for the staff, security, and missionary couples. 
 (We all helped put it together.)
(The end result was enjoyed by all!)

One of the things I love about Brazil is that there are these popcorn stands everywhere. I do love good pipoca. 

While we're still talking food, Madero Burger and Grill advertises that they make the "best burger in the world". These restaurants are found everywhere in the state of Paraná. We just had to see for ourselves. 
We each gave them a 2-thumbs-up. They may not be the best in the world, but they are they sure are the best we have found in Curitiba! - so far. 
And the desserts are really good, too.

We have Family Home Evening once a month at the apartments. The young missionaries in our ward and their investigators are always invited to join us. This was last night's group.

The only other thing I can think to add this week is about my trip to the dentist. As I was eating a frozen cookie Sunday afternoon, I chomped down on something exceedingly hard and found it to be a piece of tooth. Oh, no! What to do? Up comes the tender mercy - Presidente Oliviero called his dentist and they got me in yesterday afternoon and she fixed the whole thing in just one visit. Now it's as good as new!
(We had to wear footies. Ya gotta keep that white tile pristine and germ free. Presidente had to fill out the registration form for me. Did I mention how much we love our president?)

Oh, one last thing - 
Who knew that Brazilians really do eat Brazil Nuts!?
Yep, they do. And they even like them!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Paranaguá and Mata Atlântica

This week's adventure took us to Paranaguá.
Paranguá is the sea link for Curitiba and is one of the largest ports of Brazil. Founded in 1648, it is also Paraná's oldest city. 
We, however, did not go to see the port. 

Our purpose was to present another Couple's Fireside with President and Sister Oliveira.
You can see how anxious Dianne is - she's carrying her talk in her hand! I kept mine folded up in my purse. The big picture is of the stake leaders. The missionaries are Elders Garlick and Arscott (both from Utah). I actually know Elder Arscott's mom and it was fun to reconnect with her again this week. Such a small world in Mormonland!

These Brazilians are regular night owls, so after the fireside and socializing, we were invited over to the home of the family of Antonio Vicente Viana. There we had a wonderful fish dinner (even though by this time it was 11:00 pm).
The stake president is in the red tie - Cristiano Bukarewicz. 

Twenty kilometers inland finds you in the Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica). Arriving at 1:00 am, we spent the night at the Mata Atlântica Park Hotel.

We spent Monday exploring the area. 

We hiked to a waterfall.
 Wayne found a pool of flies which kept him entertained for a long time.

The fauna is lush in the rain forest, to say the least. 
The flora is beautiful.

We took advantage of the hotel's horses.

...and checked out their farm.

We hiked all the way up to the old church on the hill.

...and visited the old micro brewery where the sugar cane from the farm was once made into beer.

We were fed very well!! And a lot of the food was grown right in the hotel's backyard.

After we did about all we could do there, we drove home by way of the beach in Matinhos.

There will be other days to visit the port of Paranaguá. 
And certainly other days to visit some more beaches.
Brazil has over 7,000 miles of coastline, ya know!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bug U

Yesterday's adventure took us to the Universidade Federal do Paraná 
(Federal University of Paraná)

Wayne mentors a doctoral candidate there and he needed to check up on his progress in writing his thesis in - you guessed it - flies! Can you imagine?! Besides having to write all those pages about his fly research, he has to do it in English, because English is the international language for dissertations. A bit of a challenge, to say the least.

Anyway, this is Daniel in the upper left picture with some of those flies.

The University houses not just flies but all sorts of bugs in those drawers. They are very proud of their collections.

This no BYU, WSU, USU, or even U of U when it comes to campuses and facilities.
 Wayne and Diane have many specimens of their speciality, shore flies, in the collections. These flies are about the size of a gnat. Who knew that annoying flies could be so little. 

These pictures are for David. I'm sure he is enjoying his new lab facilities at the Huntsman Center.
(Here are some of the students in their labs - and me looking at the cells of a butterfly wing.)

Speaking of borboletas, Olaf Meilke (upper left picture) is the head butterfly guy at the University. He has the best collection in all of Brazil.

(I do realize that big one is a moth!)

Luciane Marinoni is in charge of most of the other bugs.
Some haven't been pinned yet.

This is the outside of the Biology Building.

Of note, the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) is one of the oldest universities in Brazil and is a symbol of Curitiba. These federal universities are tuition-free. However, most of the students in these universities come from middle-class or wealthy families. Applicants must take very competitive entrance exams to be in these universities and most spots go to the private school graduates who are better prepared than those who attend the public schools.
As an alternative, college students can attend for-profit universities, which enroll 3/4 of all wishing to get a higher education. The plus side to all this is that more and more young people in Brazil are realizing how important a good education is in order to raise their standard of living.

Well, that was our day visiting all the bugs at the University.
Get it?

(P.S The Portuguese word for flies is MOSCAS.)