Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Grocery Shopping 101

Grocery shopping in Brazil is - first of all - not a weekly event. You go every few days. Especially if you have to take all your stuff back home  on the bus! 
Second of all - there is no such thing as one-stop shopping. Not every store has what you're looking for. If you see an item that you think you might want or need, you had better get it. You may not see it on the shelves again for a long, long time. 

There are numerous mercados to choose from when it comes to grocery shopping:

We have our little neighborhood markets a few blocks away that basically cater to the locals. You'll find nothing American there.

On the other end of the scale, we have supermercados that cater to the upper class and offer a lot of variety - Brazilian style. American food is still scarce but can be found if you want to pay the price. (We have found cans of Campbell's soup for $7.00. Cream of Onion, even. I know. Who has ever bought a can of that particular soup, anyway!?) 
(Note that the cereal isle is only five feet long.)

Most of the time we do our shopping at ones in between the two -Carrefour or Condor. Both are on the red bus line and offer a fairly good variety of food - or maybe we're just getting used to them. Anyway, we hit these stores at least 3-4 times weekly. 

And let's not fail to mention the fruit and vegetable places that are everywhere. Mostly fruit. Lots of different fruit. Some recognizable.  Some not. All worth a try. 

For those of us who don't speak the language, the are four words that will get you by at check-out. 
Não (Meaning I don't have a state tax number yet.)
Cartão (I'm using a card.)
Crédito (It's credit, not debit.)
Obrigada (Thanks.)

While we're on the subject of food, we enjoyed a Sunday evening Chá with fellow missionaries, the Franças - herbal tea, bread, fried bananas, and good conversation (all in Portuguese, of course). One day I plan to actually contribute to one of these conversations.

This is the view from their balcony. 

We are loving Brazil. Every day is an adventure!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Morretes and Antonina

This week's adventure took us took us east of Curitiba to two little towns near the coast. We boarded the historical Serra Verde Express train at the railway station - and our journey began - through 14 tunnels and across 30 bridges and into the Atlantic Rainforest. (BTW, the Atlantic Rainforest is even more endangered than the Amazon Rainforest!) This little jaunt takes over three hours to cover just 60 kms. Yes, it is a very slow train, but you do get free snacks, drinks, and a Portuguese speaking guide!

There are amazing vistas all along the way!

We arrived in Morretes just in time for lunch.
Morretes is famous for a traditional plate called barreado (ba-he-a-doo). It is a slow-cooked meat stew prepared in a clay pot whose lid is sealed with a sort of clay made from wheat or casava flour.
You eat it mixed with two big spoonfuls of mandioca flour, then rice and bananas on top.

The town is also very cute.

 Next it was on to Antonina. This little colonial town has a church that was built in the 18th century and a port on the Paranaguá Bay. 

I think Don's favorite stop was at the banana candy factory. This little hole-in-the-wall makes everything banana - candy, syrup, jelly, chips,
you name it. Certainly an important stop if you're down that way - and can find it!!!
(He had a candy in his mouth when I took the picture!!)

The trip home was by van and much quicker. Good thing, too. After ten hours of adventuring, we were hot and sticky and tired - but oh so glad we went!!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Walk in the Park

After our shift in the temple on Tuesday, we decided to make a visit to the Parque Tanguá in the northern part of the city. After three bus transfers we finally arrived. It was worth the effort.

This park is located in an area where once there were two large quarries and since 1996, the year of its creation, are deactivated.
In fact, this park was created to guarantee the preservation of the northern basin of the Barigui River, one of the most important rivers that passes through Curitiba.

It almost feels like Central Park in NYC. The park is large and lush - it makes you forget that there is a huge bustling city just beyond its borders.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Get Me to the Church on Time!

Sometimes that's easier said than done! We generally ride the bus to church and there are times when we watch the bus zoom by as we are leaving the temple grounds. Not to worry - another one does arrive eventually. And it's always fun to see little church friends boarding the bus  from their stops on the way.
Curitiba has a wonderful bus system - and old people get to ride free. (Actually the Portuguese phrase for it is "gente de idade" - people of age)
You scan your card, stand in the tube, watch for the bus, wait for it to screech to a stop, open the doors, push your way in, and hope to find a seat or a good place to hold on before it lurches forward to its next stop.
Sundays are good because they are light travel days.

We are in the Barigui Ward of the Iguaçú Stake. It's a great ward. Our Bishop is also the temple recorder. 
 You can enter on either the ground floor or the second floor. Both levels have parking areas. Either stairs or an elevator move you up or down. The benches in the chapel are movable so you can flip them around towards the cultural hall if need be. 
The church is rather dwarfed by all the buildings around it, but, as you can see, the parking lot is set up for either basketball or soccer.

After three hours of church in Portuguese it's up the street to the tube and home again, home again...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Who Knew?!

This city is just full of surprises.
 Yesterday we had to go to the mission office to pick up our passports. (That's not the surprising part.)
President Hart is the mission president for the Brazil Curitiba Mission.

The surprising part is this little gem across the street from the Brazil Curitiba South Mission office. 
There's this small triangular park dedicated to the Prophet Joseph Smith. I'm not sure what the story is behind it but someone had a great idea - and made it happen! One side of the "monument" says:
“The prophet who received and translated the history of the people that inhabited this continent between 600 BC and 400 AD.”
Another side quotes John 10:16 about one fold and one shepherd.     The last side says Brazil is a blessed land and quotes Ether 2:12 saying that the land will be free if the people serve Christ.
(Praça recanto means square alcove)
I know - who knew?!

And since we were already downtown and near the IMAX we decided to take in a movie.
Rogue One
May the 'força esteja com você!'
Just so ya know, when going to movies in Curitiba,you want "Legendado" not "Dublado" in order to get the ones in English with subtitles. BTY - we did.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tour de Curitiba

Mondays are generally a good time to get out and about in the city. There is so much to see and do here! So far, our adventures have been AWESOME!!

Barigui Park is just five bus stops down the road. It is the most frequented park in the city - by joggers, bikers, strollers, soccer players, you name it. It also has a beautiful lake in the center of it. 

(The little brown fellow is called a capybara. He is truly a ROUS - rodent of unusual size.)

The Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden) has French style paths leading up to a glass greenhouse that looks like it came right out of the 19th century. 

The Oscar Niemeyer Museum is one of the largest in Latin America. Its structural shape looks like a giant eye observing the city.

After the visit of Pope John Paul II to Curitiba, a Polish Memorial was built in his honor. Many Polish immigrants settled in the state of Paraná. These little log houses are nestled among the pines and reminded us a lot of our Mormon pioneers.
(Kay and me at the little church. Don conversing with President Oliveira)

Up next - the beautiful Wire Opera House (or as they say in Brazil, Ópera de Arame)
And yes, this tube-like structure looks like it was
 made out of wire. Many great concerts have been performed here. Don, Sister Oliveira, Kay, President Oliveira, and Sister Medeiros are just waiting for the next one to begin!!

Fifty-plus years ago (when Don and Larry were missionaries here) this was the mission home/office. They hardly recognized the area - things have changed so much. Anyway, this was a high priority on their "must see list".

No tour would be complete without including a great place to eat. This little hole-in-the-wall serves up delicious pastels (they taste kind of like a deep-fried empanada filled with everything from cheese to meat to fruit)  and coxinhas (little ranidrops of fried goodness usually filled with chicken and a very creamy cheese called "catupiry') all washed down with a bottle of Guaraná. (I prefer water!)
I have included the street sign just in case you ever get down here a would like to partake of its deliciousness.

Well, there you have 7 spots to include in your "Tour de Curitiba". There will surely be more to come! 

And just in case you missed them the first time, one last look at the darling ROUSs.....

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Feliz Ano Novo

Feliz Ano Novo
Happy New Year

We Mormons enjoyed a relatively quiet celebration of the new year.
We had a pot luck dinner in the Common's Area, played games, and at midnight went out into the parking lot to listen to the city and its residents shoot off fireworks for at least 40 minutes. The loud pops and whistles actually lasted most of the night. Our little group didn't! (We had to get up for Church the next morning!)

 Bishop & Sister Oliveira (Temple Recorder, as well) Elder & Sister Brown, Elder & Sister Mac, Elder & Sister França, Elder & Sister Medeiros, President & Sister Oliveira)