Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Without a doubt, Carnival is the biggest annual Brazilian celebration. Everybody seems to celebrate it in one way or another, across the entire country. Offices, schools and shops are all closed. Many restaurants close as well. But...the malls and grocery stores remain open! 

People spend more money at Carnival time than at Christmas. They also party more than at New Years. Loud music, dazzling costumes, dancing and marching bands form the heart of Carnival.

Carnival takes place in February or March each year – the dates change, as the celebrations are linked to the religious calendar. Carnival begins on the Friday before Ash Wednesday and continues up to and including Ash Wednesday itself. 

Rio de Janeiro has one of the most well-known Carnival celebrations. 

They really don’t do carnival in Curitiba. Most residents leave town during Carnival and go to the beaches or to another city in Brazil that celebrates carnival - or anywhere else.
The city is left to people who have to work, have no way of getting out of town or who just don’t like the idea of carnival.
(There are a surprising number of Brazilians who actively dislike carnival.  A lot of them live right here in Curitiba. I guess you could say that Curitiba is the Capital of Non-Carnival in Brazil.)
Anyway, the city is pretty much empty. There is no traffic. The restaurants that are open don’t have queues. It is relaxing walking around town without the normal hordes. It is almost like a ghost town.
Except the ghosts are zombies. A parade of zombies. Yes, Curitiba has a Zombie Walk of people who dress up in zombie costumes and make-up. They make their way around the city as if they were zombies. There is also some sort of Rock Carnival held somewhere in town.

Needless to say, you won't find the Church members at any of these events. In fact, this is the Youth Conference Weekend for most stakes. 
CTR you know. 
(This is cute little Louise celebrating Carnival Mormon-style. A dolce in one hand and a pom-pom in the other.)

Since we pretty much had the city to ourselves Monday, we took the opportunity to explore some more...

Of note
- when you order a small cheeseburger in Brazil, it doesn't necessarily mean that the whole thing will be small - just the bun! Ask the Donald who ordered one!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Missionaries, Movies, Moroni, & More

So many things to report on this week. Let's start first with the...

As temple missionaries, we don't get to interact with the young missionaries very much. We do get to see them when they come to the temple. And we do get to see them when we need official work done. 
It is necessary to register with the government of Brazil so they can keep track of you while you're living in their country and the Office Elders know how, when, and where to do it. 
Thanks to Elder White and Elder Nemec, we and Sister Wilson are now Legal.

This Cinépolis is probably the nicest theater we've been to - anywhere. There are little guys just waiting to take your order any time throughout the movie. You don't miss a thing.
The leather seats recline. No one's head is in the way. It's just like being at home in Emily and Geoff's media room. 
The movie was great, too. Hidden Figures (if you're English speaking) 
Stars Beyond Time (if you're in Brazil)

We just happen to love this mall, as well.
Patio Batel

Yesterday we got to see Moroni up close and personal. Our temple engineer took us up, up, up, and up the escadas until we got as far as we could go - and there he was!
We got a bird's eye view of our apartments, the Catholic church behind the temple and the ever popular red bus.

& More
Yep. Someone had a birthday this month. Thanks for all the love and good wishes sent my way. Our little group of missionaries also celebrated all the February birthdays with hamburgers, fruit, and a big delicious chocolate cake.

Once a month we all get together for Family Home Evening. Lesson, Games, and Food - all in Portuguese. One day I am going to know what I've been missing!

 Another example of what you are missing in the way of shopping experiences. This is the Municipal Market of Curitiba.

The weather remains hot and humid, but we haven't had rain for 2 days. Saturday night we turned our clocks back an hour. Does that mean it's now Fall?! 
The time difference is now 4 hours from Utah and 3 hours from Texas.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Food, Glorious Food

There are many ways to satisfy your hunger down here. Of course, some ways are better than others. I must admit that we do tend to eat out a lot more here than we did at home. Eating out can be quite an adventure whereas the things I cook are just ordinary - you know - American stuff.

Hot Dog carts are everywhere. Hot dogs in Brazil can be a complete feast!

A typical completo hot dog could likely include most, if not all, of the following:
Seasoned ground beef, A pico de gallo-like blend of bell peppers, tomatoes and onion, Canned corn and peas, Grated Parmesan cheese, Shredded carrots, Diced ham or bacon, Fresh cilantro, Shoestring potato sticks, A hardboiled quail egg.

The cart that frequents the temple is owned by a member. He does a great business on Saturdays when the bus caravans come in. 

I know. Yum, Yum.

There are better ways to spend your calories, however.
This week, temple friends Clovis and Walkyria Fittipaldi took us out in their cool, restored 1946 Ford to Churrascaria Marambi. The food was amazing. The company was, as well. Be advised - the meat in those black pots  - well, it's all things pig. Pig tails, pig feet, pig noses, pig ears, pig ribs, you name it. I'm sure these dishes appeal to some people, but I saved myself for the "real meat". 

Afterwards we stopped by the Durigan Winery for some grape juice. Besides vinhos and suco de uva, they had a great selection of chocolates, cheeses, and pastas.

This was truly a week of glorious food!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Downtown & Around

With a population of over 1.8 million inhabitants, Curitiba has a big downtown to explore. We live in the western part of the city and we generally spend most of our time there, but sometimes it is necessary to venture downtown. This was one of those weeks. We needed to go to the Federal Building to get our Brazilian tax numbers. 

The afternoon busses home can get a bit crowded.

Also this week we visited another one of Curitiba's beautiful parks with the Franças (Cecilia and Paulo). 
São Lourenço Park occupies the place where there used to be an old glue factory. It is more secluded than some of the other parks but very worth visiting.

Tonight our friend, Jeferson Medeiros Filho was set apart as a missionary. He will be serving in the Brazil Belo Horizonte-Minas Gerais Mission. We wish him all the best. He is a great guy. (And he can even speak a little English!)