Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Week of "This & That"

Nothing relates to anything else this week. 
With the reopening of the temple, we received two new missionary couples to replace the one we lost. 

We bid farewell to Elder and Sister França (Paulo and Cecilia). They returned to gaucho country in the campo down south where he is a "cowboy" and she is a "crochet-er".

We welcomed Elder and Sister Parrela (Adalton and Delgia) from Florianópolis - by way of being the mission president in Santa Maria and working in the Recife Temple.

Elder and Sister Mathis (Wayne and Dianne) from Price, Utah - by way of Virginia working for the Smithsonian where he was their 'fly expert' and the Porta Alegre Temple.

The next totally unrelated item - 
When Don and Larry were down here fifty-some years ago, they helped build a church. Most of the buildings in Brazil are made from this red brick stuff. 

A contractor from the states choose to make his own bricks to construct the church. The missionaries would come on their P-day and pour the bricks. The bricks would then dry in the forms all week. Brick by brick the building was built. And a pretty good building it was. It is still in use today and has been remodeled and improved over the years. 
It is now called the Curitiba 2nd Ward and is also the Stake Center.

On the way home and - because we were already in the neighborhood - we took a quick stroll through Passeio Publico (Public Promenade). This is the oldest park in the city. In the 19th century, it was for some time the Botanical Garden of Curitiba. It was also the first zoo and, to this day, has some animals in captivity, as well as an aquarium.

Last night we enjoyed dinner and FHE with President Hart and his wonderful little family. He is the President of the Curitiba Mission. They are in our ward they - are you ready for this?! - speak fluent English!
From left to right - Anna, Sister Hart, President, Katelyn, Taylor, and Hayden. 
They have another son, Tanner, serving a mission in Trujillo, Peru.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Breaking News

More Breaking News From Up North!
Third grandson, Alex Gillespie, just received his mission call.
He will be serving in the Alabama Birmingham Mission. 
He leaves August 30, 2017.

We will soon have one grandson serving in Canada, one in Mexico, and one in the United States. 
How cool is that?!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Brazilian Graffiti and Street Art

Graffiti is an illegal form of writing or drawing. People usually create graffiti with spray paint. They press the top of a can and the paint shoots out. People often paint graffiti on walls or parts of public buildings. Another common place for graffiti is on trains and buses. It's found everywhere in South America!

In Brazil, people see a big separation between different kinds of graffiti. One kind of graffiti is called tagging. This is when a person writes his or her name. Or they write the name of an illegal gang. Tagging does not take much time or skill. 

Street Art
Other kinds of graffiti include larger pictures. These take much more artistic effort. And there is a lot of this amazing detailed graffiti in the cities of Brazil.

In 2009 Brazil passed a law decriminalizing graffiti. This law made it legal to paint graffiti. But people must first get permission from the property owner before they paint on it. The Brazilian government also set up a system to register some graffiti.

To differentiate the two they came up with this slogan: 
"Não pixe, grafite"  (Don't tag, graffiti)

Sooooo, this week I thought you might enjoy seeing some "fantastic" Brazilian Street Art.
Can you tell the difference?!

Of course, if you're not a fan of either graffiti or street art, you can opt for this - ivy walls of green.

Now ya know!!!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Road Trip

This week's road trip took us south of Curitiba.
Blumenau is a town settled by Germans and is most well known for its Oktoberfest when they "celebrate German traditions and culture, in parades, folk dances, bands, food and - beer". Nothing is happening in Blumenau in the middle of May. We know. We were there. 

So much for that town. 

Heading north again toward the coast brought us to Guaratuba. "Tourists from many different places in Brazil and the world visit annually its 22 km of beautiful beaches". We found a lovely hotel with a view, walked on the beach, visited "Christ the Hill" and pretty much enjoyed ourselves.

The next morning, we continued north to Pontal do Sul, parked the car and took the ferry to Ilha do Mel (Honey Island). Think Gilligan's Island and you pretty much have it. The island is covered with the Atlantic Rainforest and surrounded with white sand beaches. They call it "rustic and exotic". After Larry stepped on and killed a black spider as large as his hand, Kay called it icky and primitive. There are no roads - only paths that are sometimes under water at high tide. You get around on foot or bike it. There is no public lighting. We were grateful for cell phone flashlights! 

Upon arriving, you hire a guy to take your luggage to your resort. 

The sand and surf really were spectacular. 

The Lighthouse of Shells was a short walk from where we were staying and another 150 steps to get to the lookout, where you could catch your breath while taking in a beautiful view of the island. 

Our resort was in Brasília. We wanted to see what we were missing by not staying in Encantadas, so we got on the boat and putted south. We found it to be about the same - only more inhabited - as you can see!!! Haha  

Yep, we had a wonderful three day/two night adventure! These last two weeks were great fun with great friends. 

Meanwhile, back in Curitiba, the temple was being cleaned - inside and out. 

Next week it's back to work!
Business as usual.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Temple Tour - 2017

With our temple closed for the next two weeks, we decided to visit a couple of other temples "in the area", so six of us (the Franças, Browns, and McClellans) crammed ourselves into this adorable little Fiat and headed northeast.

Stop #1 - São Paulo
It's only 416.8 km (5 h 40 min) through the mountains to the most populous city in Brazil (over 12 million) as well as in the Southern Hemisphere. I should probably mention the driving experience - Don did a fabulous job squeezing our way through the congestion, honking, and motorcycles that worm their way around all the other traffic.

We made it to the temple just in time for the 3:30 session.
The São Paulo Temple is the 17 operating temple of the Church and 
it was the first LDS temple built in South America. It is also the first temple to use the single story, single spire design. 
(We were sooooo grateful we were able to make it there alive!)

Because São Paulo is so hairy-scary, we choose to drive on to 
Stop #2 - Campinas

Go northwest 98.1 km ( 1 h 28 min) on pretty good roads and there you are!

We spent the night in the temple dorms. (Note to self - Never do that again!) The Campinas Temple is beautiful. This is the 111th operating temple of the Church. On its hillside location, the beautiful Campinas Brazil Temple is visible from many parts of the city of Campinas. We know this to be true because we passed it at least five times trying to find our way out of the city! And every time we passed it we commented on how visible it was!!!

This city only has a population of about 2 million and we even found a Taco Bell!! 
Yes, I know that on our previous mission I hated our Taco Bell lunches with the Elders. It's amazing how things change, isn't it?

And then, for some reason, we all decided to go home again, home again. Seven hours later we were back in our own little beds. 


Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Drive south from Curitiba about 302.1 km and you arrive in the beautiful city of Florianópolis. Florianópolis is one of the most visited places in Brazil as it is an island with 42 beaches, lagoons and waterfalls.

Unfortunately, we were not invited down for a holiday. President Oliveira had meetings with all the stake presidents and the Seventy in the area plus invitations to speak and do a fireside. We were asked to be a part of the experience. I immediately began to be weary of this opportunity, but Don was all gung-ho. (Easy for him - he knows Portuguese!) 
We received a warm welcome from Elders Ferreira and Lewis and these darling kids. Everyone was so friendly! 

The Sacrament Meeting went fine. Just a testimony on my part. Don, President and Sister Oliveira had the real talks.
The fireside was on marriage and we all had to talk. Fortunately, I had met this cute sister earlier that day who spoke English. When I found out what was expected, I located here and she translated for me. (I just couldn't use really big words!) We did fine. Ha and Ha.

In between the two meetings we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Bishop Nilson Moraes' home. 
They had a beautiful view of the city from their house on the hill.

Afterwards, he and his wife Keila took us around the city.
Believe it or not, we were the only people on the beach in church clothes!

And, oh yes, we enjoyed another churrasco in while in Florianópolis.