Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Rua XV de Novembro

One of my favorite places to go to in town is 
Rua XV de Novembro
(15th of November Street)

It is one of the major streets in downtown Curitiba. 

 In 1972, it became one of the first major pedestrian streets in Brazil. Now it's a "must go to" place for tourists when visiting the city. 

You will stroll past hundred-year-old buildings, restaurants, shops, pots of flowers (hence the AKA name Flower Street - Rua das Flores) and musicians galore. There seems to be no end to the talent exhibited on this street! 

Sometimes there are clowns, mimes, magicians, and other miscellaneous performers. 
One thing is certain, however - You will always find 

If you put money in his pot, he will whistle, take your hand and kiss it. 
The little kids hang around because sometimes people will give them money as well.

You will also find illegal peddlers selling their stuff - until the police happen by - at which time they can clear out mighty fast! 

There's just so much to see and do downtown. 

You want to watch the time, however, and not stay too late or you will get stuck in the commuter traffic - on the bus.

No place to sit and hardly any place to stand. 

When y'all come to visit, we will for sure take you to XV de Novembro. We might even take you out to our favorite pastel place. It's just around the corner! 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Called to Serve

 We will be
the Lord's missionaries
to bring the world
His truth
(Army of Helaman)

Today I want to give a "shout out" to all the missionaries who are touching our lives at this time.

We just got a new missionary couple for the temple. 
Elder & Sister Werneck from Falls Iguazu. 
They speak NO English.

We got two new Elders in our ward 
Elder Ferguson (from Texas) and Elder Angulo (from Costa Rica)
They BOTH speak English!!!

Elder Paulo Meira has been serving in the temple with us. He has been called to Portugal and leaves the end of the month. 

He also speaks English. 

As part of our responsibilities, we are sometimes asked to accompany the presidency to different places in the temple district and - ick - speak. Last week we had a fireside in Ponta Grossa.
 Here we are trying sweet maracujá right off of the vine. Very good, BTW. 

Next, it was off the the church for that speaking obligation.
This is also a stake center. They have these neat walls in the halls - all the missionaries who have ever served from the stake, the history of the church in Ponta Grossa with a timeline, and all the temples throughout the world listing them as each one was completed. 

Speaking of the temple missionaries - Last week one of our sealers cooked us up a churrasco. Steak, pork wrapped in bacon, chicken, sausage, and grilled pineapple. We furnished the salads and drinks. I was asked to make maionese (potato salad). The Brazilian variety can contain carrots, peas, corn, green beans, olives, you name it. I made the American kind. Mine had none of the above. Just saying. 
It was also Wayne's birthday. Now he and Don are the same age. Who can guess how old that is?!

And last - but certainly not least 
Our grandson Christian entered the MTC in Provo for his mission to Canada Toronto Portuguese Speaking.
He is already speaking more Portuguese than me and I have a seven month head start!! How rude! Anyway, we are so proud of him and are already loving his emails forwarded from his mom.
Deus esteja com você, Elder McClellan
(May God be with you, Elder McClellan)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Sidewalks of Brazil

One of the things I love here in Brazil are the sidewalks.

These black and white-patterned sidewalks are can be found everywhere you step. 

I know, it looks a lot like cobblestone. But...it has an attitude...and there's another name for it.

Portuguese pavement, (calçada portuguesa), consists of small flat pieces of various different stones, arranged to form a pattern or picture, like a mosaic. As the name suggests, this art originated in Portugal.

If you ever watch them repairing one or setting up a new mosaic sidewalk, you'll quickly realize how labor intensive it is. And it does require skills! Each stone is shaped in a certain way with small chisels and hammered into place carefully so they don't break but fit together perfectly (generally) to form the desired design.

These paved sidewalks do have a down-side. They can present hazards to us pedestrians. These pavements can be especially treacherous when they are wet - and, for those of you who have been to Curitiba, you know that it rains here A LOT. Also, the stones are prone to becoming loose, presenting more hazards. Sometimes they are missing altogether and there is just this big hole to fall into! You have to develop the skill of having one eye on the sidewalk and the other eye on where you're going. 

You'll find plain 'ole concrete around, too, but these Portuguese stones are just as common. 
So pretty!!!