Upon arriving in Brazil we spent our first few days in São Paulo with Camila who used to work on the OM ship. It was good for us to have a time of just arriving and processing the Portugal outreach as well as adjusting to Brazil. We did not do a lot of sightseeing but did go to a local market, eat some typical Brazilian food, and attend a local church. We enjoyed our stay in São Paulo and were thankful for a slow start to our next outreach.
After a few days we took the bus to São José dos Campos, where the OM base is located, for an orientation to the country, culture and work we would be doing. After spending two days there, we took the bus to Nepomuceno where we would spend the next month volunteering with a home (orphanage) for boys who need a safe environment to live in. When we first arrived, there were eleven boys living at the home but three of them got adopted soon after our arrival and another one had to leave upon turning eighteen. Due to Brazilian law we are not allowed to post any photos where you can recognize the boys.
The home is located on a small farm in the countryside and they try to be self sustainable through the farm. They have their own garden where they grow a lot of fruits and vegetables (even coffee) as well as barns and pastures where they keep pigs, cows, chickens and fish to eat. It is a beautiful farm and we are enjoying all the wild parrots and toucans that live in the trees around the home.
Our main focus is on building a relationship with the boys through spending time with them. We play soccer and other games with them in their free time, help them with their chores and teach them English three times a week. On the weekends we try to do more interesting activities like painting or playing special games with them. We have the mornings free because all the boys are in school and can use this time to relax and prepare for the day. We enjoy the time spent with the boys and can see how our relationship with them is growing throughout our time here. As none of the boys speak good English we are learning Portuguese to be able to communicate with the people in and around the home. It is fun to learn a new language and we have had a lot of funny moments trying to communicate with hands and feet.
We slowly start to realize that adjusting to new countries all the time is having an effect on our immune systems, as we have to adjust to the new food, sleeping patterns and climates with each outreach. While in Brazil we have had to face a few sick days and noticed that we had a lot less energy than normal in the first two weeks of being here. Despite all this we are happy to be here and love the work that we get to do with the boys.
Brazil will be our last outreach and we are excited to announce that we will be heading home shortly after. Once our outreach ends, on the twenty second of June, we will be flying directly to Spain, where we will meet up with part of Junia’s family for a ten day vacation. We are looking forward to seeing them again and to have a time of rest before going back to Switzerland on the fifth of July. As I will start studying in September we will be using the summer to get adjusted to life in Switzerland and prepare for a new season in our lives. There is a lot for us to do as we transition back into Switzerland but we look forward to what God has planned for us. We will be posting a more detailed update on our future—as well as the future of our blog—once we are back in Switzerland.
19th of June 2019