"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Carnaval - Part 1

You have probably heard of the holiday Carnaval, or at least Mardi Gras (which is the closest thing we have in the US.). In Brasil, Carnaval is huge and pretty carnal. Every city has parades with glamorous costumes that generally don't cover too much of the body if you know what I mean. We recently read an article about how in one Brazilian city they are giving out free "morning after" pills on the day after carnaval. Giving out free condoms is common in lots of cities. So, as you can imagine, this is not a holiday that Christians want to or should participate in. In the past, our church family has gone on a Carnaval retreat, but this year, due to various reasons, we decided to do something different.

Our first activity was on Saturday before Carnaval, which is on Tuesday. We planned a day trip to a local beach known for it's ecological beauty. However, on the way to the beach, we ran into a problem: This summer has been really weird in Porto Alegre. It has been rainy and somewhat cool. Usually it is HOT. We thought the weather would be OK on Saturday, but a few minutes outside of our destination, it was pouring rain. But, being the troopers we are, we trudged on. When we got to the beach, it was still raining. This beach had practically zero shelter. So, as we tried to figure out what to do, the kids and teens decided to go ahead and swim. After all, they were already soaking wet and the water was warmer than the outside temperature.

Pretty soon they were all swimming in the rain.

Anderson enjoyed some time with one of his best buddies, Paulo Renato.

Meanwhile, back at the van/kitchen, I was making hamburger patties for our cookout.

Sascha and Spencer found another family who had rigged up a protection for a fire. When the other family had finished grilling, we added more fuel to the fire and cooked our burgers and dogs.
Then......IT STOPPED RAINING!!! We set up a picnic table, and ate our lunch. There were about 30 of us who had made the trip, and we enjoyed eating and fellowshipping together.

Here I am back at the van with the hamburgers - only this time eating them.

After lunch we were blessed with a few hours of clear skies. The kids played in the water, the teens went off exploring together, and the adults enjoyed talking and catching up.

On the way home we enjoyed some beautiful scenery.

All in all, it was a fun outing. Despite the rain, we had some great times with our Christian family and visited a beautiful place that we hope to return to on sunnier days. After arriving home, the van badly needed a wash, so the kids and Kevin got to work. Oh, and God provided the free rinse with yet another downpour.Tomorrow - Carnaval Part 2.....

1 comment:

the Jewell family said...

Thanks for the photos of your trip. Being the Cajun food lovers we are, we went to Pappadeaux's Seafood Kitchen with my mom, brother, and the kids for some live bluesy music and New Orleans style food. The kids got some mardi gras beads and we had a nice time. That was about as much of carnaval as we needed to experience.