Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Grande Adventura no Brasil

One of our goals when coming to Brazil was to be comfortable enough in the language to spend some time traveling and seeing at least a part of Brazil outside of our normal day to day city life.  Calling it our "grande adventura no Brasil," we decided to rent a car (which is an intimating/adventurous thing in itself to do in a foreign country/different language), and head to the nearby Brazilian coast.  This past week, God lavished His grace upon us as we were able to take some time as family to enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of His creation, Ilhabela, Brazil.

Our week did not start off as we hoped as Caleb stepped on a sea urchin within ten minutes of us being at the beach.  With over two dozen "prickers" (as he called them) in his foot, we spent most of the day having them removed at the hospital instead of enjoying the beach. (Going to the hospital in a foreign language is definitely an adventure though as just a part of the "grande adventura" I guess.)

He took it like a champ and was able to get back to the beach the next day with a custom Da-made foot wrap.  (While he still has a few in his feet now and we continue to be diligent watching over infection, he is doing much better!)




The beaches at Ilhabela are gorgeous. The one closest to our pousada (similar to a bed and breakfast) was incredibly calm since it faced back to mainland Brazil.  It was edged by large rocks (home to numerous sea urchins) and a lush forest.

 







There we played in the ocean, built sand castles, flew kites (with some help from a 9 year old local expert kite flyer) and even were able to do some sea kayaking.




One of the things that makes Ilhabela truly unique is that over 80% of it is preserved Mata Atl├óntica (Atlantic Rainforest).  We were able to take one day and travel through the rainforest by 4x4 jeep to the "wilder side" of the island. 

(Have to say though, I laughed more than once that we were paying for the 4x4 ride considering we might one day face similar roads for free in Mozambique.)  
 
 




 The side of Ilhabela that faces the Atlantic is considered wilder because it is mostly undeveloped and because the surf there is much stronger. While visiting this wilder side, we had were able to hike through the rainforest to a large waterfall.  We could not helped but to continue to be amazed by God's elaborate creativity. 







 Even though the water was freezing, David hopped right in the pool underneath the waterfall.  Definitely an awesome, maybe even once in a lifetime experience!







Another day on the island, we were able to take a schooner trip around to the north part of the island to see some more of the beauty if offered.  The boys were extremely excited to be on the boat and enjoyed playing at the remote beaches. 






Over all, the time away was just what we needed. We were able to rest and be restored as we also made some wonderful memories as a family.  As our time in Ilhabela and our time in Brazil comes to an end, we will forever look back and be thankful for our "Grande Adventura no Brasil."


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Simply Put

There is much to be said...


 ...And many stories to be told about my week in Engenheiro Pedreira...


 ...But simply put...


 ...Brothers and Sisters from four different nations...


...Coming together to share the story of God's love through the gift of His Son, Jesus...


...With over 5000 people in one week...


...Brings changes for a lifetime...


...And for eternity...


...Simply put, to God be the glory, for the great things He has done.
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