A Rainy Day! At home Linda and I packed toys and crafts and small clothes, for the mission children. Her large bag was so stuffed she had to stand on it to zip it up. We left in the rain and by the time we were crossing under the 64 underpass we decided we would at least be on time… And then we saw the stopped traffic above us, cars just coming off 64 into our lane. So we were just in time, and got out at the airport to check in and have a sandwich while waiting to board the plane.
Above the clouds the sun was shining until twilight and then the “Christmas lights” of Houston appeared. Some members saw the sun set in one direction and the perfect moon rise in the opposite direction. The Houston airport was the prettiest one I have seen—so modern and clean. The overnight flight to Sao Paulo was dark and again we could see nothing below.
Saturday morning we had breakfast at 5:30 and left the huge plane for a smaller one where my carry-on bag wouldn’t fit so it had to be checked. It had my maps, pen to fill out Customs Declaration and everything. I had to sit for a couple hours with nothing to do.
Finally we arrived at Belo Horizonte (Beautiful Horizon), met by 2 vans of friendly people from our churches, cheering and waving flags and banners. We had to count those 27 bags of luggage every time we changed transportation and never lost one!
At the Sao Gabrield Community Center, our “Home Base”, we were met by 21-year-old Daniel who was rescued from the slums and was just learning to read. The main building is of 3 stories, with several classrooms, library, well equipped computer lab with 8 computers and rooms for visitors. Christine, two-year volunteer and several teachers, and several wonderful ladies who cooked for us were always available. Gordon and Teca Greathouse have been in Brazil more than 20 years and they built the Center from the slums.
The three main buildings are enclosed by tall heavy walls; one building includes an athletic playground.
The beautifully landscaped courtyard has all sorts of tropical plants and flowers.
Banana, papaya, mango trees were outside our third floor windows.
Birds were always present and I was thrilled to see a visiting BLACK hummingbird. Neither heating nor cooling is needed, windows are not screened and here in October springtime, we slept with windows open and sometimes with blankets.