Well, witticisms of the blog post title aside, I did spy a little monkey in the tree outside my window once. He scampered off before I could get a good picture, though I did snag something.
Also, the bigger tree a bit further away played host to this noisy guest one day:
Or as a friend of mine joked, "where do you live, a zoo?" Well, sometimes between wildlife and traffic congestion, it seems like it!
That said, time has flown by and it's hard to believe it's been 2 and a half months already! I was a bit slow in getting things organized on my newsletters, so my first newsletter covers the entire time I've been here -- from now on I will try to get one out per month. You can read the first newsletter of this second year at this link - and you can keep tabs on my 'Newsletters' page on the blog at this link here.
In the newsletter I have some photos and talk a bit about Holy Week in Brazil and at my church, Most Holy Trinity -- since that was a busy week, I'll let you take a peek at that if you're interested! Other than that, on that front, we have been keeping super busy lately!
- We're working on getting our second community flea market/bazaar up and going for this next week -- we had a lot of success the last time, which helps us with fundraising for building repairs and future construction plans, but also had a lot of good interaction and feedback with and from the community, so we are looking for ways to be even more involved in the immediate community in Meier!
- Something big in Brazil that's coming up is festa junina, or June festival - it has its roots in traditional Portuguese cultural celebrations of the saints [coinciding with the pagan equinox festivals], and has over time become part of Brazilian culture as well, utilizing the symbols of rural cultural celebrations from Portugal -- will be posting some pictures in the next couple week as that happens!
- Yours truly has some excitement next Sunday -- I am being installed as a lay minister in the Anglican Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, during the service held at my home church at Most Holy Trinity when Bishop Filadelfo Oliveira has his official visit. What does this mean? Well, kind of what the name suggests - some of the roles that the ministers [reverends/priests] have within the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, but as a lay person -- that is, not a member of the clergy, technically not a priest. So this enables me to serve and participate in more leadership roles, including assisting in other various positions during a Sunday service or life in the community, including preaching/giving a sermon - yikes! Guess it's time to brush up my grammar.
- Speaking of grammar, I'm in the midst of working on getting some resources and lessons set up for fine-tuning my Portuguese even more...you know what happens if you give a Nina a language...!
- And speaking of languages...it also is in the works that I will be giving some English lessons soon enough. Good practice, right?
- Also, we are preparing and organizing to receive a group of 10-15 people from the US on a short mission/service trip to Rio the week after the World Cup ends -- it's certainly giving me the chance to hone my skills in organization and such...all things I like to do, and enjoy practicing to improve and gain more experience!
|Displaying a fun find from the last flea market.|
|Leandro up on the roof decorating for festa junina.|
|Our banner out front with the upcoming big days -- next up, Trinity Sunday, and then Thursday after, Corpus Christi.|
|Out other banner with information about festa junina at Holy Trinity.|
My work at the Diocesan office has been pretty flexible -- some days my commute is halted by a random strike [such as the bus strike last week or so], and sometimes my work is from home, due to other issues [getting my shower fixed - but yay, I have hot water again!] But luckily most of what I do is also doable virtually, so I have been able to keep up -- my organization skills have come in handy, and we're working on setting up an image database of sorts...since I have experience with my own photos and organizing them, some of this just seems to be a piece of cake!
Anyway, aside from all that, this week is the beginning of the World Cup -- so I am curious to see what kind of impact this will have on commutes, and all sorts of things. As some of you may well know, there are conflicting feelings about this year's World Cup due to varying factors -- FIFA [international associated football federation] and their actions, the actions of the Brazilian government to appease FIFA and prepare for the Cup, and everything in between. There are many articles out there on the matter, but for those of you just tuning in to the issue or wanting a summary, here is a good one:
Anyways, aside from all of that...not a lot else, really. I'm finally back into training both of my main martial arts interests now, including muay thai [a form of kickboxing originally from Thailand], in addition to my Brazilian jiu jitsu. It gets me my workout, my social interaction since I don't otherwise spend a lot of money to go out much, and - in my personal opinion - plays a huge role in my mental and emotional self care, in addition to physical. I'm a bit sore since it's been about 5 months since I really and regularly trained muay thai, and I am now doing it for an hour and a half five nights per week, with 2 hours of jiu jitsu following after a half hour break 4 of those nights per week. But I am happy! :)
That's pretty much it for now! I hope all is well with all of y'all, and please feel free to drop a line! Take care and all the best,