Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

My feet wish you and yours a Happy Halloween, Brazilian style :)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Picture/Video Post

Marúsia drinking coconut water... or is it coconut milk in English? In Portuguese it´s water. I get so confused these days! :) They drink it straight from the source here... none of that artificial wussy stuff! :)

This is my sweet friend Jéssica. She works at the church in Salto, so I´ve spent lots of quality hours with her. She´s the sweetest thing, and she absolutely hates this picture. She´s added much joy and laughter to my time here. What a joyful beauty!

Aaaooooo... as meninas! ;)

E os meninos! Fosco/Alessandro, Ivan, Ricardo, Jorge

Okay, readership... this was my moment to share one of my great family traditions with my Brazilian friends. Talk about enriching the culture!

And this is Garrett the other gringo. He is an Aggie studying in Chile, but he´s here visiting for a week. This boy has mad skills. Basically he runs a bobbypin through his nose. Don´t watch if you´re super squimish... I seriously almost died laughing :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday Thanksgiving

Wow, that week sure comes fast, huh?

This week I am especially thankful for--

  • Friends who tell me the truth, even when it´s hard to hear
  • Packages from home
  • Hershey´s Cookies and Strawberry chocolate bars
  • Brazilian hugs and kisses
  • Hope

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Saturday, October 21, 2006


If you don´t read the PostSecret blog every week, you are missing out. To summarize, it´s kind of a contemporary art project. People from all across the country/world make postcards with their secrets on them, then mail them anonymously to this guy. He chooses a sampling to post on the internet every week. It´s so theraputic, heartbreaking, funny, and inspiring to read what people are holding in. The strangest and best feeling is when you read a card and think, "You too? You mean I´m not the only one?"


Recent Movies I´ve Seen

Olga-- A Brazilian movie about a woman who was one of the leaders in an attempted coup of the Brazilian government by the Socialist party. She was captured by Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. I watched this movie in Portuguese and could follow what they were saying well enough. My problem was that I didn´t understand the story. After talking to my friends afterwards I realized my big problem was that I thought the Nazis and the Communists were the same people. The Brazilians were shocked I could think that and informed me of course not, they´re enemies and at opposite ends of the political spectrum. This movie gave me lots of things to think about. Good movie.

World Trade Center-- Good movie, but I don´t want to see it again. I feel about it like I felt about The Passion of the Christ. I feel it was good and important for me to see it, but it was so stressful at the same time. I thought it was good for sticking to it´s purpose and good and staying unpolitical.

Take the Lead-- I liked it! I´m a sucker for nice stories, and this had several. Plus I love dancing and this had plenty of it. Good fun movie.

I haven´t seen The Last Kiss yet, but I am anxiously awaiting the video release in the US so I can see it!!! It comes out here in December. :(


Yesterday my beloved people from São Paulo came to visit! Oh it was so wonderful! What a great day of Brazilian lounging and eating and laughing.


I´d like to apologize to some people who I accidentally left off of my blog roll recently. I switched over to the new Blogger, and with that had to redo my links. I honestly believe that blogger is eating some of my links, because I recently noticed that Josh, Ben, and Praying Mantis were no longer links. There are probably others, and if you´ve been deleted, please don´t be mad, just tell me and I´ll re-add you.


I like my new cluster world map thing here on the right. It´s fun to see where people are reading me! It´s cool because I can see Jonathan´s little dot in Venezuela, Amber in Honduras, and Pamela in Canada... I´d like to give a shout out to my European readers! I have no idea who you are! ;) Fun stuff.


I bought my ticket to return to the motherland. Three weeks from tomorrow eu vou embora (I go away). I have about a billion emotions wrapped up in this, but I´m not going to write about it now. Maybe after I´m back in the US. I´m just going to focus on putting as much time as possible into being all here right now, completely in these moments.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Friends and Thursday Thanksgiving

There are people who make you laugh. There are people who share your hobbies. There are those with whom you work, go to church, or exercise. There are people who are smart, to whom you look up, or want to emulate. There are those who we have a history with-- a hometown, a high school, a camp.

These are all qualities important in friendship. But I don´t think these things alone make a friendship.

As trite and obvious as it is, friendships is born of love. And love is sacrificing. Love never intends harm. Love places others higher than self. Love rejoices in happiness and shares burdens. Love is service. And love is consistent, despite momentary fluxes in feelings.

I read a quote somewhere at sometime that said people are lucky if they have 3 good friends. Over my life I have been exceedingly blessed with some fabulous friends. A lot of us have gone our separate ways through the flow of life and growing up, but there are always more wonderful people in the world to be discovered.


Thursday Thanksgiving

Jettybetty has done this for a year today, and has inspired me to start doing the same!

Today I am thankful--

  • for my true friends.
  • for buses that come exactly when I need them.
  • for MSN messenger, AIM, and Yahoo Messenger that lets me communicate with people I love far away!
  • for the miraculous ability of the body to heal itself. My toe is almost 100%!
  • for intuition and gut feelings that help us make good decisions.
  • for the beauty of the Bible. Last night my Bible study group was in this passage--
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." John 14:1-7

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bat woman

I have a couple of funny stories to share.

First, on Sunday a big group of friends went to the movies and we ended up seeing "Open Season", I think it´s called in English... in Portuguese it´s "O Bichu Vai Pegar." It´s a movie about a bear and a deer being hunted. I wasn´t very impressed. Anyhoo, after the movie our group went to eat dinner. We were all at a big table and I wasn´t paying much attention, but I heard people talking about how something was normal in the US and they were surprised by it, so I asked what they were talking about. Jéssica turned to me and said, "É normal nos Estados Unidos pra gente caçar animais?" What I heard was "É normal nos Estados Unidos pra gente casar animais?" Slight difference in pronunciation, big difference in meaning... She asked me if it was normal for people to hunt animals in America and I thought she said is it normal for people to marry animals in America. Oh my goodness, after the initial shock then understanding, I died laughing. Easy mistake, but funny mistake. :)


Second, yesterday some friends were here at my house. One friend said, "I think you have a bat in the house. I said, "Oh no, you always hear that sound. They´re outside the house." He said, "I´m going to open the door to let the bat out." So he opened the door and a few minutes later I saw a bat FLY OUT OF MY HOUSE into the night. I screamed like a girl! I´m not scared of bats, but I sure don´t want them in my house!!!!!!! Oh my goodness... all day long I´ve been looking at my ceilings to check for more bats. :-/ But let this be a lesson. If you have bats in your house, just open the door and let them out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hair Gone Wild

This blog through the years has brought you updates on various physical conditions-- my stomach, my liver, my weight, my toe, and my hair. I think it´s time for a hair update!

For those of you who don´t know, a quick recap. Last year I was very sick, and as a result of sickness, most of my hair fell out. So last April I cut it all off to even it up with the new hair I was growing.

It´s kind of funny to me to look back at pictures from when I arrived in Brazil. My hair was so much shorter! Here´s a reminder--

Pretty short! Well clearly over the months it has grown, seeing as how this picture was taken 4 months ago.

As my hair has grown, I have become keenly aware that I am certainly my father´s daughter as far as hair goes. Well, how my dad´s hair used to be... :)

For example, yesterday I was downtown walking in the rain. It wasn´t pouring, but a normal rain. I have wavy hair, and so rain tends to freak out the hair. When I got home and looked in the mirror, this is what I saw--

It was pretty straight when I left the house in the morning! Here are some more photos to demonstrate how my hair can be--

Also notice that my hair has come back with cool highlights!

I´m not sure if my hair has come back more wavy, or if it is just like this because it´s so short. Really, I´m tempted to keep it short. It´s so low-maintenence!!!!! I think a sign that I´m getting old is that I just said those words. But I think I´m going to grow my hair out again for a while. I want to have and enjoy long hair while I´m still young. :)

My hair is to a length also now where I can blow dry it semi-straight, which is nice for options. Here´s a photo of my hair more straight and pulled back.

So what do we think? Do we like the short hair, or should we go long again for a while? I hear that guys like longer hair, and we know how I need a man to kill the bugs in my life. :) Ha, thanks for all the comments on the previous post, guys.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Why I´d Like a Husband

In a nice conversation with my friend Meredith tonight, I mentioned that I´d really like a husband. Of course there are emotional reasons, but I´m not talking about those. Besides, I´d never talk about something like that-- it might be a sign of weakness.

Anyhoo, I feel like there are many practical needs that having a man in the house can fulfill. This was even clearer to me while I was disabled this week.

Here is a short list of reasons why I wish I had a husband. I really don´t know who does and doesn´t read my blog, so I don´t know if any potential husbands are reading. If you are, please take note that you will be expected to do these things/fulfill these needs.

  1. Changing the water bottle. Not really an issue in America, but here everyone uses those big water bottles on a little dispenser. You have to be strong to manuver that thing!
  2. Related to number one, carrying heavy objects in general. At times I find myself with a suitcase in the wrong place that I wish could be moved, and often it stays where it is until the next time a strong man comes to my house. :)
  3. Putting the groceries away after shopping.
  4. Putting dishes away after they´re dry.
  5. Cooking for one is not fun. Not only do you end up with a million leftovers, there is very little motivation to cook a nice, nutritious just yourself.
  6. Taking the trash out.
  7. Driving. I don´t like to drive.
  8. Splitting rent, food, utility costs. It´s so much cheaper to live with two than one.
  9. Always having someone to automatically sit with in church.
  10. Taking care of any mechanical engineering type things-- appliances, cars, electronics, etc.

Ten´s a good round number. I´m sure there are lots of other great reasons to have a husband. These are the ones I will admit to caring about. :)

I would also like to add that I am most certainly capable of doing all these things, except maybe the water bottle. But I´d like someone else, especially a cute man, to do them for me. :)

Are there other good, practical reasons to have a husband? No emotional/physical comments desired. :) What are the practical uses for a wife? I challenge my single man friends to write the mirror to this blog. Challenge! ;)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Toe Update

Hello from the wilds of Brazil! :)
That´s a joke... Itu is anything but "the wilds".

Anyhoo, here´s the word on my dedão... my big toe!

I went to the doctor yesterday, and let me say that this doctor, Dr. Flavio was his name, was so amazingly wonderful. He looked like the storybook doctor... dignified, elegant, kind and knowledgable. He did x-rays and the toe is definitely broken, but he said it´s not severe (although it feels severe!) and he wrapped it up tight and told me to rest it and come back Monday.

It still hurts, but I´m going to live. :)

If the heroes of Monday were Aníbal and Jandira, then yesterday´s hero was definitely Ivan. He found the doctor, made the appointment, arranged my transportation, then came home with me and cooked dinner for me. Dinner was kind of a joint effort... I told him what to do and he did it. I felt really bossy and lazy. :) Our meal attempted to be chicken parmesan, but it ended up not like any chicken parmesan I´ve ever seen. But it was still really good! Just not chicken parmesan. ;) Then he made chocolate chip cookies, which were delicious. Here´s a video to demonstrate my bossyness. :)

Seriously, I´ve said it before, I´ll say it til the day I die... I have the best friends in the whole wide world. Thanks for all the e-support you guys! I´ll keep you updated. :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I broke my dang toe.

Last night I was coming home on the bus, which was unusually overcrowded. As I was stepping around a lady to pass, my foot hit the ground funny and I felt a lot lot lot of pain. Trying not to fall over on the bus, I somehow manage to get off the bus and get home (which if you know where I live in relation to the bus stop, is quite fantastic). I took my shoe off-- gingerly-- and before I took my sock off I could see a huge lump growing on my big toe.

Yes, people, I broke my big toe. It was hurting pretty bad and I was sad about being alone to deal with it, so I called my friend Jandira to see if she would come spend the night with me. When I told her what happened, she dropped what she was doing and she and her marvelous fianceé came over and hauled my sorry body to the hospital. Yes, my world tour of hospitals spans three continents now! :) By the time we reached the hospital my toe was turning lovely shades of purple.

The hospital experience was... interesting. The doctor I saw was truly awful. He was gruff and mean and generally angry seeming. He looked at my toe, told me to go get two shots and an x-ray and booted me out of his office. The line for shots was enormous, and he didn´t even tell me what they were for, so I made the decision to just leave. I was thinking I would just elevate it, take tylenol, put ice on it, and see how it was the next day (today). And I wanted to call my wonderful doctor friend, Thiago (my friend I visited in São Paulo a few weeks ago).

So Aníbal took me back to his house and he and Jandira fed me since I was so hungry I thought I was going to die, then they brought me home. I called Thiago who gave me some advice on how to treat it at home, and told me I needed to see a doctor today in case it needs to be set. Jandira stayed the night with me and took care of me, and this morning when I woke up she was preparing a delicious lunch for me.

As I write my amazing friends are finding a doctor for me to see and generally meeting any need I could have.

You can see that I am well taken care of, so no worrying and no comments or thoughts about poor Ann alone in Brazil as a cripple. :) My experiences in Japan and here (and America, too!) confirm beyond a doubt living reality of the body and family of Christ. I am absolutely blessed.

By the way, yes I have taken several pictures of my big, purple toe, but I won´t subject you to those. But I will subject you to a video! Hahaha... then again it´s totally up to you if you hit play. ;)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Seu Zezo and other stuff

Yesterday I needed to go by the construction site of the new church building here to take pictures, so Seu Zezo (Seu is a title of respect, his name is Zezo, which I´m pretty sure is a nickname for Jesus-- the name, not our Savior) took me there. Seu Zezo is an elder here and is becoming one of my favorite people. I´ve been here four months, and it was only two weeks ago that Seu Zezo learned that I am not Brazilian. Clearly, we hadn´t engaged in any large discussions, but I do remember translating for him once when the campaigns were here. But anyway, now everytime he sees me he says, "speak English!" I don´t know if he means I speak English or he speaks English or what. :) When we got in his car yesterday I was amazed because the CD he was playing was hard core techno... so loud you could feel it. :) I love Seu Zezo and his sweet family.


I´m pretty sure this could be me one day...


Tonight is the McBride Center Lecture. I wish I could be there... but I´m pretty sure the rest of my life is going to entail wishing I could be in more than one place at once.


By the way, this week has been amazing so far. Last week is a distant bad memory. :) Thanks to you guys for your support and prayers.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Stormy Skies

The weather the past few days has been kind of strange... windy, cloudy, warm... typical changing of the seasons weather. The sky was really amazing the other night and I took some pictures and a video. These are all different shots of the skyline at the same time, except the last one, which was at dusk.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

For those who miss hearing my voice (haha), I give commentary on the video. ;) And there is also the sound of the evil next door neighbor dogs barking. I really hate those dogs.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A peek into my prayer life...

This is pretty much entirely how my prayers go these days--

God, I have no idea what I´m doing, but I believe you do. Help me, help me help me, and thank you, thank you, thank you*.

*The help me/thank you part is stolen from Anne Lamott, who said all prayers basically boil down to those two sentiments.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Democracy in Action

Unless you are absurdly or unusually informed, you probably don´t know that today was election day in Brazil. Voting is mandatory for all citizens ages 18-60, I believe, unless you are over 200 kilometers away from your registered voting station (and I´m sure there are other excuses). So, it was a busy day for Brazil in general. These were the major elections-- president, governors, congress and senate, and some other office.

Political campaigning is very different here. It is anything but subtle. For the past month (at least), everytime I go down town I´ve been bombarded with leaflets and handouts and all kinds of gaudy advertising. Each candidate has a number, and when you vote you must enter that number into the machine from memory, so they work hard to make their number seen.

My friend Ivan wanted me to see how this worked, so he invited me to go with him to vote after church. As we neared the voting hall, this is what the street looked like--

These are all political leaflets in some kind of last ditch effort to advertise.

I was allowed to enter with Ivan as he voted, and for a country sometimes known for it´s chaos, it´s really quite advanced in this issue. It´s all electronic, you just go and punch your numbers in an electric machine and leave. It even pops up the picture of the candidate you enter so you can be sure you have the right one.

I found this leaflet on the ground and and tried to get Ivan to vote for him, but he refused.

In the end, it looks like Lula, the current president, will be re-elected. Most people I know are not happy about that. Lula is a north-easterner, and Paulistas (people from São Paulo) were voting rooting for a man named Alckmin (the former mayor of São Paulo, I believe). We´ll see. I´m not too devistated... I am kind of used to disappointing elections. ;)

Sunday morning, new week

It´s Sunday morning. It´s 8am, which isn´t terribly early, but right now feels really early. :)

Last week was pretty rough, as some of you know. I guess there was one big frustrating thing that happened and about a million smaller ones. Ever have days, weeks, months like that?

It culminated last night. Our youth group has a Bible class Saturday nights, and I always go. I love to go. So even though yesterday was truly craptacular and I was in a horrible mood and so tired, I set out to go. I left a little too late, so I missed my bus by a couple of minutes and had to wait 25 more. In the rain. In my "looks waterproof but really isn´t" jacket. And from my bus stop it´s still a 15 minute walk to church, in the rain. So I arrive 40 minutes late to find not a soul there. Oh how disheartening. I sat on the steps of the church and cried a little.

I sat there about 20 minutes, just thinking. I´m not sure what I was thinking, but I think "woe is me" would sum it up nicely.

So I started home. In the rain. And by this point it was really raining.

By the time I get to the bus station, I´m completely soaked. When I take the bus to my house, it lets me off at the gate and I still have another 15 minute walk to my house. So I made the executive decision to splurge on a taxi.

As Murphy´s law would have it, I got the strangest taxi. The car acted like it was going to die at any moment, struggling to conquer every speedbump. I envisioned myself pushing the car along the road... in the rain. And the driver was SLOW! At one point I started laughing because it was truly insane. Then to add insult to an injurous night, he was like, "You´re not Brazilian, are you, because you can´t speak our language well." Thank you, sir, may I have another?

Frustrating day. Week. We all have them.

But it´s Sunday morning now... a new week! I want nothing more than to crawl back into bed and stay there all day. But I won´t. In a few minutes I´ll get dressed and start the journey to church all over again. Because I need to. I need to go and see the faces of the people I love so much and who love me. I need to be hugged and kissed and loved on by the body of Christ. I need to sing with my friends and share in communion with them, and I need to laugh with everyone about what happened last night.

I think the natural reaction to when you feel bad and want to hibernate is to do so, but my experience has been that when you don´t want to go to church is when you need to go the most. Time after time this has been my experience... when I´m down, frustrated busy, stressed, whatever... if I make the time for God and my Christian family, I am always blessed.

So I´m off. I hope you shared your Sunday with your family, too.