Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day Eight: Thursday, January 14 – Resting Up and Making Art

First, our apologies to those who are having trouble posting comments to our blog.  It seems to be a problem with the system (Blogger) and not something that we can control.  You are welcome to send email messages to the group if you’d like by sending them to Shawny’s email: 

News from the Illness and Injury List: Scott and Gary are back to their old selves again.  We’re glad because we missed them!  Jared has not quite conquered his situation, but the local doctor who is helping us is doing everything she can to make him more comfortable.  Her name is Elizabeth Santos and she has made several accommodations that seem utterly remarkable to us: 1) she gave us her personal cellphone number to continue consultations with us even when she wasn’t on duty, 2) she let us come to her house to help us interpret test results that came in after she had left, 3) she came to our camp to check on Jared, and 4) she drove Jared and Jesse in to the clinic to get more IVs to help his dehydration.  One might assume that she must think that ours is a dire/drastic situation, but she very clearly does not see our maladies as alarming or out of the ordinary.  In any case, Jared is in good hands and has improved quite a bit just in the last few hours. Happily, Ciara and Noelle have not joined the I&I List as predicted; they might manage to squeak past without suffering the Rota Virus. 

Shawny got a full-leg brace to immobilize her break.  It was undesirable to apply a plaster cast so this is the best alternative.  Though the brace helps to stabilize her, she is the worst crutch-user in the history of crutches.  Still, her leg feels much better today and the swelling has decreased a lot already.  She is mostly annoyed that she is missing the fun at the jobsites.

Speaking of the jobsites, we stayed away from them this morning and slept in until the glorious hour of 9:30 a.m.  A few people stirred just before the wakeup rounds started, but most people stayed right on their pillows until the very last possible second.  We ate a late breakfast and tried to start organizing things that had gotten scattered.  We didn’t get very far though, as we started working together on the day’s video blog and we were having so much fun that we didn’t mind if things stayed strewn about. 

After lunch we mobilized for what we thought would be a big construction day but it turned out that Seu João and Jaime were on some intricate parts of the roof that we’re not qualified to help build.  Instead of hammering and demolishing, then, we did some beadwork and handicrafts.  Lots of beadwork and handicrafts.  We learned how to do some intricate work with the string and we learned about different seeds and nuts from the Amazon that can be used for beadwork.   Pictures below will show more details. 

Before we sign off tonight, we must address some questions from the third grade students of Shawny’s other sister, Shelly, at Southwestern Elementary in Hanover, Indiana.  They are following our blog and we have stirred up some curiosity.  Here are their questions and our answers.

Indya (9) - How does it feel to have a broken leg?
Shawny says that it really doesn’t hurt as badly as you might guess.  She thinks that if you are ever going to break your leg, you might as well do it jumping into the Amazon River.  And if you DO break your leg, breaking your fibula high up seems to be one of the least agonizing breaks to have.  But, knowing about other terrible breaks that people have experienced, her main advice is not to break your leg. 

Ben (9) - How long will it take to build your building?
We hope it will be done when we leave on January 28.  We’ll see . . .

Jordyn (9) - When the kids learned English, have they learned any more words besides the Twister words?
Yes, they learned animal words, some greetings (like “Hello, how are you?”), colors, and some songs. 

Blake (9) - Can you get closer to the dolphins for pictures? That would be cool!
At one point when we were in the water, the dolphins were only about 15 feet away from us.  That’s CLOSE!  But we were too busy enjoying the experience to take pictures. 

Laney (9) - About how many pink dolphins did you see?
Maybe five pink ones.  It’s hard to tell sometimes if you are seeing the same dolphin again or if you are seeing a new one.  So we will say five.

Colton (9) - Have you seen any snakes yet?
Right before we jumped off the boat, we saw a snake swim by.  It was the first snake we have seen.  It made a few of us hesitate before we jumped!

William (9) - I want to live with the dolphins!
We agree!

Dried  Acai seeds, dyed and used to make Amazonian jewelry.

Brie, Brian, Bryan, Dani, and Georgete take the bus into town for more beads.

Works in progress.

Neil makes a sweet bracelet, and keeps the string tight with teeth. grrrrr

When you mix four hours, soda, cookies, and 15 college students; you get this.
Finished products, hand made in Brazil.

An assortment of beads used to make jewelry. The green and yellow beads were made from acai berries.

Ana making a necklace with some help from a friend.

Schuyler trying the beauty that is his bracelet.

Taking a break from the roof and sporting some of the neck wear, Jaime cools off with some shade and some water.

Today we made jewelry at Jaime and Georgete’s. Matt is learning how to make a necklace from Mariane.

Ana looking at Brie and Neil’s necklace, while Neil takes a picture.

While most of us were making jewelry, Gary was on the roof helping Jaime and Seu João.

On the way home, we saw this pick-up soccer game.

This is everyone having a typical dinner.


  1. hey guys- looks like your having a great trip! after reading about the pen pals, i got to thinking... i teach elementary school and was wondering if you have or could perk your ears for some Brazilian folktales. my creative writing and reading students are very adventurous and would love a new story-particularly ones involving animals or anything that could make loud noises when imitated. :) Best, Jami (Ms. Frush, Adda Clevenger Junior Prep) Hey Sky-don't get sick. :)

  2. Loved the video for today :] The jewelry is gorgeous, you should bring some back to SMC to fundraise for next year's JanTerm!

  3. Aloha all,

    Looks like you are all getting in the local grove. Your jewelry are awesome. We don't know if you have gotten the last two comments, but here we go again.

    Kisses, Mum & Dad (Brodeur Adamo)