Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day Seventeen: Saturday, January 23 – Happy Birthday, Jesse!

Special Note:  We publicized the wrong date for our public presentation night in February.  It is really on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, at 7:00 p.m. in the Soda Center at Saint Mary’s College.   Sorry for the mix-up.

Other Special Note: Our internet connection has been somewhat unreliable due to off-and-on heavy rains.  We hope to catch up on our web postings today.  We have also had some late evenings filled with events and those shifts in our schedule have thrown us off a bit as well. 

We got going in the morning with most of us heading to the beach to connect with the kids and a few splitting off to complete more work on the storefront.  As it turned out, though, there weren’t as many kids as usual today, so we peeled off a few more people and sent them to the storefront as well. 

The beach people did a few more lesson plans and got a bit more English going for the kids.  As usual, there was a lot of playtime too, with soccer as the main way to run around the beach. 

For those at the storefront, it was a highly productive morning.  We cleared the floor of all of the lingering debris and moved the entire debris pile from our demolition work behind the house to be reused later.  Seeing the space entirely open gave us more of a sense of how the storefront will soon look, but we realize that we have very little worktime left to complete the job. 

A few of us became cement installation masters, while others helped to dismantle the short rooftop off the front of the existing space.  We are going to help rebuild it and cover it with terra cotta tiles in the next few days.  Still others began prepping the walls for painting. 

We look forward to applying a fresh coat of paint (maybe several coats) to both the inside and the outside of the space because things will look very different after that moment arrives.  Jaime wants to install the floor but we have convinced him that we are likely to make quite a mess while painting, meaning that he should install the floor after we are done.  He tried to give us more credit as painters than we deserve, but we finally convinced him that we are likely to be total slobs. 

We hurried away from all of the worksites in the afternoon so that we could get organized to go out to dinner for Jesse’s birthday!  Georgete found us a restaurant that specializes in regional cuisine so we let them know that we intended to take the place over for the entire evening.  And we did.

We took an epic bus ride to get ourselves to the restaurant and by the time we actually arrived, we were starving.  It was still quite awhile before any of the food came, but fortunately there were some dancers there that performed some traditional regional dances for us while we waited.  Things got off to a rather slow start as they waited for their cue to begin their routine (they were absolutely still for almost four minutes before their cue came).  Once they began, though, they were very impressive. 

They were so impressive that we all gathered around once they were done and learned a few of their steps.  It turned into a bit of a competition and apparently Brie and Neil won, because they were awarded handmade necklaces by our hosts. 

We ate, gave birthday presents to Jesse (local t-shirts, a handmade bowl, and a necklace with enough beads to match his age).   He gushed and went crazy over each one.  

From the restaurant, we hustled over to Dona Maria’s house.  She has been the host for our SMC groups for four trips now, but she has never invited all of us to her house before.  There is an outdoor bar across the street from her house, so we spilled over onto their patio and communed with a lot of our local friends, including Louro, his brother and sister-in-law, some of the other workers from the camp, and our doctor friend. 

It was our latest night this trip, but it was fun.  We had to hurry to get to sleep to be ready for another big day tomorrow.  We already agreed to move more quickly than usual in the morning so that we can have a few extra minutes’ sleep.  Should feel luxurious . . .

Scott hanging out during an English lesson.

Bryan and Dani teaching the days of the week in English.

The kids make an interesting discovery…writing in marker all over our shirts and bodies.

Soraia and Soliane find a new way to play volleyball with Ana and Ciara.

Neil cleaning the cement off of the metal grate.

Josi and Brian trying to put up the Volleyball net.

The kids attacked us with markers and signed all our shirts, right now they’re coloring Ana’s.

Dani and Neil helping Jaime put in a new window.

At dinner for Jesse’s birthday we were surprised by a performance from a local dance group.

After Dinner, Gary, Jared, and Jaime played a game of pool.

We learned a traditional Brazilian dance at Jesse’s 40th Birthday. Brie was our star dancer.

And as expected, Neil was our second star dancer.

Our fellow Ninja Gianna plays with the local kids as they sign her shirt in markers.

The local boys showing Quincy a little love.

Working on the construction site.

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