Thursday, May 14, 2015

A few things we are up to in Itajubá, Brazil

Below are a few pictures or our time thus far in the south of Brazil, where cooler temperatures (50's to 70's F) have set in. i am getting tutoring and language immersion, with a great experience making home visits with community health workers (agentes de saude) several mornings a week. This was arranged through my mother-in-law, Adriana Ribeiro, who works as a doctor in Santa Rosa's public health post. This experience has been a wonderful opportunity not only practicing Portuguese but to be shown (mostly) working-class Brazilian culture. Zeke is going to school during week days, while Eliel and Naomi remain at home with Priscila. Priscila is doing the paperwork necessary for our move to Angola done--so so thankful she's doing this! We've caught up on several immunizations that the kids would not receive normally in the States, such as Yellow Fever and BCG.

Naomi and Eliel are getting much attention wherever we go, the former for her eyes and frequent smiles and the latter for his eyes and energy (bagunça). If we had more time here, i would try to get Zeke in a capoeira class with his hilarious, extemporaneous exercise dance routines to find some outlet.

Hair-cutting day in Itajubá. Eliel being left guessing what was happening, managed to get his first haircut without a tear shed. Oma Ribeiro was there to hold him.

Opa Ribeiro and Naomi Jacira enjoy conversations with each other, here at the salon. They have a  language i think only they share

Zeke getting a haircut: note his ubiquitous cowboy boots made it to the show

On Sunday after church, we came across a local parade of farmers, ranchers, horse-lovers riding bareback, saddleback, in buggies, on wagons, you name it. Big parade that i think had most of the city in it. Looked fantastic and relaxed: as it meandered through the city, some rested, some took shortcuts to join friends in other parts of the parade, others joined at later points, some played their favorite Brazilian country hits through speakers on wagons, some double fisted their beers and reins; there were entire families on horseback or in buggies, and others were in groups. Since we love horses, this was an awesome surprise

Twice a week, the community health workers arrange for a morning caminhada, or exercise walk, through the area for people with diabetes and/or hypertension. Towards the end of the one yesterday, a billy goat joined the ladies. But in a very un-Brazilian fashion, he failed to have bathed before hand and did not apply any pleasant perfume, either. Other things community health workers do include arranging doctor and nurse home visits, keep tabs on bed-ridden patients, visit peoples' homes, inform the community when influenza vaccines are available, etc.