I realize that over the past month I have not been updating as regularly as I had intended to. Part of that is because of busyness (limited freetime to devote to rest, reading, internet and whatever else I may want to do) but also because of costs. If $ were no factor to things I would then I would have uploaded all my photos, emailed many friends personal updates and generally kept closer to you whom I love states-side. As it is, I´ve limited myself to R$5 of internet usage per month. Please understand/respect my decision to live simply.
Recently we´ve had a few really hot days. The kind of days where you come out of the shower and instantly begin sweating again. These days are difficult in a world where I only experience air conditioner once a week for a brief time. But still there are some cloudy days and some rainy days so it´s not like day after day of continuous sweating.
For instance, this Monday on the streets it was raining heavily. So we ducked under an awening with 8 or so of our friends who call the streets their homes, regardless of the weather. One women (19) and her 1 year old baby boy were there asking if we could help her find a shelter that would take her and her baby. The next day Rich searched but some shelters had closed down and most required money. There are so few shelters that will allow women to stay with their children here. And it seems that the government does not fun sufficiently very many options for this friend of ours.
On a brighter note, Friday night at the Missionaries of Charity soup kitchen for men of the streets, we had some very exciting conversations. Our Portuguese teacher has done a very good job with us and it´s exciting to be able to understand people´s stories and then to be able to tell people what we are about.
Yesterday we hiked Corcavado (the mountain of the christ statue) with four of our closest Brazilian friends. It took us 2.5 hours to climb up but then back down part way to the vans that shuttle people to the top. They were charging R$24 to get up to christ. Last time I came it was free. I thought charging so much was an outrage so 5 of us walked as far as was permitted without a ticket and took pictures of the backside of christ. Then when the group got back together we continued to walk all the way to Alto do Boa Vista. We had to have covered 10-12 miles, some VERY steep. This was an absurdly fantastic adventure.
Thanks for reading.
Happy Birthday Matt!