Well...after about 6 months of planning for, praying about and looking forward to my very first mission trip, it finally became a reality! I, along with my team, left on Thursday, September 3rd for the Outback of Brazil. Our flight left Charlotte in the evening and we flew to Miami, FL. We immediately got onto a flight (10:30 p.m.) and flew all night to Salvador. After a brief layover in Salvador, we boarded our last flight that took us to Recife, where we landed around 10:30 am on Friday. It took us a while to claim our baggage and get through Immigrations and Customs, but soon we were greeted by Pastor Carlos. I had heard so much about him and could hardly wait to meet them.
We headed out with all of our luggage to our tour bus that would be our transportation for the 7 hour trip to the Outback. Our first stop, before we got on the road, was to stop for lunch at a local restaurant in Recife, called Tio Pepe....and OH MY WORD!
It was here that I knew that I was probably not going to be losing weight on this trip as I had hoped and expected! The food was delicious and I also had my first taste of Guarana- the carbonated beverage that is original to Brazil that I had heard so much about. It tastes sort of like a much sweeter Ginger Ale and is really yummy! Pastor Carlos and our team leader, Daniel, ordered a variety of different dishes --beef, chicken and fish -- and everything I tasted was great! This is a picture of my plate. YUMMY!
It was here at the restaurant that I first got to meet Pastor Carlos' sweet wife, Dinalda, and with the help of an interpreter, start to get to know her. I could tell right away that I was going to love her! (Please keep in mind that this was me after being on an airplane for about 14 hours! lol)
It is also where we got to meet up with more of our amazing translators that would be helping us all week, two of which are pictured here L to R, Katarina, and Carla, Pastor Carlos' daughter.
This is another one of our translators, Anne, with my daughter, Faith. God was so faithful to provide us with so many awesome translators and we certainly could not have done it without them!
After driving a couple of hours, we stopped at a little place on the side of the road that everyone on my team that had previously been to Brazil fondly called "The Chicken Ball Place". It was like a little "Cantina" with a gift shop, ice cream, fresh coconuts, and the infamous "chicken balls". Several people had Coconut Water, but most of us had ice cream and an opportunity to stretch our legs.
After this little stop, it was back on the bus for the remainder of our trip into the Outback. We arrived at the Hotel Brotas somewhere around 9:00 that night, and after checking into our rooms, we headed for the hotel restaurant and found this spread awaiting us.