I know that this picture is very dark, but this is me on the beach in São Luis. Andréa took this photo the day we arrived. Doesn't God create just the most beautiful sunsets? My goodness, I love that sky!
Yes, today is the game between Ghana and Brasil...it started at noon, and it still isn't over. So far Brasil is winning 2-0!! (Seriously, was anyone doubting that??! LOL) No, Ghana has really strong players, and they play very well.
But I'm still cheering for Brasil! Qual time voce torce??? (What team do you cheer for?)
Tomorrow Celça is leaving for Natal, to join André there. Luiza is going with her! :(
And then Pâmela is going next Monday, all by her 8-yr old self on a big plane! She'll be fine.
But I'm kind of having a problem...tomorrow I have to go to Àguas Lindas. If Sadie still isn't feeling better, then I really do have to go no matter what. They are having a big special lunch for Celça, and I don't want to miss it. What can I do???!!! I hate these kind of problems...ya just feel like tearing yourself in half and doing both of the things you want to.
On Saturday(CANADA DAY!!!) there is a work day at Vôo Livre. There are people working on the buildings all the time(the electricians just put in the lights), but this day a whole bunch of people come and work on the buildings. Joyce(the missionary) plans these days once in a while, and she has some ladies come and make lunch too. So everyone works in the morning, takes a break for lunch and Bible reading and singing, and then go back to work for the rest of the afternoon. It really is a good time. So I hope that alot of people turn out. I think she's having them put tiling on the roof...or somewhere, not too sure.
It's funny how here in Brasil, they don't really try to balance the different food groups. For lunch today, we had rice, beans, macarrão(speghetti), chicken in a tomato sauce with potatoes, and salad. So we had 2 grain products(rice and pasta), and 2 were meat products(beans, and chicken). It's pretty much like that every day. You know what??? I don't think they really care...they just love their food, and Vera cooks SO incredibly good!
I will probably write later...maybe...and tell you how the game went, if you don't already know. In the meantime, take care, and God bless!
Vai com Deus(Go with God)
Love, Ash


This picture is one of our classes in Águas Lindas...the morning class. Not all of the students were here this day. It was taken in one of the new classrooms that got opened up in the big building. It is so nice to have an actual schoolroom now! And they put lights in too, so it isn't as dark as it was before. The girl in the blue beside me is pregnant, and Friday was her last day coming to English. She is due in July, and she looked absolutely tired and worn out...so I think she's ready to stay at home until she has her baby. She said if it is a girl she will name it "Sol", which means "sun" in Portuguese. I think that is a beautiful name.
I went to the funnest party on Saturday night...I would have put some pictures on for you, but Andréa hasn't downloaded them on the computer yet. But first I have to explain some more culture stuff. There in Canada and US, it's special when a girl turns 16, and they call it "Sweet Sixteen". However, here in Brasil, the special age is 15, and it's a really big deal. I don't know how the poorer people celebrate, but rich people give huge parties for their daughters, and if they don't give parties, they send them on a trip, usually to DisneyWorld in Florida.
So on Saturday, Andréa, her boyfriend, students from the English school and Andreia the secretary at the school went to one of these parties for one of the girls who goes to the school.
The party started at 10PM, but officially the girl can't show herself until midnight, for some reason. Before she came downstairs all the guests enjoyed themselves to the food, and a live band. It was fun. The food they had was so good...the only thing I had was a crepe with strawberries and kiwis,and ice cream and whipped cream to top it all off. There were other fruit to put in it. But their was also a different crepe which they call "sal"(the first one was "doce"), and it had tomatoes, cheese, meat, and other stuff. SOOOOO good. There was so much other food too. The 3 guys that she invited from her class are all about 15 years old, and they are so incredibly funny. They kept us laughing all night.
When it turned midnight, Flávia arrived in a beautiful white dress, like that of a bride. She was so beautiful with her hair all done up so beautifully.
She was in an upstairs room of this event place, and her parents were waiting to greet her at the bottom of the stairs. They had so many camera people and photography lights everywhere, but it is a special event so they wanted it to be perfect. When they all went to the front, there were a few speeches, and her dad sang a song for her, and her parents gave her a ring. Even the guy she liked sang a song to her. It was beautiful. After that everything went back to normal and they served dinner(yeah, at 12:30 in the "madrugada", the wee hours of the morning...I'm telling ya, these Brasilians sure keep weird hours!) The band started up again, and they played some forró...Andréa's boyfriend was the only guy at our table who really knows how to dance forró, so all of us girls wanted to dance with him. Unfortunately, I never got to. Oh well! Then many people went up to the front after they were finished playing forró, and they started doing some real good dance music. Then they played some techno music, and honestly, I think I danced for 2 hours straight! It was so much fun, and even funner when you have a whole bunch of friends to dance with like that. They started giving out those light up bracelets and feather boas and funny glasses, and we got tons of pictures. When she downloads them I will post some of them on here...they're hilarious! We went home at about 3:30 in the morning, and I still wanted to dance...did I mention how much I love to dance??? It's great at parties like these because they're fun, like big huge birthday parties, and there was confetti and everything.
I only slept until 9 on Sunday, because I thought we were going to the English church. But it turned out we didn't and so we went to the Brazilian church at 7:30...it's so much better now..I am starting to understand more Portuguese at church. I'm glad, because now I understand the sermon!!!
Well, I should go, someone else wants to use the computer. Hope you have a great evening, and take care. Thanks for your prayers.
Love, Ash


Brasil Won AGAIN!!!

Well, this picture was taken in April, and if I had known that I could put pictures on here, I would have done so. However, this was during the rainy season. I loved it then, becaue it could be so dark in one part of the sky, and right beside it it would be clear skies!!! This was about 5 or 6 PM, and you can see that it was really dark in Brasília. Andréa and I were driving towards Àguas Lindas, and the sky was really clear and a beautiful sunset was taking place. What a beautiful sky!
I know this is old news, but I did try to write on Thursday after the game. The computer wasn't working, so I gave up!
Brasil won the game over Japan, 4-1. Everyone went crazy though, because Japan got the first goal of the game. My goodness, they played really hard against Brasil!
It was really hard to say goodbye to André. Celça and the girls are still here, and they will go to Natal later on.
Wednesday and Friday I taught our classes at Vôo Livre without Sadie, all by myself. She is sick, unfortunately. I think she has arthritis in her legs, so the doctor gave her some strong medicine and she wasn't allowed to walk around.
So, it was tiring but fun teaching by myself. I like the classes in Águas Lindas, because the kids are really helpful when I speak in Portuguese. It went really well, but I never realized that you can get tired from teaching! LOL
Now I appreciate all the hours that my teachers in highschool spend preparing and teaching classes!
I was really surprised to hear though, that one of the students in my morning class, Jardilene, moved to São Paulo! I didn't even know she was moving, and so I was kind of upset. I guess she came on Thursday to say goodbye, but there were no music or knitting classes then because Sadie wasn't there. I wish that she had told me she was leaving, because now I will never see her again! She was a really quiet girl, though, so I guess she was just shy about saying anything.
Anyways, life goes on, I guess.
Almost all the students want to know when Graça is coming back. I think that they miss her alot, they love her as a teacher!
A group of women from Canada are coming up in July, and Joyce told me that they are expecting me to translate for them....ya, not too sure how that's going to work, but we'll see.
Today I asked Vera if she needed any help with lunch. Usually she says no, but today she told me to make the salad. Ok, I figured, that's fine. Just wash the lettuce and cut up the tomatoes and we're all set. I started washing the lettuce, and noticed that it is WAY dirtier than the lettuce we get in Canada. I made sure I got what looked like little spots of dirt off. When I was all done I looked in the water and saw that the little "spots" were little BUGS!!! so I was really disgusted and washed all the lettuce again! So that was an interesting experience!
Love to you all, and please take care. Enjoy the pic.
Love, Ash


YES! Finally I was able to download a picture onto here! And it worked! This is the front lobby of our Yale English school, and this is how we decorated it for the games. The lady sitting at the desk is the secretary, Andreia.
So, now that I am all excited about the picture, I will continue. The third game is tomorrow, at 4PM, between Brasil and Japan. Hopefully that will be a good game too.
Yesterday was a good day of helping at the school. Andréa needed to study for a test she had last night, so she left me in charge of her 3rd class all by myself!!! It was good, and we just did 2 conversations and some listening work. After that was over, I gave them homework and we still had a half an hour left. The boys all wanted to leave early, because they wanted to watch the game between England and France. They kept bugging and bugging me, and finally I asked Andréa if it was ok, and she said fine. So they left 15 minutes early to watch the game!!! Crazy people psycho for soccer. Man, it's so funny.
Then after that I helped another teacher Polyana, with her class, and came home with Cristina in the crazy rush hour traffic of Brasília. I'm so glad they know how to drive in it, because I sure am terrified!
By then it was 7PM, and I had been at the school since 2PM...so it was a good afternoon!
Today I'm going to Águas Lindas again to do English review with my kids there. It's going to be a great day!
Tomorrow I am coming back in the afternoon to watch the game and say goodbye to André!!!I almost cried yesterday when I hugged him. But his wife, Celça, said that anybody from my family is welcome to stay at her house in Natal whenever they come to Brasil. So, there you go! I hope they take her up on that!
I should go now, it's almost time I have to leave. Glad that my family has met Graça already, I knew that you guys would like her!
Canada Day is coming up, and so is my sister Vanessa's 12th birhday, and don't you worry, I'm not forgetting either! AND it's my brother Graham's gr. 8 Graduation tomorrow...and I'm missing all of this!!!
Well, hope you all have a great day...wherever you are, know that God is watching over you! Thanks for all your prayers! Love, Ash
P.S.: Enjoy the picture!


45 Blogs today!!!

I hope that everyone had a good week-end. I know that in North America it was Father's Day, but here Father's Day is on August 12. But Happy Father's Day to every father, including mine!!! I love you DAd! Yesterday the second game for Brasil with Australia was at 1PM, so I went to church in the morning and hurried back in time to watch the game. It was kind of boring at first, but Brasil won 2-0, so everyone was very glad! We had a bunch of people over, and had a churrasco(barbecue) with rice and farofa. They had made 3 desserts while I was at church, so we ate so much food! It was alot of fun, and then the rest of the afternoon all the family stayed and Dani straightened 4 girls hair for them, and some of the guys played cards. And after the game on TV, the streets went wild again with people partying and blowing noisemakers and honking horns. We just stayed in the house where it's safer!
Today I am going to the English school again, to help in the classes there.
I'm really sad though, because André and Celça are moving to Natal soon. They already sent a bunch of their stuff on ahead of them, but André is going up by himself this Friday. So Thursday is another big game between Brasil and Japan, and for sure everyone will be there to say goodbye to him. They don't have a house yet, so he's going ahead to look for one. Then later on Celça will go, and I think Pâmela and Luiza will go a little later by plane with André's mother. But it's going to be so horrible without them!
That's all I have for today folks. I hope it's a beautiful sunny day wherever you are. Love to everyone, Ashleigh


Almost 45 blogs!

good afternoon...boa tarde
Today it is 27 C...a very good temperature I think. There is not a cloud in the sky, and it is a very beautiful day. Last night the sunset was something else...a mix between purple, orange and yellow! Only God is the artist that could create that! Wow...how beautiful!
As you know I have been in Àguas Lindas since Wednesday...I got back last night. It was such a good time. Sadie brought her humidifier because Joyce's house is very dry. I think it worked for her. Wednesday was a good day of English, English, and more English! I love it when students are eager to learn English, and they actually try to speak it with confidence. There is one student, his name is Ramon, and he is 21 years old, who is so good at English. He has such an eagerness to learn. I think he wants to be an English teacher too. He even brings doubts he has about the language so he can ask questions. There are also some more students that are so good, but they just don't practice! Sometimes that is frustrating!
I got a cold after lunch, so it was kind of frustrating!
Thursday we had 2 classes of music, and 2 knitting classes. It went well. I am able to help without fail in music, but the knitting, well, let's just say it's not my forte. If only my sister was here, she would be able to help! She is so good at knitting!
We also had lunch at Pastor Claudio's house...it was very good, and there were quite a few people from his church there too.
On Friday instead of helping with English, I was looking after the computer classes. The teacher for them was away in Goiania. I just gave them a few things to type out...it was just a day of practicing. Kinda boring, because I was just watching them type, but you know what? At least I was helping, so I can forget that it was boring!
I got to see to of my friends there that I haven't seen in a long time...Bruna, who is 12 years old, and Soraia, who is 16, so I was able to talk to them.
The kids at the English school in Taguatinga usually start at 8 years old, but you can start learning English when you are older too.
At Vôo Livre I think the age limit is 12 for beginning, but obviously we have some older people in some of our classes too.
I have some banana recipes for you. It has been a while for food...haha.
I think we do this in canada too, but it is not very common. Here it is quite common:fried bananas. Just slice up a banana, stick the pieces in oil, and then when they are done, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar overtop. So good!
Also, you can slice a banana in half, with the skin still on, and place it in boilin water until the inside is mushy. When it's done, take off the skin and you can eat it with butter(if desired) and cinnamon and sugar. How good is that!!!
I hope everyone has a good day...I think we're going to the mall later on(although I won't buy anything) and then tomorrow is the big game between Brasil and Australia.
Everyone is busy selling noisemakers, shirts, and flags again today. So crazy!
I will probably go to the English church in the morning and then hurry home because the game starts at 1PM. I will try to write again tomorrow!
Well, have a good day...love to everyone!
Love, Ash


Brasil WINS!!!

HI, to everyone. Yesterday was Brasil's first game in the world cup of soccer. Everyone came and we had a big party watching the game. They played against Croatia. Before the game, people everywhere in town were going crazy. Honking horns on their cars, turning music up really loud, blowing noise makers, and EVERYONE was dressed in yellow and green...Brasil's colours. It was crazy! So, we all watched the game and we were so excited because Brasil won 1-0 over Croatia!!!!!!! As soon as the game was over, I heard fireworks and people honking their car horns on the street. It was crazy! Andréa took some of us in her car, and André took some in his car and we went driving around the streets, and not even joking, there were police everywhere, people were going crazy, and yeah. Wow, I have never even seen this much crazy emotions ever in my life, I mean from whole towns and cities! Anyways, people were still honking horns and going crazy at midnight, and the game finished at 6PM. So, there are two more games for Brasil to play. The next one is on Sunday at 1PM, and the one after that I think is on the 22nd.
Other than the craziness of the World Cup, I have had a good week so far. I got to teach one of Andréa's classes all on my own on Monday, in the morning. It was good because they had some questions for me in English, and then after that I asked them some questions, and then we did book work, up until the hard grammar came up. I let them leave when I saw that, because it's difficult for me to teach grammar in Portuguese. Actually, it's impossible!!! haha
Then yesterday we just had one class in the morning, none of the students showed up for the 2PM class(because the game started at 4PM) and then the rest of the day we spent watching the game and spending time with family. It was good.
Today I'm going to Àguas Lindas with Sadie again and staying at Joyce's house until Friday. Tomorrow is a holiday, but we're still doing stuff at Vôo Livre...I know that there will be lots of kids there because they will all be bored and have nothing to do.
So, I will write again on Saturday. Love to you all, and thanks for all your prayers. God is watching over me, I know that for sure!
Love, Ashleigh


hi...sorry to keep you all waiting...
some questions to answer first...I don't think there were any sharks at the beach where we were...the water was really shallow way out, and they didn't have anywhere marked off at all, so I think it was ok. If I knew that there were any...trust me, I wouldn't have gone in. I'm so terrified!
My sunburns are better, now they are nice brown, but itching soooooooooo badly!
So cold here now at night. Last night I think it was 13 or 14 C...we were freezing. Allana is using her hat and mitts now. So funny.
From now on I will be staying in Àguas Lindas every Wednesday until Fridays at Joyce's house. The lady who is teaching at Vôo Livre in Graça's place doesn't like to do lots of driving, so she decided to stay over. And I have no way of coming back and forth, so I'll stay too. On Wednesday's and Fridays, it's English as usual, and on Thursdays Sadie teaches music and knitting. I can help with the music, but knitting???? You've got to be kidding me! But, she wants me to learn so I can help to teach the girls. Also, she wants me to teach them how to make friendship bracelets, so I think we're going out to buy embroidery floss one of these days so we can have lots for the girls.
I like helping at Vôo Livre, and I love the kids. And I know so many kids on Joyce's street, so on Wednesday night, I sat outside and talked with 6 of the kids there for about an hour and a half. It was good, because I missed them alot!
On Thursday night Joyce took Sadie and I to Pastor Claudio's church...it's very tiny but they have big hearts! I had an opportunity to say my testimony, to tell them about my life and how it's been growing up as a Christian. Joyce translated for me, but it was so good. We sang some hymns, and prayed, and that was it! But they are so friendly people, and have such a love for God!
Friday morning classes for Sadie and I didn't start until 10:30AM, so I had a chance to hang out with two of Joyce's neighbour girls. Both of them are about 11 or 12 years old. But they had to go to their school to get something(it was a holiday for them) so they found a bike for me at one of the neighbour's houses and we biked to their school and back. OH my goodness, I don't know how they ride these bikes everywhere. The handlebars were so far away, and the bumps on the rode made it so uncomfortable. But it was fun, anyways!
Sadie is funny. In Àguas Lindas only the main streets are paved, so she trys to find a way to get to Vôo Livre only on Asphalt, because she is so afraid of ruining her cars in the potholes on the dirt roads! Hilarious! We got so lost yesterday...and I couldn't stop laughing!
I helped Sadie make dinner on Thursday night. I got to crush up garlic, peel manioch(which is so difficult to do), and cut up some chicken. It was fun.
Last night I returned home, and it was so good to sleep in my bed again! I missed it. But last night the whole family(except for Cris and Nathan) went to the Expo Brasília for a little bit of southern brazil culture. People from the south are called Gaùchos, and they have traditional costumes and stuff that they wear. They had all sorts of shops and stuff selling different things from the south, clothes, handiwork, knives...anything really. Also they had fresh grape juice and wine...the grape juice was so good! There was even a girl in barefeet dressed up in this beautifully embroidered white dress, with her hair all done up in the cultural style standing up on top of a barrel crushing grapes with her feet! It was so cool! Dani said to me,"i hope she washed her feet before doing that!" She and I laughed and laughed!
We ate dinner there too, and got home at 1AM in the morning. Here in Brasil they don't really have a scheduled bedtime, and so even Dani's baby and Allana came along. Of course they fell asleep, though, because they were tired. It was lots of fun.
We also ate fruit in a bowl with melted chocolate all over it! So good but very very rich!
Well, I should go now...I think today Andréa and her boyfriend are going to his cousin's birthday party barbecue and she's taking me too...I haven't even gotten ready yet! so I should go...but I will talk to you all later.
wait...I forgot to say that the World Cup of Soccer started yesterday. The first game was between Germany and Costa Rica, and Germany won 4 to 2. Brasil's first game is on Tuesday, and so it is going to be CRAZINESS here!!! Stores will shut down and everything in order to watch the game and I'm not even joking! You should see how they've decorated. Every street has streamers from telephone pole to telephone pole, people have painted their garage doors with the Brasilian flag, and they've even painted some of the sidewalks too!
So, I want to feel patriotic too, even though Canada's not in it...I'm making a bracelet for myself with red and white colours, so I don't forget my home and native land! But, don't get me wrong, I'll be decked out Brazilian for sure on Tuesday, that is a fact!
ttyl, thanks for your prayers for me!
Love, Ashleigh


The Beach...

Allana,Andréa and I arrived home from São Luis safely yesterday evening. However, I was too tired to write a blog, so I am catching up tonight. Our flight there went well...it was Allana's first plane ride, but she loved it(although her ears did bother her when we were descending). As soon as we stepped out of the airport, we noticed how humid it was. Here in Brasília, it is very dry and chilly right now, so that was a bit of a change. Our hotel was nice, not overly big by any means, but close enough to the beach. After we settled into our rooms, we walked down to the beach. Wow, the ocean is beautiful! And the sand here in Brasil is very fine and almost white, compared to the sand at the local lakes in Canada. The water was so warm, and I went in right away! So different from a lake, and when I licked my lips I could taste the salt still. So cool! The waves weren't really that big, but big enough to scare Allana. She didn't even want to go in! It was so much fun. On Friday we went back to spend the day at the beach. I put on lots of sunscreen lotion, but forgot to reapply until too late, so I did get burned(not too badly) We ate crab legs and rice and farofa and this vinagrette stuff and chicken heart. The meal was really cheap, I guess because it's right by the beach. The next day we decided to take the city bus and go see what downtown São Luis looked like. It was really neat, and we went to this little museum(we only paid $ .50 for a little tour, pretty cheap, huh?!) and then walked around some more. Allana and I were soooooooooo tired and hot, and I think Andréa was the only one with energy! But it was nice, and so different from Brasília. It is only 40 years old, so the buildings don't have much of a history. São Luis is very much influenced by Portugal, especially when they first arrived there a long time ago(by the way,São Luis is a little island). Because of their influence, many of the buildings are VERY VERY old, and we're also talking cobblestone streets in some places. So neat. After a little dabble in their old culture, we went to their new culture(the shopping mall) where of course has the latest stores and such, and we ate lunch. Then we went back to the hotel, swam in the little pool they have(because we were really hot) and then stayed in our room and rested. Also, São Luis is very famous for Guaraná Jésus...Brasil has this soft drink called Guaraná, and there are many different brands. My favourite is Antarctica, but there is also Kuat, and now we've discovered Jésus. Not entirely sure why it is called Jésus, but hey, it's Brasil!
So, the next day we went to a different beach that was not so close by, because we had to take a bus. This is the first experience I've had on a Brazilian bus where I have had to stand up because it was pretty full of people going to the beach. It was craziness, let me tell you! This was a cleaner beach, and people could actually drive their cars on the beach and park by a picnic table that had a little umbrella. Some people turned their music on and played it at full blast, so it was nice for us to listen to it while we were swimming. I did stay in the shade most of the day, put sunscreen on, and even put my t-shirt on to play in the sand with Allana. However, after all this precaution, at the end of the day, I was even more sunburned. I wonder if sand reflects sun???!!! Thankfully we had airconditioning in the room, so we were able to turn it on full blast. Andréa got a little bit sunburned too. Allana has really neat skin. We only put a little bit of sunscreen on her in the morning, and she doesn't even burn. She doesn't tan very much, but it's like the sun doesn't affect her at all! Thankfully she got over her fear of water(she can't swim) and found some friends to play with at this beach and they just played in the shallow parts. Yesterday we were all too tired to go anywhere so we stayed in our room and finally got up to take showers and go to the airport. It was a really nice trip to the beach, and I love the ocean!
Today we had classes at the English school, but both Andréa and I were really tired, because we didn't sleep very well in the hotel. But it was a good day today, and I got to help a little more, with reading some dialogues.
I hope you all are doing well. I had so much to say, and I keep thinking of things to write about Brasilian culture, but usually by the time I sit down to write a blog, I forget. However, I shall start writing down as I remember, and then I will be able to type them up here.
Love you all, Ashleigh