We had tacos for lunch...except that we didn't have the hard shells. Just used some tortilla wraps...mmmmm. Que Delicia!
I used the beef we had with that to make a vegetable beef soup for dinner. I'm not sure that I made enough for 7 people, but we'll see how it goes. It smells really good, and I'm looking forward to eating it.
I'm getting used to the English keyboard now. I have to use ALT with the keypad for letters with accents.
Today is a beautiful day...the sun is shining, and all the laundry is drying nicely on the line.
I haven't really been getting ready for school, but I still have...4... more days...yeah.
Tomorrow I have a doctor's appt. and a bank appt...Thurs. have an eye appt...and Friday get my braces on. Talk about a week jam packed!!
I should go now, put some more laundry on the line.
Love to everyone...Ash


It's an interesting day today...I didn't do much, but it still went pretty slowly. I'm trying to get myself psyched up to get things ready for college.
Made something today...in the kitchen! What a rare event for someone who never does any baking or cooking of the sort! I made some peanut butter balls...and then dipped them in chocolate. Mmmmmm...how good was that? Well, you'll have to look in the freezer( I put them in there to get nice and hard and crunchy...)....don't think there's any left! haha
Anyways, did some laundry, read a book, ate lunch, checked my e-mails...that has been the extent of my day.
I hope that everyone is doing well.
I went to church yesterday...it was nice to see familiar faces again. Although I have to admit, I went to the second service so that I wouldn't have to see as many people...yes, I am a little crowd shy. Oh well, I will see them again at Thanksgiving. My goodness what a long ways away that is!
Love to everyone.


College and Niagara Falls

I have to say, I have never been to Niagara Falls...all my life in Canada, and never been to such a beautiful place. But this Wednesday me and my family got to go finally!!!
Around lunch time we went to check out my new college I'll be attending in the fall...I really like it!!! Although it's a small campus, it's really nice...has 2 buildings for residence(one for the boys and one for the girls) and then an academic building, and a community center building(with the gym, the cafeteria, and stuff like that)
After that, we went to Niagara Falls!! On the way, Vanessa was saying, "I don't know what all the fuss is over these stupid falls! It's just water falling over a cliff..." And then once she saw them, she understood, and she was like, "WOW!!!"
It was so funny!
Anyways, I had a great time!


living in Canada

Well, I have returned to Canada...got here on Wednesday at around noon. The only complications was the two hour delay in Sao Paulo to fix the engine...then I was delayed getting into Toronto. But that's ok, I arrived, and I'm alive, and that's all that matters! Thanks to God for getting me here safely, because only He was able to get that engine fixed well enough for me to feel comfortable flying in the air for 10 hrs!
There isn't as much of a cultural shock as I thought there would be ...thankfully. Thanks for all of your prayers to get me back here without too much to worry about. Although I was eating dinner the other day, and looked at the napkins on the table, and said to my mom, "Are these napkins always big like this?" And she laughed and said, "yes, and you have been away for too long!"(because the napkins in Brasil are pretty tiny).
My whole family was so glad to see me. And I was really glad to see them too! All my brothers and sisters have changed so much, it was crazy!
Last night I stayed over at my friend's house, and we caught up on a lot of stuff. It was good, and felt really normal.
It was kind of hot today, and I'm still sweating buckets...but it is good to be back!
love to everyone!
Love, Ash


Just finished packing all my clothes in my suitcase...but that doesn't mean I'm finished packing yet. I have a ton of other things that I have to find room for in my other suitcase! No, I will have room. Thank goodness they're big suitcases.
Anyways, I think this will be the last blog I write before I leave. Because tomorrow morning I have to get up really early to go to the airport. And finally, I will arrive in Canada on Wednesday morning.
Yesterday I went to the English church in the morning, and then went and visited some friends to say goodbye to them for the afternoon. Then Graça's daughter Dani and her husband and children and I went to the supermarket to buy some groceries for her house. She brought her digital camera, and we were being really goofy in the store, taking pictures of ourselves with towels wrapped around us and stuff like that. However, one guy who worked there came around and told us that we weren't allowed to take pictures..so much for our fun! But that's ok. It was good while it lasted.
I was so tired last night. I had planned to pack my suitcases last night, but after we came home from eating pizza, I was so tired I could hardly talk! Needless to say,I went to sleep and hardly remember my head touching the pillow!
Well, I should go now. Have lots of things to do today, including going to the airport. I have to switch my Varig flight to GOL, because Varig isn't doing any more flights. So, let's see how that works out.
But I have to say, I appreciate everyone who read my blogs, who left comments, and glad that most people enjoyed them. Sorry some days I didn't write, but it can be draining to write blogs sometimes. Anyways, thanks for all your prayers, I survived, and I'm coming home now! Looking forward to seeing everyone so much. Miss you guys!!!
Love, Ash
P.s. I will try to write when I get home.


Never know how hard it is to say "goodbye" to someone until the actual day. Thursday I said goodbye to some of the students, but I didn't cry very much . But yesterday at Vôo Livre was really hard. I really got attached to the kids there, and especially to one family in particular. I waited to say goodbye to that family after Vôo Livre closed. I went to their house and spent a little bit of time with them. But all too soon it was time to go and it was so difficult. I love them so much!
Today I'm not thinking about saying goodbye to anyone else. I don't want to think about it until I actually have to!
I went to the zoo in Brasília with Wellington and Josh this morning until 1:30. It is a nice zoo. They have alot of birds, they have monkeys, lions and tigers and bears OH MY!!!(no, they don't have any bears...just quoting from The Wizard of Oz movie. )
I'm glad that we had the time to go there and do that!
This afternoon I'm going with Cristina to have acaí...not sure how to describe it, but it's such a delicious food! And then tonight I'm going to a birthday party of one of my friends who goes to the International church! I'm so excited!
Well, hope you all have a good week-end. Looking forward to seeing whoever I will see when I come back!
Love, Ash


I'm tired of crying whenever I talk about how I have to keep saying goodbye to people, so I'm going to talk about the inevitable DVBS. Hope it's worth the wait! LOL
So, Monday morning, two weeks ago, the DVBS started. The Canadians had decided to do the same program twice, once in the morning, and the other in the afternoon, to reach as many kids as they possibly could. The registration was interesting...they were trying to group kids by age by different coloured name tags like they do in Canada(unfortunately this is Brasil, not Canada) so...needless to say, it didn't work out very well all week, so we won't even talk about it. Some people were getting frustrated, but hey, this is Brasil, you have to go with the flow.
So, what they did every day was have a main group session, do the verse and sing, they the different groups would go to either music, drama, crafts, or sports, and then they would switch after a time. The crafts were difficult to plan, I can imagine, for Kay who was one of the Canadians to do crafts. The thing was, they could only bring so much stuff with them, right? So, she would have had to pick crafts that were the same, but that were challenging enough for the older kids, but easy enough for the little kids. It was difficult, a little stressful, but that's ok. That's life at a DVBS, né??? For translators, we had Joyce, Sadie, and ...me? it was good, most of the time I just stayed in the craft room and just had to translate simple instructions, like " Glue here, or cut there..." and sometimes the kids wanted to talk to the Canadians, so I could translate that for them. But...one day, Joyce had to do something, and I had to translate the drama Bible story of Zaccheus...there's only one word for that moment.... CRAZINESS!!! I asked Wellington(the sports director, a 25-year old string bean who is so hilarious) if I did ok...he said,"it was ok...you didn't get the verb conjugations right though!" Of course, that's inevitable with me! One day, I will know them perfectly!
And another day I got to translate some of the songs in the music room. It was fun! The lady who headed that up, Wendy, has lots of energy, so it was fun working with her.
Normally there were more kids in the morning group than in the afternoon groups. The sad thing was that kids from the morning group would repeat it in the afternoon. (I say it's "sad", because that just shows you that these poor kids have nothing to do on their holidays, so they would rather come back sing the same songs, do the same crafts and everything the same than be bored...but I guess that's better than being on the streets and getting into trouble!!!)
One 13 year-old boy was giving Kate(a very timid but ever strong daycare worker) an extremely hard time the first day. But she got me to translate that Jesus loves him, and that he is a good boy but he just has to show it. As the week went on, he still was impish with others, but she just kept giving him hugs, and showing him love, and he was pretty much fine with her. Later on she told me that he accepted Jesus into his heart! It's so exciting, but unfortunately we aren't sure how far that can go. I mean, I doubt that his parents go to church, so he may not have a chance to learn more about Jesus. Joyce has Saturday morning Bible studies for kids, but not many kids go. So please pray for Fabrício...I know that Kate is! She never gave up on him, not once! I know that the week was a success, all the kids enjoyed it, and the Canadians were happy to give it, even though it was stressful at times. At the last session, they handed out homemade knitted dolls and certificates. (I even got a doll later on too!Ok, everyone else got one too...lol) Anyways, it was a very good week, and I'm glad that so many kids showed up!
That night the Canadians bought a cake for Joyce and sang "Happy Birthday" to her...Her birthday is in December!!! They're such a funny group. It was so nice to get to know them all. oops! I forgot to mention one thing. On Wednesday and Thursday there were clowns there. WEdnesday had only 2, but Thursday there were 6, and I was one of them! Four of the Canadians dressed up as clowns, and then Wellington and I dressed up as clowns too! It was so much fun, and because Wellington is so tall, and kind of a ditz, he was the perfect clown! (Sorry to any of you blonds out there,(I am sort of one too) but honestly, if WEllington wasn't black, I would think he was a blond!!!) I will tell you one reason why afterwards. So, it was fun, all the kids loved it. Then, later, Nalva(Vôo Livre's telepromotor) had to go pick up a donation from one of the supermarkets. So Josh, WEllington, and I went along too. Unfortunately, WEllington and I were feeling in the clown mood, so Nalva was getting really frustrated when she was trying to talk to the manager. The manager loved it though, and she even told her daughter to get us a bag of candy so we could give candy out to people in the store. Well, don't get us started!!! We didn't just give candy out to the store, but also to the other stores on the block, both sides of the street!!! It was so much fun, and I loved it alot! The manager of the store said she would love it if clowns came to her October children's party that she always has(so we almost got a job right on the spot!!!)
When the Canadians left, Brenda(the team leader who was also the head clown) gave WEllington the face paint and many pieces of paper on how to be a good clown. It was awesome, and I know he liked it.
Friday night we went to a Churrascaria(a semi-facny barbecue place in Taguatinga) and it was a different experience for the Canadians.
Saturday morning we had to get up really early to take them to the airport. We had to leave at 6:30AM to get the team at their hotel. Here's where Wellington's ditziness comes in...he started washing Joyce's front windshield with soap and water, not even 2 min. before we had to leave. The scene was so funny, she walked out the front door, saw him and said," WELLINGTON! What are you doing?????!!!! We have to leave right now!!"
W: Well, I'm just washing you windshield.
J: But we have to go RIGHT NOW!!!
W: Ok, I just have to rinse this off.
J: Do you have all your stuff from the house?
W: Yes.
(2 minutes later we were just ready to go and he ran into the house to get his stuff. Joyce was about ready to throttle him. He is so funny, but at the wrong time, it just doesn't work!!!)
But we made it, got to the airport, almost everything went fine, except Kate found out that in Manaus on the way here, they took the wrong plane ticket, so Joyce and her had to hurry and get the problem fixed. It was hard to say goodbye, because they were a really friendly team, but we did it.
So, that was the long awaited DVBS story. Sorry that it took so long for me to write!
Love to everyone. Hope you have a good day! Today I'm at the school in Taguatinga, and tomorrow I'm back at Vôo Livre, but these two days are going to be the hardest because I have to say goodbye to students. So please pray for me!
Thanks for all your prayers. I know that God is with me and has been watching over me here!
Love, Ash



Ok ok....I'm back...I admit, I was stalling. There are just so many things to say, and some of them I can't even describe with words, so that's kind of difficult. This week as it goes on is going to be extremely difficult for me...Thursday and Friday I have to say goodbye to lots of students that I have known for the past 5 months. But the happy news is that I am ready to come home. I am missing my family alot, and even though I have a family here too, there's nothing like the family that I was born with. They know me inside out, and I love them so much. It still doesn't stop the hurt from leaving here though. This is life, though, eh?
Let me write about what happened last week, and then I will take a stab at talking about the DVBS...haha!
So, last week was the first week of school after vacations. Holidays for most students was 2 or 3 weeks, but some had 4 weeks. It just depends on what school they go to. Monday and Tuesday I was at the English school here in Taguatinga. It was alot of fun. We asked the students where they went on their holidays, but most of them said that they just stayed home and played computer, video games, watched T.V., and slept. How boring!!! One girl went to the Pantanal, a really tourist spot in the next state over. It is really swampy, so they have alligators, beautiful birds, and stuff like that. All of the classes on Monday and Tuesday just played a review game that was so awesome. They made a grid on the board using squares of paper and then marked the top of the grid with letters, and then down the sides with numbers. In this way, the students would pick a paper square using a letter and a number. On the other side of the squares, there could be 1 of 3 things: a star(which meant a free point), a bomb(which meant you lose all of your points), or a number(the students would have to answer a question regarding English). I really liked the game, so I made up a set of paper squares all marked differently to take to Vôo Livre with me for my English classes on Wednesday and Friday. I also made up a review for my classes, totally forgetting that I was starting the Introductory English classes. I was upset that I wouldn't have my old students(because I love them so much), but I actually did have one class after lunch that was my class from last semester, so I was happy about that. So, yes, Wednesday we started a new semester of um monte de coisas(many things) at Vôo Livre, including: Guitar, English, Computer, and Reenforcement classes(not really sure what this is, I think it has something to do with kids who aren't really understanding some things in school, I guess sort of like a tutoring class) plus the normal sports things that go on there all the time.
The thing was, Sadie told me she wasn't going to come, so I had to start a new semester all by my lonesome! It went well though. The morning class was packed with people I had never met, all who came to learn English, most of them for the first time. So I taught them the alphabet and the numbers from 1-10, and got to know them a little bit. It was a a bit overwhelming though, because there were about 24 people!!! Also, two of the boys in the back kept talking to each other. Finally I couldn't take it anymore, so I told one of them to come sit at the front. He was ok with it... he's a good kid! The class after lunch was my regular class from last semester, so we just worked on the review I did, and played the grid game. Then....then....if I thought the class before lunch was packed, ya...my third class had about 30 people!!!! Talk about nerve racking!
I just did the same stuff with them that I did in the morning. So, that was an interesting day, but it went well. On Thursday, I told Joyce she could make me do anything she needed me for. Soooooo....saying that.....yes, she got me to go over their inventory for Vôo Livre. There was so much stuff that I had to look for. There were tables, all the computers, chairs, sports equipment, and more. It was basically just to make sure we had everything that was on the inventory. It took me all day to finish it, and it was very tiring! But hey, if it helped Joyce out, I'm glad I could do it. At 4 o'clock, I went to Luziana's house(she's the teacher for reenforcement). She lives on the same street as Joyce, and she always rides her bike to Vôo Livre. So, it was a new experience...she has a little thing on the back of her bike for holding books and stuff, and she was able to sit on that while I drove the bike! Here in Brazil it's very common to have more than one person ride a bike, but of course I'm not used to it(the north american rules of helmets, seatbelts, and other things like this drilled into my head!!!) It's more difficult than you may think, because you have to balance the weight on the back. Craziness!!!
But I had a good visit at her house(she was a little stressed because it was messy, but it didn't matter to me) She is from Bahia, and music from there is called "Axé". She was teaching me how to dance to Axé, and the way they dance, it's more like one of those classes you go to, like dance aerobics. Talk about a workout!!! My goodness, it felt so good to excerise and have fun at the same time. I had a really good time!
Then just as I was going to see if Joyce had come home yet, she was looking for me(to go to church). So, sweaty as I was, I hurried into the house, changed my clothes, and got in the car to go to church. It was good to see the pastor and his wife(they had been on holidays too).
Friday was the same thing, just review of the alphabet, numbers, and review. However, word had spread, and I had more students. The afternoon introductory class now has 35 people!!! Crazy times!
Well, unfortunately have to wait again for the DVBS...time for dinner!!!
Love to everyone, looking forward to seeing my friends and family again soon!
Love, Ashleigh