A Brazilian Christmas...

Can you believe this rain we're having? I mean, it's the end of January, and I don't think the weather has made up it's mind about winter yet.

I'm not complaining! I will take rain any day over -25 degrees, thank you very much!

Speaking of weather, let's talk a little bit about our warm Brazilian Christmas.  It's been over a month, I know, but I'm looking through pictures today and working on our update letter, and decided it's time to regale you with the tales of South America at Christmas-time.

Christmas Eve
Gabi and her codfish appetizers! YUM
I know that we have mentioned the Lopes family a lot, because three of them were our students and we started to spend much time together, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and the like.  So why should Christmas be any different?  We were so grateful to them for their hospitality, friendship, and wonderful food!

There's my pumpkin pie! Also, the turkey decorated with tropical fruits, brazilian style stuffing, and rice
Salad, ham, rice, and a codfish casserole

From Left to Right: Friends of the Lopes family, Jake and I, the Lopes
On Christmas Eve, usually the family stays up until midnight and then ushers in Christmas Day with this feast.  We didn't make it quite to midnight, but dug in around 11:30pm.  Before that we enjoyed the codfish appetizers, and the Lopes family exchanged gifts (they gave Jake and I the shirts we're wearing in the picture above!).  We visited and listened to music and talked and told stories.  Jake and I didn't last much past 1am, and asked if they could take us home.  As much as we had gotten used to the late night culture of Brazil, eating a full meal that late made us both very sleepy.  Valeria sent us home with leftovers, which we were happy to share with the Evans' as well!

Christmas Day

Waiting for Polly and Igor to pick us up
The couple we met at the Presbyterian church, Polly and Igor, invited us to their big family get-together and BBQ on Christmas day.  They picked us up at the seminary and drove us to Polly's aunt's house, which is absolutely stunning and large.  Polly has 5 aunts, so there were quite a few more people there than the night before!
Laying out food in the spacious courtyard
The BBQ area
 Polly told me that all the women prepared the main meal and the desserts the day before, cooking altogether and enjoying each other's companies, while the men prepared the BBQ.  When we arrived there, all the women were gathered inside around a big table chatting and snacking on pieces of meat and drinking Coke, while the guys were outside around the BBQ, cooking and doing what guys do best-eating.

Meat-which they snack on even before the main meal begins.  Whenever new pieces are ready, they put it on  plates and pass it around for family members to whet their appetites.
Jake's favourite part...he ate so much meat before the meal!
A typical Brazilian BBQ consists of-deliciously salted steak,
a bean dish of some sort, rice, potatoes or manioc, and a fresh green salad
Just when I thought I'd die of hunger, it was time to eat, and man, it was a good meal! Everyone was loud, boisterous, and it reminded me of the big family get-togethers that our own extended families would have been having back home in Canada. 

The whole family! 
Jake and I with our friends Polly and Igor

We were happy they invited us to join them, and that we could see the contrast between a smaller, evening gathering and a much larger, midday big family celebration.  Even though it wasn't too similar to what our Christmas here in Canada would have been like, we were still grateful to experience Christmas in another culture, to see how others celebrate the birth of our Saviour and Lord.


1 comment:

Singinglady said...

Hi Ash

Thank you for sharing your experiences with your new friends as you celebrated Christmas with them It was most interesting and your pictures were great!

Lots of love NAN