# 53 - Diary of Brazil Mission Trip
The following is the diary I did when I went on the mission trip to Brazil with Rick Bonfim Ministries June 16-30, 1999. I thought you might find it interesting what the group and I did on a daily basis on the trip.
Tuesday June 15, 1999
Went to Kiwanis meeting in Swainsboro. While eating the Macaroni and Cheese (it was soft) I broke a tooth in two.
Wednesday June 16, 1999
Spent early part of morning finding dentist who could fix or remove the tooth quickly. Dr. Zebell worked me in on his lunch hour and removed the tooth. Immediately I set out for the Atlanta airport as I was now late on time we were to meet there. Stopped by my cousin's church in Stockbridge and two of the assistant ministers took me on to airport and let me leave my car at the church during the time I will be gone. Met group at the airport. We loaded the plane about 730 p.m. and finally hit the air about 840. Watched sunset as we departed. As we approached San Paulo we watched the sunrise. (At about 530 a.m. the stewardesses woke us up for breakfast. There were seats empty on plane so we were able to lie down and sleep a little. Were in Rio by 9am Eastern South American Standard Time. The team was scattered over the plane. One member of the team and me had a center row to ourselves.
Arrive to the mission compound by about 1000 am after passing through customs and Rick Bonfim getting us on the bus. Easy day. Lunch at noon and supper at 5. Helped move 2 commercial refrigerators onto the compound just before supper. Slept during day, and walked around the compound in the afternoon. We had Bible study after supper.
Breakfast at 8 am. Prayer and Bible study in the AM. Worked at the mission in the afternoon. Scrapped paint on Mrs. Bonfim's (Rick's mother) house and emptied the garage below the compound. Went to a church (Methodist) 1 1/2 hours away that night.
Bible study at church this morning that is 1 1/2 hours away. Lunch at a nice house that was deserted. (the family went on vacation and never came back). Spent afternoon handing out tracts on street. Margaret and I saw a couple making out in a car who we ignored. Brazilian woman with us went over and tried to give a tract to woman. The woman misunderstood and thought she was trying to steal her man and tried to fight off the lady who was with us. Lots of dogs. Every house has dogs, some huge and most appear mean. We had supper back at the same house again (about a block from church). Were served rice and beans, etc. Church was packed that night. I kept a bulletin.
Most of the group went back to the other church. I stayed to work on the computer. Went to church at the mission. (regular service with singing, sermons, etc. Some of the group helped lead.) I worked on the computer that afternoon. Brought wrong memory. (need DIMM). Installed the hard drive. Went to the other church (Methodist) about 1.5 hours again that night. It was packed. Rained all night, which started while we were at the church. Water was running down inside of walls in reception area.
Bible study and prayer in the AM. (Rick decided for me not to get memory today). Rest in the afternoon from 1-3. Went to the Hills from 330-530pm. Delivered clothes to about 6 families. Walked up narrow steep paths (dirty). Bible study after dinner.
Went to town with Wandehay to get memory (computer store was hidden behind wall with gates and no sign), then to the mall (5 stories, just like US, but no department stores) and got memory. The store had Visual BASIC, SQL books, MCSE books, big on Microsoft. Same computer magazines as US, but in Portuguese). Worked on computer. Went to church (Methodist) after supper about 30 minutes away. Semi-outdoors with a large room. (Had first and only Coke on the trip - two little cups at reception). Checked and sent e-mail for group when we got back at midnight.
Bible study and 1 hour praying and singing in the AM. Afternoon I worked on the computer. The rest worked at the mission from 1230 -2 and then went to the Hills from 230-5pm. That evening I worked on the computer. (Installed Internet Phone) and attended service at mission. Office is above the auditorium (excellent preaching with local pastor and singing). Afterwards we sang with the band.
Bible study in the AM. Group prayer for individuals in the morning. Computer not working at 830 am. Prayed over me to get PC working at 11 AM. After lunch the computer worked!! Backup worked well. Finished restoring new C drive. Group worked in courtyard (including me) sanding mirror of seats, planting (under Margaret's guidance), cleaning baptismal pool and pressure cleaning wall. After supper I worked on e-mail. We went to Rio, ate popcorn on square, rode ferry across bay to Niteroi. Went to mall but closed for holiday. Ate ice cream at McDonalds and window shopped. Rode by the beaches and the night clubs in Niteroi. Bought a Kuat drink at a Esso Tiger Mart on the way home.
Foggy morning. Worked at mission. Some tore off the old roof, some worked on cleaning the baptismal pool, I painted in the clinic with others. Worked on PC. (memory is bad) Fixed PowerPoint program which they use a lot. Bought a couple of hand painted towels at the mission. Lunch. After lunch the weather was beautiful. Rest of group went to beach. I was told to stay and work on the PC. InternetPhone - I could never get to contact Athens. Two of us also worked on cleaning the baptismal pool that afternoon while others were gone. After supper we had Bible study then we ate Twoatee (spelling not right) that we nicknamed roaches of the sea. The group had caught them at the beach and they were cooked at mission. Crunchy, but tasted like lobster.
Bible study after breakfast. Went touring. Went to Christ Redeemer. Wondered if van was going to make it to top of mountain. Ate at "La Mole" restaurant (trendy yuppie restaurant, orders were messed up, I had spaghetti, supposed to be filet mignon). It was 2 blocks from the Copacabana Hotel. Went shopping at the Copacabana beach. Beautiful beach, good shopping. Went to mall. (largest store (not large) is about size of an old 5&10 stores in US. It was Lujas American which is part owned by Wal-Mart). Some of group went to youth services. Others of us just stayed in rooms and talked.
Told on Saturday night we could sleep in Sunday morning. Only 6 of us made it to breakfast. The rest slept. Rick came in and said we needed Bible study. Get everyone up. Says we can rest in afternoon. (leave for church at 3 for 4 and 7 pm services). Bible study in the morning. Worked at mission rest of morning. Prayer after lunch for 20 minutes. Most then rested and cleaned up til 3. Went to a larger church for 4 pm service (south of town). 1.5 hours of singing then the sermon. It was a evangelical independent church. 730 service was at a small Assembly of God church. No drums, little music.
Bible study and prayer in the AM. Afternoon I worked on computer - memory works! Women took flyers about Gyn/Dentist clinic door to door. Men (plus Margaret and Alice) poured concrete for new roof. Taken to the roof bucket by bucket. Brazilians mixed it on the street. Went to church after supper. It is on the other side of Rio in a ghetto. It was an Assembly of God. Charismatic type service. Very rough neighborhood.
Short Bible study. In the morning part of the group finished the roof, the rest moved clothes and packed and tore down beds. I worked on the computer in the office and in the clinic. Afternoon part of group went to Christian bookstore. Rest of us packed. Alice , Burt and I walked to nearby shops. Supposed to leave for airport at 5 p.m. We left at 430 (bus was early, bookstore crowd barely made it.) Huge crowd at the airport. Brazilian National Gymnastics team was leaving for Switzerland. We cut it close on money's to pay tax on leaving. Several of us had to borrow money to get correct change to be able to leave Brazil. There were extra seats on plane to San Paulo. Overbooked there so there were no empty seats to Atlanta. One other member of the team and I ended up by each other with some guy who got on board in San Paulo. Rest of team was scattered over the plane. Watched Patch Adams on the screen coming back. My cousin Judy picked me up the Atlanta airport and fed me good pancakes (those in Brazil were hard), although I missed having some bananas for breakfast after eating them every day for two weeks.
Observations in Brazil
The money is spelled Real but pronounced "Hay-eye"
Ricky pronounced by Brazilians is Hickey so Brazilians were calling Rick Bonfim, the evangelistic who was in charge of our trip, Pastor Hickey.
Gas stations in Brazil were Esso, Atlantic, BR (assume that was a Brazilian brand), Shell and Texaco.
Prices at gas stations were gas .839 - .979 R$ per liter, alcohol .37 - .48 R$ per liter and diesel (car) .979 R$ per liter.
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