Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Volunteer Team Diary - Day 1

We receive word from the church secretary that the leader of the team, who handpicked those who would make the trip, is sick and has been forbidden to come by his doctor - this is the first sign of the flexibility this team will require!

9:30am - 6 exhausted Americans arrive at the airport (on time!), change money, and go to clean up at the hotel.
12:15 - Team Leaves for sightseeing trip around Porto Alegre. Lunch is at the Galpão Crioulo restaurant with traditional Gaúcho dancing and food.

15:00 - Boat Ride on the Guaiba river with a panoramic view of the city

After the boat trip, we went up to an overlook over the city, took pictures, and prayed over the city. Then, we went to the old central market, which is where all the city bus lines come together, as well as a important sacred site where the African spiritist religions come to make sacrifices - in the middle of the shopping area. The market has numerous stores that carry suppplies for spiritist religious ceremonies. Needless to say, we took an opportunity to pray in the market as well.

We also took the team to the grocery store to stock up on supplies and gifts for folks back home (everyone loves Brazilian coffee, chocolate, and soccer jerseys). For dinner, we headed toward the restaurant, got lost in the dark, and got the chance to pass a city bus that had run over a motorcycle, not just once, but twice - welcome to Porto Alegre! We finally made it to the Pastry restaurant which has made to order pastries in almost every flavor imaginable. We all packed into a big booth and took the opportunity to do a general orientation before heading back to the hotel to crash for the night.

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