Simply Stephanie

Simply Stephanie

Monday, November 24, 2014

I'm lucky to be alive!!

    So, our time here in Brazil has definitely been interesting. Trying new foods, experiencing the heat (it's early summer here), and visiting several cities; but I think the most interesting things of all has been the driving. Now, if you think American drivers are bad, then you need to come visit Brazil. Speed limit signs mean absolutely nothing, and the whole "you're not supposed to pass on a double line" thing is a rule that no one follows.

   The drivers have there own rules and signals they use. For instance, if someone wants to pass you, you can let them know that it's clear by flashing your right blinker, and if it's not clear you flash your left blinker. Although this is definitely not a fool proof method seeing that Brazil is one of the deadliest countries in the world for road deaths!

  Well, today we went with the missionaries we are staying with to the state of Sao Paolo around 4 hours away from us in Minas Gerais, and the rain that has been holding off since we've been here decided that it would come today. So, on the curves and speed limitless roads we flew for 4 hours. Now, I am known to get car sick, so since we've been here it has been common for me to close my eyes once we get in the car. The missionary asks me unfailingly every trip, even if it's just to the church, if I closed my eyes. Well, on this rainy day, as soon as we got in the car he went ahead and told me to just close my eyes and he would let me know when we were there. That was a comforting thought!!

  We only really had one close call. The blinker-passing system that I mentioned; well we were behind a truck and he flashed his right blinker for us to pass him. Turns out, it wasn't clear. Our missionary driver had to slam on the breaks and swerve back behind the truck. Luckily the cars behind us hadn't caught up to the truck yet, so there was just enough room for us to swerve back in. Then the truck tried to signal us again to pass, but we weren't so quick to follow his guidance the second time around.

  All during this rainy trip, my husband and I were a little nervous. So the missionary's wife decided to take our minds off the roads and tell us some stories. This story time turned into horror story time. She started with one thing that happened in her family in 2010 and it got worse from there. Apparently 2010 was not a good year for this family! The stories consisted of the one where her sister in law got her foot completely crushed by a truck that was run up on the side walk where she was walking; another story about her nephews getting a hold of bb guns and one shooting the other and he ended up being flown to the hospital (don't worry, her nephews both survived); a story of her two brother in laws flipping their jeep; one where another missionary had a car full of people and he was hit by a semi truck.... The list goes on. I don't believe anyone died in any of her stories, but it was definitely not a story time for easing our nervousness.

  However, when all was said and done, we obviously made it here safely. We spent some time shopping and getting souvenirs, and tomorrow it's some more sight seeing and then back to Minas Gerais. Lord willing, we won't have to drive in the rain this time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Adventure Begins

     We have started our first adventure in the missionary life. Three weeks in Brazil for a survey trip.  I was nervous as this day approached. Trying to remember to pack everything we would need for three weeks, not to mention making sure we had everything we needed just to get on our flight since the airport was two hours away from home.

   The day we left, I felt very confident, especially when my husband would say "Make sure we have the..." and I had already packed it.  He gave me many compliments that day about how I had it all together. We left the house and headed for the airport.

   At the airport, it didn't take very long to get bags checked and get through security. We got to our gate with no problems whatsoever. The first flight went to Washington D.C., and then we had a connection to Miami, and then on to Brazil. The first two flights went perfectly, not one single problem. "So, where's this adventure?" You may be asking...

   The flight from Miami to Brazil is where it all happened. We didn't have a long layover at Miami to begin with, but our flight ended up being 40 minutes late!! Once we got off the plane we had a whole 15 minutes to get to our next gate.... on the other side of the airport. Yep, we ran all the way. We were the last ones to the gate. And when i say last ones, I mean they were shutting the gate to start preparing for take off. Hubby got to the gate just in time for them to hold it for us to get on. Once we got on the plane took off not five minutes later. Finally, off to Brazil!!

   But it doesn't quite end there.... From all the running, and stress, and the fact that he had eaten a very large bacon cheeseburger not long before, my husband got pretty sick on this flight. Air sickness isn't something he had ever had to deal with before, but it hit him hard this time. On top of being sick, about half way through our flight, a woman two rows in front of us suddenly starts yelling at the passenger next to her. She was yelling because the other woman, who was her mother, would not wake up. They called for a flight attendant who came and started to shake the woman and tap her face and still this woman would not wake up. They paged for a doctor on board and two came back to our aisle to help this woman. Did I mention that the woman and the doctors only spoke Portuguese and the flight attendant and all the medical equipment were only English?? Needless to say, it was definitely and interesting little pow-wow there in the aisle.

    So as not to leave you hanging, the doctors did wake up the woman, and after she vomited for quite a while, she seemed to be doing much better. Not sure exactly what happened, but I did hear something to the effect of blood pressure medications and some wine at the beginning of the flight, which may have been the cause of the whole episode.

   Definitely an interesting beginning to our adventure...and we hadn't even made it into the country yet. I'm sure it only gets better!