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!