Sunday, September 28, 2008

Driving home from church this morning, I was nearly run down by a motorcycle. How can a car be run down by a motorcycle? When you are going at 120 kph and he flies by you going about 250 kph. That's how. My dad calls motorcyclists "organ donors" because there is so little protection on a motorcycle in case of accident. I, however, would call motorcyclists like the one I encountered this morning, "road kill looking for a place to happen." At that speed, there would be no organs left to donate. Why is it that people get so impatient when driving? In their normal day to day lives they are patient, but put them at the control of a motor vehicle and the impatience factor goes up. This seems to be a morbid topic but it is part of life here in Portugal. The drivers are so fast and careless that Portugal is one of the countries with the most deaths per Kilometer in the world. (For those of you who don't know a Kilometer is a little over half a mile.) I thought Houston was bad, but the drive from my house to Aveiro (about an hour and a half trip) on the highway is like driving in Houston traffic on roads like the highways in West Virginia, hilly and curvy. Portugal has some very lovely things about it but the traffic is not one of those.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My least favorite chore in the house is doing dishes. When I was younger, I put it off as long as I could. (Mom, stop laughing.) This last week was particularly bad as I was sick all week and put off some of my chores until I felt better. (Notice I did my laundry but the dishes got left. I would rather clean toilets than do dishes.) So I have made a deal with myself. I would run the dishwasher at least 2 times a week whether it was full or not. That way I don't get caught with a sink full and I don't have to be ashamed of myself. I do have proof that I did do the dishes but my camera has no battery at the moment. So, as soon as I can get them charged, I will proudly display proof for all you skeptics. ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I went out to hang my laundry yesterday and this greeted my eyes. What is that around your feet, Aurora? Well, we have had rain for the last two days and my veranda had a blocked drain. Oh Yummy! An inch of water on the front veranda.

So I unplugged the drain and here is the water running out.

My plants sure loved the rain. They were happy as two bugs in a rug. (I always wanted to say that.)

This is the view off my front veranda. This veranda is where my laundry lines are. There is nothing like "airing your clean laundry" in full view of the town. Happily, I have a little rack on which I put my underclothes, so at least those are not in full view of everyone.

Finally got my laundry up. The veranda dried out and today was lovely, so my laundry dried. Yea! Clean clothes. Just what every one wants right?

Now I just have to do all the other housework. Rats, I was looking forward to some downtime. Oh well, that's life, right? On to the next project.

Wow What a party?

Have you ever seen a town practically shut down for a religious festival? The village I live in just had their yearly festival for their patron saint, Our Lady of Relief. The town was full of people lining the streets to see the parade of saints. In front of each saint was a group of children or adults dressed like the saint's statue that would follow. For example, in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima would be little girls dressed to look like the statue.

would be little girls dressed to look like the statue.

The Portuguese take their festas seriously, as you can see. The road that is blocked off is one of the main connecting roads between Barcelos and Esposende. It is the equivalent of a state route. The children in the procession were at youngest 2-3 years old. It is sad to see the dedication given to such festas and know that they are starting to use more and more women in this parocial because not enough men attend church regularly. It is heart rending to also see the devotion given to ordinary people and carved blocks of wood and not to where it rightfully belongs, Jesus Christ. The Portuguese remind me of the Athenians who worshiped so many gods and dared not offend even one that they had an altar to the Unknown God. "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." Acts 17: 16 It is when we are faced with this display that we are reminded of why we are here in Portugal. As Paul said in Acts 17:23 "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." These festas are repeated through out Portugal several times a year. My prayer is this that we might "be all things to all men that we might by all means save some." We have been placed in this village for a reason. It is our hope and goal that we might be able to touch these peoples lives with the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My First Ever Post

Wow, my first ever post. I am new to blogging. I have seen others and thought it was a good idea. This way I can share my thoughts with others and also events that happen in my day. In the following blogs I will try to share with you what Portugal is like and what it is like to back in the country in which you grew up.
This is a picture of me leaving for the field. I have since lost about 20 lbs. and I feel a lot healthier. Of course living in an apartment with 45 stairs leading to your door and no elevator will do that to you. Also, I eat a lot healthier here as well.
I have been busy with a local church my coworkers and I have been attending. They needed musicians and children's workers, so I have been helping out.
I have also been able to quiet some of the cravings I had for Portuguese delicacies while in school and on Deputation. There are only a few Portuguese communities in the States and I was near none of them. I have now had Farturas(kind of like a Portuguese churro for those familiar with Hispanic culture), and also a Bifana(a Portuguese sandwich with pork or beef) very yummy. You can only get these delicious item during a Festa. (And now all my family not in Portugal is drooling. Oh well.)
For those of you who know me as Dawne, Aurora is the name I use in Portugal. The Portuguese alphabet does not have a W in it and the sound that AW makes in English is not in thier language either, so we translated it when I was a teenager.