We were so excited to arrive and be with James, Christen, Daniel, Hannah, and Jeremiah. We had not seen them since June 2007 so it was a very happy reunion. (Though we were all exhausted from the flight.) Phil and Mary Ruth, James' parents, came to the airport to greet us as well and help us get all of our stuff to James and Christen's house.
The kids all hit if off quickly and greatly enjoyed playing with each other. Andrew was thrilled to have kids to play with. Jeremiah and Andrew were partners in crime (they are only about 5 1/2 months apart).
Our first adventure was on Tuesday. There is a street downtown that is called the Walking Street. It is a cobblestone road that is only for foot traffic and it is lined with stores and little shops. It was a great place to see a little of the culture.
On the walking street there were several little fountains. Andrew kept begging to go swimming but finally was happy just running circles around the fountain instead.
While on the walking street we stopped to eat lunch. We had Pastels which are flaky pastries that have pretty much whatever you can imagine in them. This time we got some with cheese in them and some with hamburger meat in them. They were pretty good. After we ate the kids went over and played on a playground that was there and it was really neat that they were playing with the other Brazilian kids.
On the walking street there is a little flea market type mall that we went and walked around in a little. While there we decided we needed to try some ice cream. This ice cream is not milk based but water based. It still tasted good. Take a good look at the colors...James was eating grape, Mark was eating pineapple, and I was eating.......avocado! Believe it or not, it was really good.
Later that day we were in the mall shopping for Daniel's birthday present and in one of the stores there was a race track. Mark decided to let Andrew and Hannah have some fun racing. They had a lot of fun watching their cars go around the track.
The mall also had a train museum. Andrew was in heaven as he LOVES trains. He kept wanting to ride the train.
The mall also had a place in the food court where streams of water went over the walkway. It was very fun for the kids to look at. Andrew wanted to play in the water.
This was a common site to see. There were lots of people with the carts full of trash that either was pulled by a horse or they pulled it themselves by hand. They are the poor people that make their money from collecting trash and selling what they find. It was sad to see how many people made their living through these means.
We got to be in Brazil to help celebrate Daniel's 7th birthday. It was really fun to be able to be there to help him celebrate. He had a party at school that day too so we got to go and see his class and a little around the school.
Friday night, Daniel's birthday, we ordered pizza. It was very different from American pizza but it was still good in a different way. My favorite was probably the 5 cheese.
After we dropped off Daniel at school on his birthday we went into a rain forest area. There was this arch over the entrance into the area.
It was very interesting to me that it was not raining out on the highway but as soon as we entered the rain forest it was raining. It was kind of a midst type rain. It made everything more beautiful.
There was a little stream running down the hill and under the walkway that the little boys had fun watching. Check out the wooden bowl in the stream. I brought that home with me! =)
Daniel got to play video games a lot more with us there because Uncle Mark wanted to play too. Andrew was always asking to push the buttons. So the guys would give him the controller that was not being used and he would think he was playing with them. He loved it. Daniel liked having someone to play with all the time. I still have my skills at Mario Kart! =)
Josiah was always happy with all the activity around him. Other than cutting his first two teeth in Brazil I think he was a pretty happy little boy.
This ends the first week of our trip to Brazil. I will work on week two in the coming days. To give you a little to look forward too...we spent 3 days at the beautiful beaches along the coast of Brazil. It was beautiful!