Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving in Brazil

Because Thanksgiving Day is not a recognized holiday here in Brazil, we had a very untraditional day. We left on Tuesday of last week to go to the little beach town of Pipa with the Reiner family for a couple days of camping.

Our "tent"

Exploring the campground with Daddy

Different ...

The place we stayed at was beautiful and unique and we had fun spending time at the beach, exploring our campground and walking down the streets of Pipa at night.

Gabriel loves playing at the beach

Beautiful scenery

In Pipa one night

We walked by this torch and Gabriel said "ot, ot". I took a picture because it's the first word he has said without being prompted.

We celebrated Thanksgiving Day by eating some great turkey sandwiches at a bakery in town. I'm not being facetious -- these were beautiful, Panera Bread quality sandwiches and that is hard to find here in Brazil.

We headed home that afternoon on what was supposed to be a two-hour trip. But our car began to overheat and no matter how much water David put in the radiator, it would quickly leak out and the car would overheat again. After several stops, we finally found a mechanic who said he could temporarily fix the problem so that we could at least get home that night. By this time, it was dark and we were getting hungry and Gabriel was getting impatient. To add to the problems, we hardly had any cash on us and a lot of places here still don't take credit cards. We were literally looking for change under the car seats and in our pockets to get enough to pay our mechanic and get some food to eat at the mechanic's mom's little eatery beside his shop. Thankfully, food and car repairs are much cheaper here in Brazil than in the States.

On our way home ... at one point we had to cross a river and this guy rowed us across

As I sat at the table eating rice and beans and waiting for the car to be fixed, I couldn't help but think of family and friends in the States and miss them a bit more than usual. Perhaps because it was supposed to be a special holiday, I was feeling a little sad that we were at that place and in that situation. I had to tell myself that I was being given the opportunity to put the Thanksgiving spirit into practice that evening and that I have so much to be thankful for.

We finally made it home that night almost seven hours after we left Pipa. But we made it home safely and Gabriel fell asleep for most of the trip and our car is now repaired.