December 27, 2010
Tudo bem? EVERYONE says that. All the time. Tudo bem? Tudo bem. Tudo bom? Tudo bom. Tudo bem? Tudo direito. And so on.
I'm finally here! I think that's what you call a miracle.
Let's see...well, we got here on Thursday, really early in the morning, slept for a few hours and then went to the Christmas party at the mission home. I was really, really tired! But it was nice to meet some of the missionaries and President Neves and Sister Neves. Then on Friday we had some orientation things and our interview with President. I guess that was Christmas Eve, so we had to be home at 6. But we met with a couple people and talked a little about Christ's birth. I really can't say a whole lot and I understand approximately...nothing! Everyone speaks Creole here and it makes no sense to me. Then add that to the fact that I really don't know Portuguese yet. Agh. But I can still pray and bear my testimony, which I've already done a lot.
Then Christmas Day! We had an awesome breakfast/party at Elder and Sister Adam´s home and I got to play UNO! I felt right at home. Then we pretty much just hung out at home until the Christmas choir concert at the chapel. The chapel is sweet. It´s orange and green and yellow and I never would have guessed it was our church, but it's really nice.
We had church on Sunday in the church near our house, though. And it's just a basement floor of a building. Church was good. There's almost more missionaries than members, but I understood a little bit and it was cool. They have one investigator who's going to be baptized in January and he came. The rest of Sunday was pretty cool. We walked all over and taught a few people.
Ah. Also. Ironically, I´ve never been kissed so much in my life. (The mission is not what I expected!! Haha.) All the women greet each other by kissing each other on each cheek. It will take some getting used to. :) And for some reason I think there are other causes for sicknesses than the water or food. Haha.
Okay. Now what you really want to know about: Cabo Verde! It´s incredible. I don't think I even need to say that I've never been anywhere like it in my life. There are animals everywhere: chickens, dogs, cats, cows, and goats. I've never seen so many scrawny dogs walking around and barking on roofs. Well, I've never actually seen any dogs on roofs before now, but here it happens a lot.
There are some pretty nice places here and all the houses are painted cool colors, but we visited a few houses that were built of cinderblocks and concrete and that's it. It was interesting going in there though, because they still have leather furniture, china, and TVs. And posters of Allen Iverson. But not all of them. There are many people here with very little.
Let's see...well, we´ve taken a lot of taxis and buses (which smell bad) and walked a bit along some very bumpy roads. We also climbed a mountain to get to part of our area. A mountain with steps all the way up it. It was pretty steep, but not too bad. But there are women who have to climb it several times a week and with giant tubs of water on their heads.
So the place where I've been staying isn't my area. Just this afternoon, I barely moved to my new area: Terra Branca. Still near/in the city of Praia. My companions are Sister Almeida from Brazil and Sister Pinto from Angola--yup, you guessed it. Neither of them speak English. Which will be really good for me! Our house/apartment is actually really nice, by Cabo Verde standards. And it's purple. Which is awesome.
I'll have to take/send a lot of pictures when I get my camera cord. Which is in my suitcase. Which still hasn´t arrived. But it really is amazing here. There is an absolutely incredible view of the ocean and the lighthouse which I'll have to send. And then there are the hillsides covered in tiny concrete houses and the cobblestone roads and everything else.
fofo (foh-foo) = fluffy
tubarao - the second 'a' has a tilde over it. (too-bar-ow) = shark
ladrar = to bark
fixe (feesh) = cool/awesome, etc. (I think it might actually be Creole)
I love you all! I´ll try to think of more to say and tell you about now that I´m officially in my area and ready to get to work (and learn the language).
Sister Emma Brooks
Also, you better have watched the “Doctor Who” Christmas special!