Since having a car is essential for us to complete our assignment and the paperwork to get a car isn’t complete yet, Sister Hall graciously loaned us her car to return to Sousa to find a place to live and go to work.
We left for Sousa the morning of November 17th. It took us a little more than six hours to make the trip that President Hall drove in a little less than five. I haven’t developed the aggressive driving style yet that is required to make good time on the road in Brazil.
We booked a room in the hotel, but only had 2 days to find a place to live and move in as every hotel room in town was booked beginning Sunday. The Zone Leaders in Sousa, Elder Walton and Elder David had been looking for a house or apartment for us. No houses were available, but they had 3 apartments for us to see. The first 2 didn’t work out, but the third was acceptable: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths (shower, sink and toilet ) a nice sized living-dining area and the largest kitchen of the 3 places. The kitchen is very small, but larger than most. The apartment was just bare walls – no furnishings at all: no closets, no shelves – just bare walls and tile floors. It’s on the third floor of the building – no elevator. We’ll get good exercise walking the stairs.
Since we were going to have to leave the hotel, we went on a mad shopping spree to make the apartment habitable. The Elders were angels, taking us to stores they had scoped out. In 2 days we bought a bed, a stand-alone closet, chairs, refrigerator, stove (with bottled gas to make it work), kitchen armoire, cupboards, table, bottled water dispenser, 2 air-conditioning units, a clothes washer and a host of miscellaneous items. We contracted for Internet service, for power and for people to install the air conditioning, electricity and plumbing for the clothes washer. We’re in. A different lifestyle for sure, but we’re in.
|Kitchen - fridge, water cooler, cabinets & clothes washer|
|The only hot water in the apartment - a 220 volt electric shower head!|
We’re comfortable here and grateful for the apartment. One surprise – we rented the apartment in the evening when it was dark. In the daylight we discovered it is next to a drainage canal with 18 inches of water and lots of garbage whose unpleasant odors only make it to the third floor occasionally. We also have unexpected visitors – small frogs about the size of a half-dollar (remember half-dollars?) that climb walls and show up at night in the kitchen or bathroom. We seem to get one or two a week. We named the first one Freddy, but now just remove them from the apartment.
|View from our 3rd Floor Balcony - Drainage Canal - not exactly riverfront property!|
The best thing about being in Brazil are the people. They are wonderful. They are open, generous and very friendly. People we have met in the stores are anxious to help and anxious to please. The members of the church are fabulous. They are devoted and work hard in their church callings. They walk long distances to church – no one has a car, a very few have motorcycles – and serve one another. We’re privileged to be serving with them.