Archive for February, 2009

02.23.09

Brazilian School

Posted in Excerpts at 05:18 pm by admin

EXCERPT – Chapter Six – Brazilian School

Edison, Rudolfo and Gracie - 1940

Edison, Rudolfo and Gracie - 1940

For the first two months at Aunt Martha’s local schoolchildren were on vacation from school. But by March, classes resumed and continued for the next four months. Dorothy and I attended the nearby public school with our cousins Edison, Rudolfo and Albertina. We were thrown headfirst into Brazilian culture. Not one word of English was spoken in our daily lives, except our parents. (more…)

02.16.09

The Beheading

Posted in Excerpts at 11:24 am by admin

EXCERPT  - Chapter Thirteen – THE BEHEADING

The Florianopolis Market Place

The Florianopolis Market Place

I loved going to the market with Vadica; in fact, I loved going anywhere with her.  We rose early to catch the five-thirty bus into town.  When we stepped onto the coblestone street, the air was cool, and there was a slight fog over the ocean.  I was nine years old.  The sun had barely risen.

Even that early in the morning, Florianopolis was already busy.  The public market, built in 1898, was framed by two red stucco buildings, each the length of a football field.  Between them was an expansive corridor, filled with stalls.  Inside vendors peddled meat, bacalhau (codfish, a Brazilian staple), and shrimp. as well as rich sweet egg breads and toasted manioc.  Outside, produce seller carts spilled over with towers of lime, bananas, coconuts, etc…Vendor called out over the festive strains of live Brazilian samba. (more…)

02.09.09

Dad the Gaucho

Posted in Excerpts at 05:03 pm by admin

EXCERPT – Chapter Six – DAD THE GAUCHO

Dad the Gaucho-Graceann’s Father

Dad the Gaucho

Dad was practically never home. He was busy helping Missionary Nordlund, the Swedish missionary in charge of the entire state of Rio Grande do Sul. The main church in Porto Alegre had many outstations. These were smaller congregations, from twenty-five to over two hundred people, in the nearby suburbs and villages. Most of these congregations did not have a full-time pastor, but were ministered to by preachers who traveled from village to village. There was never enough help, so Dad kept busy the whole time he was there, going from place to place. He seemed to enjoy helping Brother Nordlund, and It also gave him an opportunity to preach in Portuguese and get a feeling for what his future work would entail. At the same time, he was scouting for a permanent place for his own mission.

Graceann’s Comments

Mother, Dorothy and I stayed with Aunt Martha and Uncle Rodrigo when we first arrived in Brazil. Dad was busy and gone most of the time. Aunt Martha lived in the southern most state of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul. (more…)

02.04.09

Dead Babies

Posted in Excerpts at 11:15 am by admin

EXCERPT  – Chapter Ten – DEAD BABIES

Brazilian Coqueiros Cemetery

Coqueiros Cemetery

When my father volunteered my services as pallbearer to the locals, I willingly obliged. So it was I who carried babies to their graves. …

There were so many dead babies. Sometimes it was the sugared coffee in their bottles that did it-or coffee mixed, for the lucky ones, with a touch of powdered or canned milk when the privilege of the breast was passed over to a newborn sibling. Other times, parasites chewed the babies up from the inside, leaving them hollowed out by diarrhea and dehydration. With no medical care, baby funerals were as common as rain and salt. (more…)


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