sexta-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2008

Memories

It's been so long since I have written here! Wow... last time I did, I was in Europe. Now, half a year later, I write from São Paulo, once again dreaming of making another trip.

Six months later I can think better over the experiences I had far away from home... Reflecting, there are so many things I wish I had done, so many things I wish I hadn't. Even if I ever do make it back, every trip is unique, has its highlights, has its moments... What made this trip unique to me, well... you'll never know, but it will always be kept in the drawers of my memory. Some things cannot be shared as I wish. Memories are but pieces. The experience remains though. I remember lying in the tent in Belfast, the DJ beats thudding in my stomach during the beginning of each service in SM...

London. I remember walking in London with and without company... it sucks to be by your lonesome in a new city. I remember visiting the Bloody Tower during those awful woman days (how ironic), in the heat and tiredness (after sleeping very little in that little hostel near Royal Oak)... You can get practically everywhere with the tube. Up to this day, when I take the underground here, I remember to "mind the gap". Bittersweet... I visited the Westminster Abbey, London Zoo, London Aquarium, London Tower, and saw all the other essentials. Even bought three teddy bears as gifts at Hamley's (they were on sale!!).

Paris. I remember travelling on that bus, everyone talking french, the lady sitting next to me spending almost an hour on the cell phone talking in french to a friend... We stopped at the port, and everyone had to get off to show the people their passports (they spoke in french, I felt slightly lost and scared!). Then, the ferry, from England to France. I was feeling so sick and alone, quiet, nauseous, but I sat there and rested for a while, watching the ocean. In Paris, I remember arriving at the station, looking for the underground, and finding out that I could not buy a ticket without a credit card and that the machine was all in french... I couldn't make heads or tails of it! (a nice london fellow bought me a ticket when he saw my despair!) In Paris, I arrived at the hotel, but the girls weren't there... long story short, I despaired and was at tear's edge when they showed up behind me. Oh, the relief!! I miss getting lost in Paris with them... And waking up to see the Tour Eiffel in our window...

Anyway, the picture "Their Love Is Vintage" above was that of the flowers we gave our parents on their 25th anniversary. I love them so much!!! We made a little "surprise" candlelight dinner for them (they were out at the gym and decided to stop at a restaurant to eat something together, so we had to call them up and tell them about their surprise so that they wouldn't ruin it with no appetite).

One of the things I have learned and carried on from my Europe trip is photography. I bought my camera there and started to take interest there. Thanks all of you who inspired me ;)

Until next post!
*dee

sábado, 12 de julho de 2008

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahh!!

Tomorrow, I leave for London. I have to admit that I'm freaking out, because I've never done something like this on my own before. I know I'm gonna have a great time, but I'm such an anxious person I probably won't be able to sleep tonight.

I've got a slight problem in hands that I am trying to solve: my luggage. I came to Northern Ireland with 1 large suitcase to fit my clothes and all the people's candy and junk. Now, I have two suitcases: the large one and a new small one I plan on using to go to Paris with... Why did I buy the small one? Well, first of all, I can only carry 20 kg with me on the bus. so carrying the large one with all my things together would definitely add up to more than 20 kg. Second, the large suitcase is just a bother to be carrying around Paris. However, I now have a problem in London, because I will be carrying these two rolling suitcases through the tubes in which I have never been in before. I don't really know how disasterous it will be, and, seeing as I am a perfeccionist at times and feel easily embarassed, I know I'm predestined to some awkward moments. Plus I have the problem of my laptop, which I now can no longer carry in my hand, because that will be just way too much. I am going to have to stuff it in my large suitcase, meaning my precious machine will be tossed about with the rest of the baggage, and there is a chance it might be stolen (oh the evils we have to deal with in this darn world!).

I would leave the large suitcase at the airport where they store things, but it is way too expensive (a friggin' 6,50 pounds per 24 hours and I'm gonna needing them to hold it for 9 days >_<). So now I'm thinking of leaving the suitcase at a friend's house in London... hopefully that will work out, because there is a slight distance between the airport, where I am staying, and his place. Oh bother, I wish I could have dragged one of the girls along with me.

So, if I may abuse of your kindness, even after you have read up to here, I would appreciate it if you, whoever you are, friend, family...person... if you could pray for me, that God might just calm my nerves and just give me the insight to know how to deal with those darn suitcases.

Thanks...and I'll probably won't update for a while now, cuz I'm gunna be a wee bit busy :) I know I'm owing pictures from the rest of the Ireland tour, but I will make sure to post that when I have time (probably when I get back home :) )

Anyway, God bless you all!!

Thanks for reading

*drika

segunda-feira, 7 de julho de 2008

It's amazing isn't it? ... Oui.

If you're wondering about the title, it's just one of today's pearls that I collected. It has nothing to do with the Argory House. Actually, John (Irish) was talking to Bibi (Brazilian) in english and mentioned how amazing the sight was (we were by the Dunluce Castle -- future post) to which she responded... "Oui." Of course, she quickly corrected herself, but her pearl was cast :)

This week was the week I was looking forward to. We finally stepped right out of the house and right out of the city and actually got to see the Ireland we are used to seeing on TV. It's the moment you realize that all that you've ever seen in pictures and movies actually exists. It's breathtaking, really. I'm so tired, and pictures speak a thousand words, so I'll give a little explanation of each of the places we went to... and later maybe try to fill in the blanks :)


THE ARGORY


The Argory is a beautiful house you can visit here. We didn't have money to pay for a tour inside, but we enjoyed walking all around it.

Us in the car going to there:

video

Fernanda and I right when we arrived.

The playground had squishy ground and a cool rocking bridge.
We nearly knocked each other off of it.

Fabiana, Fernanda, Natália, Vivian and I!

The Hat, Lizzie & Piggy (our mascots) making their presence known

The team!

The Argory House
Us walking everywhere, BUT in the Argory House :D

A haunted tree (I almost threw Piggy up there).

Resting in the wind.

I didn't mean to pull the whole thing out...

Pasmem. It's the Irish coxinha: not chicken, but egg o_O

The inside of the Scotch Egg.

The Luggage (and the Mascots)

I want a Christmas tree like that!

It was a path that went on and on and on. Bibi and I separated from the group just to run down this path (until we stopped with splitting sides) and walk back marvelling at the fact that we were actually walking and breathing in Ireland.

Pedrinho & the Hat :D

The fish that jumped out of the wood.

The Argory House front yard.


Yes...yes... I took SO many more pictures. But this is a blog, not a fotoblog and not orkut and not facebook :) In fact, I took 275 pictures yesterday. I shall continue updating on this week's peripécias... !

Fique ligadoo.

Beijos
Drika

sexta-feira, 4 de julho de 2008

Cash and Clothes

I have learned to let go of converting my money. Arriving here, every price in pounds that I would see I'd automatically multiply by 3 and back off immediately. It's a bit scary, you know! But after a while, you start seeing things in pounds, you start thinking in pence, you start becoming amazed at how cheap things are!! This will eventually be my wallet's doom. But while I remind myself that I saved up for half a year for this, it's easier to let go of the cash.

Everywhere I go, or at least, almost everywhere I go, I take some cash with me, just in case. My pockets come back stuffed with bills and coins. If you could look around my room right now -- as I am doing -- you would see money thrown all over the place (I think I'll clean it up after I post this).

Today we went to The Lojinha (because I don't know what the name is and that's what everyone in this house calls it -- the shop). It's a nice little secondhand store where you can get things amazingly cheap! The owners use the money to pay for rent and to financially support Christian charity work in the Philippines (pilipinas!). One of their fantastic contributions around those parts is the giving of tricycles (the big ones, please) to the homeless and unemployed in order to help them support themselves, which is brilliant! The people use these tricycles as taxis there, and it's enough to get them started with work. That is how caring for the poor should be. It takes so much more than just giving food and money; they need help to become independent.

Anyway, at the lojinha, we had devotionals and then the ladies helped fold the donated clothes in the back (you wouldn't believe how much clothes winds up there!). We came across baby socks -- adorable -- and I decided to adhere to the Lara girls' habit of collecting objects for their future babies. I now have a pair of tiny cute green socks stuffed away to give to my future kid :D After that, we practically ransacked the shop for things to buy. Okay, not ransacked, but everything was pretty cheap, and some things were brand new! I needed a pair of pants cuz I was smart enough to only bring two pairs of jeans on my trip (I was in a rush packing, alright!!). I found a nice pair of pants there with the tag still on!!! Apparently, it was originally for 15 pounds, but I bought it there for 2,50 :P

Now, if you will excuse me, I'm dying to go to Tesco's to buy a good camera for 100 pounds and take decent pictures of my trip (I'm stealing everyone else's pictures :P)



This is Vivian (or Bibi according to Pedro),
one of the brazilians who came over on the mission's trip.

Natália and I eating in the living room.
The beautiful evil/good fairy lady - Bruna
(I became her assistant fairy lady and paid her 2 pence for a cheese thingy)

Get this, we Brazilians ate a typical African meal at a Portuguese restaurant in Northern Ireland.

The team at the shop!
Posing by the clothes :D

And then folding them!

terça-feira, 1 de julho de 2008

Summer Madness '08

Pre-script: Check my facebook out for more pics :D

There's a lot to know about Summer Madness, especially if you've never gone to one. It won't really be a smart idea for me to try to explain every single thing that happens at SM, because, honestly, it will just eat up my time and yours.

So let me try to summarize it. Summer Madness if a Christian Camp in which happens in Belfast, Northern Ireland, every year. Youth from many churches come in groups and spend 5 days together at this huge site in the city. Catch: you literally camp there, which means, to all you city slickers like me, tents and all :) which means, to all you bath junkies, 1 pound per bath (although, I think that after 5 days with no shower, the folks there would actually pay for the others to have a shower). Everyday there are two worship services, one in the morning and one at night and, in between these, there are activities of all sorts, including workshops that teach irish and brazilian alike how to salsa!

Worship. There are always differences, things you have to learn how to deal with, things you don't agree with, and things you might even realize that you do agree with. I found all sorts of these points in the worship services. The theme of this year's SM was discipleship, and the main speaker - Phil Collins (not the singer) - talked about several things that involved the making of a true discipleship, including utter (he did love the word "utter") surrender to loving Christ, opening up to the power and work of the Holy Spirit, and the preciousness of the Word of God. I would have personally turned around the order of the talks, placing the Word of God in first place and from this proceeding to the rest. I mean, after all, all those things we see in the Bible usually happened after the people of God heard or read the Word of God, not the other way around. You can't be open to the Holy Spirit if you haven't first read about it and understood it, because it's not just some force that strikes you out of the blue... at least, that is what I believe :)

The talks and worship songs were really uplifting. There were some experiences happenening in the public that apparently happen every year - holy laugh, miraculous healings - , so I don't know how much of it I could take seriously, but I do accept that God works in all ways possible, and I am not in a place to judge personal experiences. I am a bit of a skeptic person when it comes to such things... The laughing was a bit scary, though... Natália told me it's scarier when it's happening right next to you... o_O

There was also a group of brazilians that came over on Euromission to evangelize using their dancing and acting talents. We watched some of them street dance and do capoeira - AMAZING SKILLS. It was really nice to see a bit of our culture shown here.

Ahh, one thing I forgot to mention is that brazilians in foreign lands are like brothers and sisters. If you are brazilian and meet up with someone else around here, it's like you've met someone from the family. There's hugs, excited greetings, - forty-five minute random chats *cough* - and sharing of all sorts.

Okay, but going back to SM, there were thousands of youth attending and a gazillion things to do. I must admit that the most fun I had was in the tent with the flashlights at night, plus some other things I'm sure I'd love to keep in my memory for the rest of my life. Of these adventures, I have some I would like to share:

Pega no pé da Ju! If you have any problems whatsoever, grab Ju's foot! Ju is Fernanda, Natália, and Fabiana's cousin and came along with us to the SM. The first night, we left the flashlight at her foot and made sure everyone knew that, if anything happened, we should grab at Ju's foot, cuz that's where the flashlight would be. But now, everything that happens is a good enough reason to grab at Ju's foot. If you are hungry, "pega no pé da Ju". If you don't have money for a savoury crepe, "pega no pé da Ju". If you are brazilian and can't dance salsa and have to learn it from the Irish instead, "pega no pé da Ju"!!!

Giant Birds. Alright, I admit I have strange dreams, but I just know this wasn't a dream or anything of the sort. I woke up one early dawn (cuz it gets light here really friggin early) and found myself in complete and utter silence. The girls were all sleeping, and there was a faint morning glow outside. Suddenly, I hear strange trills from across the campsite, these strange birdlike noises that, first thing in the morning, sound more like twilight monsters than anything else. So I shrink under the covers. There is suddenly a splatter on our tent, which almost makes me jump in shock and the trill is suddenly alongside our tent!! I sit up and cry, "Girls, what the heck is that??" and no one stirs, which freaks me even more out and I cower back into my covers and eventually fall asleep again. I reported this to them later on in the morning and they told me I must have been dreaming. Later on, however, when we emerged from the tent, sure enough, there was bird poo splattered on one side!! Apparently, the seagulls here are quite friendly with the tents. I am traumatized by my own imagination of giant birds invading the campsite.

Shadows on the Fabric. Just a note, shadows aren't usually what they seem, especially if they are one meter tall and making a knife stabbing motion towards you from outside.

Speaking to People through the Fabric. Not quite a good idea when the other person is not familiar with your language and probably a 16 year old boy with no shame on himself. We made it a habit to shout out "Hello!" to passersby, and this young lad attempted to find some words in his vast collection of gibberish words that would click with portuguese. He resorted to spanish and started enjoying shouting out a cuss word at us - as usual, bad words are the first to be learned.

Latino Quiz. There were 8 teams, and we ended up in 7th place!! Why? 'Cuz the rounds weren't exclusively latino. In fact, the only latino part of the quiz was the few soccer questions (asking in which team some argentinian and peruvian guys played in -- obviously a UK team, and how many times Brazil won the world cup...... WOOOOOOOT), and the spanish talking guy we had to listen to and answer questions about (part we obviously aced) and a memory game. The rest had songs we had to recall... songs I don't really listen to :D but to my delight, they played Coldplay and Snow Patrol! :D

Alright, I am probably forgetting LOADS, but I'm not going to drag on talking about everything we did every day, cuz it would be quite boring for you to read through. So I'll finish with some pictures here and talk more next post!

Cheerio!









quinta-feira, 26 de junho de 2008


Welcome to the Lara family abode in DungANnon (as opposed to DUNgannon), Northern Ireland. After a 24 hour trip via air that I'll never forget, I finally arrived last night at 21h00 (and there was still daylight o.O) and enjoyed a fine ride from Belfast to Dungannon, looking at the beautiful greens we passed by (although the girls are rather sick of it and everytime i shouted out, "omg, that's so beautiful!" they'd answer, "what? where?"

Anyway, after sleeping for about 11 hours, I finally have the state of mind to write here :) Today we went out and did some grocery shopping for Summer Madness. I obviously did the typical foreigner thing, staring at every single product in the aisle and asking what it was. I found a potatoe chip bag (called "crisps" here) that was literally the size of a dog food bag in Brazil (for those of you who don't know how big that is or who have forgotten, it's pretty darn big), but apparently it has a lotta little potatoe chip bags in it.

Alright, to start detailing the trip.

São Paulo - Frankfurt. 10 hours. I got on the flight in São Paulo at 6 something on the 23rd. Two brazilian girls sat next to me, both nearing 30 yrs of age, one was on her 6th trip back to Frankfurt (she does a doutorado there) and the other had recently come from Australia and was going with her bro and dad to help translate for their business trip. We commented quite a lot on the rather large jew sitting across our aisle, who had a beer then changed into his prayer clothes, prayed for 20 minutes, then unchanged. It was quite interesting to watch. I was supposed to sleep during this flight, but I couldn't manage because they were passing movies, and, as much as I tried, I could not keep my eyes shut tightly enough. So I spent the hours napping on and off (it hurts ur neck after a while). They had us close the windows early cuz dawn arrives swiftly when ur flying east. When I snapped awake after a strange long nap, I popped the window open a little to see if I could see the stars, and, instead, a rush of light came in. Obviously i took a pic. For fifteen minutes in the beginning, we had really violent turbulence, the kind that makes you panic even though you are not afraid of flying.


Frankfurt Airport. Anyway, I arrived at the Frankfurt airport (2nd largest in Europe) and immediately headed to find my gate (I'm an anxious lil' person and can't help it). I was 4 hours too early though, but instead of being interested and maybe touring a lil of the city, I sat down on the ground, facing the gate and waited for 4 hours. Yes, I'm an idiot, but I did buy a lil souvenir and I had a coke (almost tried the beer, just for the sake of trying, cuz I hate beer) for the sake of tasting german coke. I spent 4 hours bobbing my head in sleep (I was absolutely exhausted) and watching people of all races and cultures whoosh by. The airport is the best place to observe other people, methinks. Next to me sat two more jews, and I tried to take their picture without them seeing, but unfortunately my finger came out in it (YES, I KNOW!). Other than these two interesting fellows, I saw a german kid on a leash and a small 5 year old indian boy (from India) with an earring o.O The ladies, all dressed typically, were on cellphones and they put it on speaker for a second. All I could hear was insane child screaming from the other side, and then it went mute. The ladies looked crazed for a moment and then started chattering again.

Frankfurt - London. For all of you who are brazilian and listen to CBN in the morning, you will know who Erodoto Barbeiro is and what I'm gonna say here. A brazilian sat next to me out of the blue, and I only understood he was brazilian when he started talking in portuguese to the lady behind me. Brazilians in other countries are like brothers and sisters, so we spent the hour talking about germans, english, and life back in Brazil. He coworks at CBN with Erodoto, so, if anyone remembers that "CBN: a rádio que toca notícias" voice, it's his: Thiago. Dad, he told me that all those people's names we hear on the radio, including Monica Poker's, are real. Good to clear that lil' doubt, aye? Seeing London from above was amazing. I almost cried -- emotionally unstable at the moment, cuz I have always wanted to visit the UK.

London. Used my UK money for the first time to buy an iced latte, without sugar cuz I had sat down and could not get back up again to find sugar. I stared at the change coins for several seconds, just to appreciate the difference -- I must have looked odd there, and I tried to eat a blueberry muffin with a fork (cuz they gave it to me, so i figured that's what u do there, eat muffins with forks XD) which was a disaster. But it was SUCH a relief to hear english, even though it was BBC brit accent english :P

London - Belfast. The further I travel north, the less and less brazilians I see. Meaning that in this next trip, there were absolutely no brazilians, which was fine, cuz by that time, I was completely rotten and dazed and could not stay awake and sane. Thank God I had brought my toothbrush and at least had that sorted out, because the rest of me, including my hair, felt nasty and greasy. I should learn how to spend one day without a shower. The plane to Belfast had a strange smell and the people talked funny -- understand from my point of view, I was almost hallucinating by then and I could swear I was hearing portuguese all around. I think I fainted in that trip. I sat by the window with no one else in my row and I was smelling some disgusting perfume mixed with warm food smell. I almost had a small heartattack when the airplane dramatically lost speed middair, but nothing happened, so I suppose that's normal. Next thing I know I'm jerking away every three seconds and passing out again every three seconds. I must have gotten some rest during that, because when we were arriving, I felt all the energy I did not have suddenly come back to me in the most intense relief, because I finally saw an island, and, in the cloudy, sunny distance, I saw Ireland :D Like Mrs. Lara told me later on, they live at the end of the world, but to me, it seemed like the edge of the world, much like the Chronicles of Narnia, BBC version, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when they arrive, after such a long trip, to the edge where the water is covered with lilies and there's a soft glow in the air.

I still cannot seem to realize I'm in Ireland. Maybe because I've never really really been anywhere else other than the USA and the Netherlands, so I automatically relate this to being in the States, but it's so much different!

Summer Madness starts tomorrow!! I'll be out until Tuesday, so no updates 'til I get back! It's a Christian camp, btw, with ppl from all over the UK. I'll let you all in on the details when I get back :D

Btw, I'm starting to pick up an accent. I don't know if it's the right one :P but we'll see.

I'm off!!

segunda-feira, 23 de junho de 2008

I believe in Passiflorine

1 day left, and I'm still cramming stuff into my head for the two last tests tonight: Public Health and Technology.

Not a lot to say other than I'm ji-ji-jittery. Thank God, mum went out and got me some medicine to soothe my anxiety. Meet Passiflorine, a jittery girl's best friend.


Glu, glu, glu, glu, ahhh!! I think it's psychological. I mean, medicine doesn't work nearly as well if we don't believe that it'll work, does it? Ahh, what do I know.

By the way, my list of things to do in less than 12 hours tomorrow has just increased with the list of brazilian things to buy that Natalia sent me. I forgive you ;) But you'll have to pardon me if I forget something. Hahaha, number one on the list, a rodo to mop the floor with, followed by chocolates, Ruffles!!!, geléia de mocotó (which I've never tasted, btw), and more. :) That list makes me a happy brazilian :) Can't wait to get there!

(Btw, I'll find this out in person, but I must pose the question, how warm is Irish warm?)

G'day to you all,
Drika

domingo, 22 de junho de 2008

Pop Comes the Harley

Honestly, if you can't figure out the title of my blog, there's no point in you being here. Just kidding!! No, seriously, you don't have a life. Just kidding!! I'm not, really. Go read C. S. Lewis. Or watch The Chronicles of Narnia. You did not have a decent childhood.

Okay, so, instead of using a fancy lil' site specific for travellers to post on, I decided to use an already existing Blogger account to make something a bit more... familiar to deal with. Since I promised I'm going to keep people updated on my lil' vacation in the UK, I figured a blog is as good as anything, right? Hopefully I'll be able to post photos without any trouble.

So, to begin posting pictures, I shall now introduce you to the most recent member of the family: Harley.


Okay, okay, it's a unoriginal name, but it's quite practical to use. Dad traded his Honda Shadow for this darling. Of course, it shakes like mad (a bit of a pleasant feeling in the feet) and it's got no C-bar (is that what it's called?) in case the mad tagalong gets hurled backwards by the amazing acceleration, but what's all that compared to the fun of riding a Harley, huh? Plus, it makes people happy! I mean, can't you see???


That's my mum 'n dad, btw (just in case you could not see any resemblance whatsoever). Anyway, this is just to begin what I am going to continue during these days outta the country :) I have three tests coming up tomorrow... and they are the only reason I'm still here in Brazil!!! My first ticket was for the 21st, ou seja, yesterday. But cuz of these darn tests I had to pay a fee and push the flight to the 24th.

Off me goes!

*hugs, kisses and cookies*
Drika