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!