Saturday, June 20

Adventure Abroad: Brazil to Miami, Miami to Orlando

Tonight finds us in Orlando, Florida.
We are back in the US!

Wycliffe is providing Paul & Megan with a very nice, 2-bedroom, 2-bath, climate controlled apartment, complete with furniture, dishes, food, tile floors and a TV. We are blown away by the Lord's provision. We all made it safely here. A new adventure awaits; a time of refreshment and rejuvenation while Alia receives proper medical care. Thank You, Father.

Yesterday morning Paul and the kids and I had one final walk in the Amazon jungle before departing. It was very sad to leave Brazil.

A few other things I noted about Brazil that are different than here:

- There are lines on the roads to separate lanes, but people do not pay attention to them. They will swerve, drift over to another lane or whatever, without a care. Traffic laws are hardly enforced... it's almost like organized chaos.
- There are little stores on the highways, many with bunches of fresh fruit hanging in front of them. I find their placement odd on the fast highway, but somehow they get business.
- Year-round in Porto Velho it is dark by 6:00 pm and light by 6:00 am.
- People bought dogs to be guard dogs when the flood happened last year, but they never fixed any of them and now there are packs of stray, scrawny dogs everywhere--outside stores, abandoned houses, even the airport.

We spent yesterday afternoon in Manaus, and were able to visit the large shopping mall in the city. The mall has a unique curved architecture. The top floor has an entire play place for kids, like a theme park inside a mall... there is even a roller coaster. We spent a while in the play place, and then got dinner. The food was authentic, high quality Amazonian fish and fried bananas. The fish was some of the best tasting I have ever had, and fried bananas are a fantastic creation.

We survived the 8-hour overnight flight with the kids, and by 8:30 am we were reunited with Megan.

As soon as we entered the airport I noticed the multiple different languages being spoken, the coffee smell and dress reminiscent of Portland, and the humidity and palm trees reminiscent of Brazil. I felt like I was both in Portland and Brazil at the same time; I guess that describes Florida.

We have the use of a Honda Odyssey mini van--so very huge compared to the little cars of Brazil. Paul & Megan went to the hospital to see Alia, I stayed here with the kids and took them to the park. It is very hot out.

Alia is not doing well at all. :'( She is barely alive; her body has completely shut down. Her heart is beating and she is breathing, but that's it. She is on every antibiotic and medication possible, sedated, and on death's doorstep. We are praying the Lord's will be done.
She is at 33 weeks gestation, born May 19.

The evening ended well with a solid meal of spaghetti, bread sticks and juice, while the music played and the lightning and thunder danced outside. The apartment is so lovely, and we are all happy to be here together, in a home well sheltered.

Thank You, Father, and thank you all for your prayers.

Getting ready to leave

A small section of the shopping mall in Manaus

So many airplanes...

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