Sunday, October 14, 2007

For Dad, and for Vovô

If I've learned anything from my father in the 22 years I've spent with him, it's to always appreciate the sunset. And by "always appreciate," I mean run inside the house and get your whole family to come outside to look at it. My dad learned to do this from his own father, and although Vovô ("grandpa" in Portuguese) died several years before I was born and had the chance to meet him myself, from the stories I hear it sounds like he was a pretty special guy. Wouldn't you say that any father who teaches his son to always appreciate the sunset is a special guy?

Before I left for Natal, my dad reminded me that my coming here is actually a part of a long legacy that my family has in Brazil. Had my great-grandparents not moved to Sao Paulo back in the 40s (or 30s?), and had my grandmother not met my grandfather while my grandfather was working for her father's company, and had my parents not met while they were both in Brazil doing their own thing, and had my parents not decided to move to Brazil as missionaries, then maybe I wouldn't even be here. That's a lot of "what ifs," but I know I definitely wouldn't be here.

Although I didn't think too much of it before I came, this "legacy" has become very special to me since being in Natal on my own. I am exploring a new part of Brazil that the rest of my family has never really ventured to, but I can't help but wonder what my time in Natal is going to mean for the future of our Carpenter lineage (although the name dies with me...they just couldn't produce any boys!) Anyway, as cheesy as it sounds, every night as I go home and see the sunset just as I walk in my front door I think about my dad. And then I think about Vovô. And then I think about how I'm not the first person with my DNA to be here, trying to learn this language, trying to find my place, trying to learn how to samba (not really, chill out.)

I took these photos with my dad in mind, the first from my front door and the second and third at the beach this weekend. My photography skills aren't so good, so please use your imagination as to what these sunsets actually look like on a day to day basis. I'll be back soon with more thoughts and better grammar (it's late, and I'm sunburned.) Enjoy!


Mark and Kelly said...

You made me cry. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Another thing you received from your dad is the great ability to write. Great pictures and great thoughts. Keep up the good work you are doing. Love, Aunt Nell

Anonymous said...

ummm hi. this is my first brazil blog comment, get excited!! i miss you!! love.

Anonymous said...

You made us cry, too! Love you, Mom and Dad

ann said...

I almost cried. That was precious. And your mom actually commented.