Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I've been back in Natal for just over a month and it feels so good to be home again. I get awkward about these kinds of things sometimes (like the first weekend my freshman year at ACU that I spent away from my roommate, I was worried it would be awkward when I got back. Um...weird) and was worried that I might feel like I was out of the loop and had missed a lot. Well, I totally did feel out of the loop and it was amazing just how much happened in the 2 short months I was gone, but Natal is still home, and it's always good to be home.

Since being back I've been on the hunt for a new apartment, one that preferably has good air flow, safe localization, and space to entertain, three major qualities which my current apartment does not have. Renting is a complicated process in Brazil, you basically have to prove you are of royal bloodline to be allowed to rent property, and even then your royal bloodline has to pay a hefty security deposit. Since I moved here a year ago (no credit) and work for an American entity (no proof of salary, not the way they want it, anyway,) they did not accept my royal bloodline papers and I was left to pray really hard that God would just open the right door. Well, open the right door He did. Not only did I find my dream apartment, but the owner has been extremely cool so far and has offered to write a private contract. What does this mean? Not having to deal with "the middle man," aka real estate agencies, not having to deal with hefty security deposit, and, hopefully, lower rent. Please say a quick prayer that this is, in fact, a door God has opened and not a really terrible scam. Unfortunately, that happens sometimes. But I choose to believe God has opened the door. He has been so unbelievably faithful (and extremely HELPFUL!) until this point, how could I start doubting now?

There is a mouse in my apartment, yes, my 8th floor apartment. He is a baby and the first time we saw him he moved around like a sprinter with a bum leg. Poor thing just hobbled his way as fast as he could under the couch, along the countertops, and across the stove. Yes, I did indeed see GusGus (thanks for the name, Lacy. Personalizing him will not make his death any easier...) ON TOP of my stove one day as I went to clean up my lunch dishes. The next day, Lacy found him INSIDE the oven, cowering in the corner, paralyzed with fear. Lucky for him, Lacy and I are both paralyzed with...disgustedness...each time we see him, and it prevents us from killing said mouse with broom. Poor GusGus. We're growing to like the little guy.

Speaking of unwelcome creatures, I have officially been inducted into the "Brazilian with Street Cred" hall of fame upon having to take worm medicine. Medicine for what kind of worms, you ask? Who knows. The kind that most Brazilians recommend taking medicine for every 6 months because that's how common it is here. If you eat fruit, vegetables, or just anything, actually, you run the risk of joining the hall of fame as well. I managed to get by a year and a half without ever having wormy symptoms, but I guess since they knew that I'm now here for a while the joke was on me. I had been feeling weird for about a week, and last night Marisa looked at me and said "Cris, I think you have worms." I bought the chewable tablet at the pharmacy today (that cost me all of $1.50, thank you subsidized and efficient prescription drug system) and have been told I'm in the clear. Until 6 months from now, that is. Eew.

I turned 24 last week and I feel old. I'm now in my mid-20s rather than early 20s. For some reason that's been rough on me. And by "been rough" I mean I thought "Wow...24. How did I get here that fast?" and then got distracted by something else (probably GusGus. Or the worms.) My birthday was really nice and I felt very loved by my Brazilian family. I had Mexican food for lunch (a rare treat!) and pizza for dinner, all shared with people I love. (Um...perhaps we're getting to the bottom of the worm problem...)

I'm really excited because two weeks from yesterday we will receive our first LST team of 2009. Since the primary reason I returned to Natal was to coordinate the ebb and flow of year-round LST projects at our church, I am really, really, REALLY excited to kick off the LST year. We'll have a team of 2 women from Park Plaza church in Tulsa spend 4 weeks with us, then another team of 2 women from the DFW area spend 2 weeks. Then in August we'll host two more teams from the Westover Hills church in Austin. I am so excited to meet all of these new people and introduce them to the work in Natal. It is such a fun, beautiful, encouraging place to be, and I really pray that the teams who come will be blessed by their time. I KNOW God is going to bless their efforts, so please be praying for the readers who will come to study with them!

I don't know who is out there reading, but I really hope to get back to blogging more regularly as things start picking up around here. The last month has been overwhelmed with apartment hunting, car contemplating, refrigerator shopping, etc, and I couldn't think of anything interesting to tell you. Thanks to my birthday and GusGus, we have a blog post!

Have a wonderful week!

1 comment:

Jamie Sweeney said...

I'm reading! And can't wait to put "my girls" on that plane to you! Not that I'm wanting to get rid of them, they are just ready to go!