Saturday, May 2, 2015

Two Weeks in São Paulo

It’s been a little quiet over here on our blog…

We made our move to São Paulo on April 18th, and have been living here in our new city for exactly two weeks now.  Ever since we arrived we have been SUPER busy adjusting to life in a new place and also unpacking and fixing up our new home.  It is coming along VERY VERY slowly, but surely.

Eventually, once we get more settled and finish a few painting projects, we will share some photos of our lovely new place.  After traveling for a little over 5 months, we are extremely thankful to settle into our very own home!

Today I thought it would be interesting to share several things about our adjustment back to life in Brazil, and specifically our new city, São Paulo.

A Colder, Warmer, and Rainy City
São Paulo is colder, warmer, and more rainy than our former city, Belo Horizonte.

São Paulo city has cooler temperatures in the winter and hotter temperatures in the summer when compared to the temperatures in Belo Horizonte.  Here in São Paulo, temperatures can reach the 90’s in the summer season, and can get as cold as the low 50’s in the winter season.
We are coming into the winter season now so it is feeling very chilly at night!

Typically São Paulo is also known as a rainy city, and carries the nickname of "a cidade da garoa" which translated is, "the city of drizzle."  It drizzles quite a lot here and has already rained a few times since we moved here.

 Talking about rain... there has actually been an extreme water shortage in São Paulo due to lack of rain.  Just before we moved here it rained A LOT so the water situation has improved significantly, but still Felipe and I are trying to do our best to economize our water supply (and to help keep our water bill down).  We save our leftover laundry water and shower water and use this extra water (that is really very slightly dirty and soapy), to flush our toilets, clean our outdoor patio areas, and mop our floors.

"The window is open, and so's that door!"
(If you know Frozen - you will get my reference.)  
So here in Brazil most people do not have air conditioning/heating systems in their homes.  Our AC is simply opening the front door and the windows to allow fresh air to blow in.  
I am really enjoying our open windows and doors here in Brazil!

Cooking Brazilian Style
 Back to Brazil, back to eating rice and beans!  
In Brazil the daily lunch is fresh rice and beans with some sort of side of protein/meat and a vegetable.  There are sometimes other food items  in addition to this, but simply put, this is the main meal of the day!  

A new healthy meal I just started making. This was my lunch today!

I officially have my very own kitchen again. Yay! I am now devoting more of my time to cooking rice and beans and preparing other fresh foods daily, as is common here in Brazil.  I am especially enjoying all the yummy fruits and veggies that Brazil has to offer at reasonable prices.

Our Hammock!
I just wanted to share one of my favorite spots in our new house.
I am so happy to have our hammock hung, and it is situated in our cozy little back patio area.

Internet and Phone in São Paulo
Felipe has had quite the adventure in trying to sort out the phone and internet services for our new home.  We have never had to deal with this before as we have always lived in YWAM base housing where everything was already organized for us.  We are currently having some challenges with extremely slow internet, and we are still trying to fix that.

I think the most interesting challenge though was our telephone landline.  One day a worker installed our landline on a nearby powerline, while we just happened to be out.  Once we realized the phone company had already come by and installed the phone line on the power line,  we were informed that we were responsible for getting the phone line (on the power line) to connect to the inside of our home.  Different huh?

Felipe was researching how to install the line himself. He bought the electrical line and all, but then by chance (with God’s favor and help) he ran into a guy who offered to help him.
The phone problem was solved within the day.  We are thankful!

Our cat was poisoned!
Yes, you read that right.  Our resilient cat Buzz, who survived our absence for 5 months (staying at his Brazilian grandma’s house), and then traveled wonderfully by car with us to São Paulo, was poisoned upon arrival in our new city.

We are not sure if someone gave him the poison or if he found it himself.   After he got poisoned we learned that a few other cats in the neighborhood were recently found dead, and unfortunately it is common in some areas of the city for people to purposely poison cats. Isn’t that sad?

Due to our all-natural “open doors and windows” AC system here, it is very challenging to keep our kitty as an exclusively indoor cat.  He ventured off one morning, but quickly returned vomiting and convulsing.  

In a matter of 20 minutes he was increasingly becoming more weak.  Our neighbor told us, “He has been poisoned.  This is what it looks like when an animal gets poisoned.” 

Felipe rushed him to the vet and miraculously Buzz survived because we were able to get him medical attention so quickly.  The vet was even surprised he survived with no side effects.  She even commented, “He just used one of his nine lives!”

Now Buzz is very hesitant to wander away from our front patio area.  I think he learned his lesson, and I am praying he will not be poisoned again. We are thankful he survived!

What's Next for the Matias Family?
This Monday we will happily begin working with kids in a nearby slum.  We are partnering and volunteering with a ministry called the Sower House. Click here to read more about this ministry.
Robert, the leader of the ministry, leading Bible study with a group of boys.
The Sower House attends about 80 kids a week, but has a waiting list of almost 60 kids who want to enter into their program.  We hope to help out with this ministry as we prepare for and work towards starting our own similar ministry in this general slum region.  Together with the Sower House we hope to reach out to kids living in the slums of São Paulo with the love and hope of Jesus Christ!

 God bless you and thanks to many of you who have been praying for us as we have begun this new advernture of living in the city of São Paulo. Overall, we are enjoying our new city, and we are extremely happy to have a home again! God has been good to us and we truly see His faithfulness through the care and support of the body of Christ partnering with us.
Thank you and God bless! 
A fun family selfie as we drove from Belo Horizonte to Sao Paulo!

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