Archive for June, 2010

Ode to the Portuguese Football Team

Well, the Portuguese football team was kicked out of the World Cup last night by Spain. We are all sad to see them go, as we have really enjoyed watching the games with various people and really getting to know the team. Eliana especially enjoys wearing her Portugal T-shirt with Daddy. I realized after one of the USA games that Eliana knows how to say “Portu’al,” but not “USA.” She’s working on “‘merica” right now though. (We also enjoyed watching the USA games, by the way.)

Here are a few pictures of our Portuguese World Cup watching days.

Watching the Portugal v. North Korea game in a mall
Watching the Portugal v. North Korea game in a mall
Danny and Eliana sporting their "Portugal shirts."
Danny and Eliana sporting their "Portugal shirts."
Watching the Portugal v. Brazil game with the church
Watching the Portugal v. Brazil game with the church

To the Ends of the Earth…

Our June field trip was an outing to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of the European continent. Pretty much the end of the earth in New Testament times! It was very windy, but pretty.

After our trip, the guys found a cafe to watch the USA World Cup game and the girls did a bit of shopping, ate ice cream, and went to Chili’s to eat. Yes, there is a Chili’s here in Lisbon, and provides a nice getaway every once in a while.

Westernmost point of Europe
Westernmost point of Europe
I think I see America!
I think I see America!
Where the land meets the sea
Where the land meets the sea

God’s Wonderful People

Praise God for His world-wide family! We have been tremendously blessed by the church here in Lisbon. The church averages about 50 adults and 20 kids and is a very vibrant little group. There are fellowship meals and extra events often. Going to church obviously provides an excellent way to practice our Portuguese on several levels, but it is so much more than that. We have been developing good friendships, received a lot of help in navigating this new culture, and been able to worship God with people that love Him.

Bible class was a little scary at first for Eliana, but she has really made some good friends with a little boy her age and several of the teenage girls (and of course our teammates’ kids are there).

Katie also has the extra blessing of being able to talk with several expectant mothers at church. The church is even throwing a shower for Sophia this Saturday.

We pray that each of you will also be blessed by a group of God’s people near you!

Us in front of the church
Us in front of the church
Eliana and her friend Noemia
Eliana and her friend Noemia

Our Memorial Day

So, we didn’t really have a holiday for Memorial Day, but we did have a Portuguese holiday on Thursday, as well as an extra day off on Friday. The Meyers invited us to take a trip with them to Coimbra and Luso, two towns about 2 hours north of here. Since we’ll be stuck a little closer to home for the next few months, we decided to take them up and have a little vacation.

First, we went to Coimbra, where the oldest university in Portugal is. We walked up the hill to see the university and also went to Portugal dos Pequinitos – Portugal for little ones – where they have monuments and houses from all over Portugal that are kid-sized. Efesson, Biruk, and Ellie had a fun time in the houses, on the playground, and with the tricycles.

The next day we headed to Luso, where they have a natural spring that provides bottled water to most of the country, and free water to its citizens at the constantly running fountain. We spent the day walking through the Buçaco Forest, which was planted by Carmelite Monks. There was also a convent and several fountains, hermitages, and monuments in the forest. It was a beautiful and relaxing place.

Danny and I camped that night and then we all headed back to Lisbon. It was quite a joy to see all of the children interacting and seeing all of things to see. They were all quite concerned about why the churches were ‘broken’ and finding Jesus in all of the paintings and murals. Eliana walked more than half of the time, and her mommy did pretty well too if I do say so myself!

Daddy the pack mule
Just my size
Teague and the kiddos
The beautiful Buçaco Forest
Mommy and Ellie eating breakfast at our campsite
The Convent da Santa Clara Velha

Daily life

Several of you asked us before we left what we would do all day during our time in Portugal. Well, now we know! Here is a snapshot of our daily life and weekly events:

We each spend two hours a day in language class. Katie goes to class with Jordan and Teague and Danny has class with Robert and Nathan. Class consists of talking about a cultural topic (current events, food, music, etc.) in our stumbling Portuguese. Then we go over our homework. (It’s important to read it out loud.) Eunice, our language teacher, introduces a new concept or new set of vocabulary words every few days. Then we also read out loud from a book and translate. The girls are reading a kids’ book (Geronimo Stilton) and the guys are reading a historical novel written by a famous Portuguese-Angolan author. 🙂 They also just started reading an Asterix comic. We do homework for about an hour each day as well. We take turns watching Eliana during class.

Three days a week we watch Stephen Campbell while his parents are in class. We also do laundry every day in our tiny washer, then hang it out to dry. (Eliana’s becoming quite a proficient little laundress.) And of course, a good part of each day is spent walking, riding the bus, waiting for the bus, riding the metro, waiting for the bus, riding his bike (Danny), walking up the hill, and waiting for the bus. We are getting the hang of the public transportation system a little more now and can time our trips better. Eliana loves riding the bus and metro and often strikes up a conversation with her two Portuguese words, “Olá” and “Tchau.”

Twice a week we enjoy going to church in Lisbon with the vibrant little group there, and three times a week we have team activities (meeting, fellowship, fun, etc.)

Add on top of that all of the home set-up and cultural learning, and we’ve kept pretty busy! Our days are blessed with the smiles and new discoveries of our one year old and the kicks of our soon-to-be-born little Sophia. We are so thankful to finally be living with our team and working on this phase of preparation for God’s work in Angola. Praise God for his blessings!

Daddy and Ellie on bike
Daddy and Ellie on bike