Personally, I'm a huge fan of flying. I love planes and airports. I love the view.
The view when we landed was great too. It was a welcome sight after our six months of snow in Manitoba.
So much green! So we loaded onto a bus...
...and headed off to where we are staying (which I'm sure you'll see many pictures of in the coming days).
As we drove through the city of Fortaleza, I just had to write down some of my impressions. Well, first, I noticed something from the plane. All of the roofs look the same. Same colour. Same soft slant. And there is graffiti everywhere. Oh, and it's humid. My jeans felt damp before I even left the plane.
I was interested to note the religious symbols around me. On billboard simply proclaimed "Jesus te ama" which means "Jesus loves you." (I saw this message among the graffiti as well). Then I saw a picture of Jesus carrying a Bible in one hand and a halberd in the other--quite militant. And then, through a window, I saw a crucifix on someone's wall. This is a deeply religious country, it seems.
The physical structure is different from what I am used to as well. Everything is walled and gated. More important places have barbed wire and spikes sticking out of the tops of their walls. I heard that Fortaleza is the 7th most dangerous city in the world. And yet, most of the shops do not have doors. Instead, they simply open onto the sidewalk, lacking even a front wall. And people will just sit out on the sidewalk in their lawn chairs.
There were some familiar things as well, though. For instance, most billboards and signs had North American-looking people on them, not Brazilian, as though blonde hair and pale skin were standards for beauty. And there was a circus tent.
When we landed, Karen gave us the word "rhythm" as a point of reflection for the day, and I can say that the theme has certainly been a lack thereof. Sleep is thrown off (or lacking entirely). Our environment has changed. (We found a baby tarantula in the shower already). And so what do we do in the midst of this? What do we do when life changes?
We trust in God, I guess.
And have fun.