Thursday, May 8, 2014

Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

My apologies for any panic attacks caused by the lack of blog posts! Alas, when one relies on technology for reassurance that one's children are still alive, lack of a post is mildly concerning. Rest assured, however, we're all alive and well and recovering from our computer problems and a Professor-hating stomach flu.

And so, today we post yesterday's update! Wednesday, May 7th was mostly spent at the University (also known as the local cat shelter. There's cats everywhere!).

Darryl spent the morning teaching a piano master class to several Brazilian students, with a substantial audience of both Canadian and Brazilian students.

In the afternoon, the choir had its first rehearsal of the Mozart Missa Brevis with the Brazilian string orchestra. After an hour of intensive practice, the director pronounced us in fine form, and we heaved a collective sigh of relief that we muddled our way through the entire mass without falling on our faces!

The evening was a more relaxing one. A local Capoeira marital arts group came to the retreat centre and invited us to participate in their stretches and one of their training exercises. Initially designed for slaves to defend themselves in hand-to-hand combat, the entire art of self-defence was disguised as a dance to avoid being punished by their masters. Consequently, the entire demonstration was set to indigenous music!

The day then ended with a hot dog/marshmallow roast over a fire under the mango tree in the back yard.

Today began with a choir performance at the University. We were a little nervous when only several students were in the room at the beginning of the concert, but by the time we were finished, all of the chairs were full and the room was bursting at the seams!

In the afternoon, the choir separated by gender and headed off to several prisons in the area (Go directly to jail!) to minister to the inmates. I (obviously) joined the ladies, and we then joined a local church ministry to visit a maximum security women's penitentiary just outside of the city. We visited the portion of the prison that houses pregnant inmates, or those who have just had children. With mother's day coming up this week, we shared several stories of our own mothers, and shared some of our choir songs with just female voices.

Having cancelled the faculty concert tonight due to a passing stomach flu in two of our professors, we all met up and headed back to the compound for an evening of swimming, reading, and (finally) blogging. (Insert obligatory sunset picture here...)

Good night from Fortaleza!

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