Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Our Sunny Weekend

The rainy season is drawing to a close and bright blue sunny skies are moving in! Our weekend took full advantage of the nice weather.

Since we received the last of our furniture deliveries last week, and we finally had chairs for our dining room table, we decided to have 3 of Eric's coworkers over for supper on Friday night. I was excited to get in the kitchen and cook a big meal (since it is too hard to cook big for just the two of us! I like leftovers and all, but...) I fixed pork loin roast with dijon sauce, french onion rice casserole, cheesy cabbage casserole, three pepper salad, fried okra, yeast rolls, and peach cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert. I think the hubby was excited to have a multicourse meal, especially after all the one skillet meals we'd been having! Despite my doing dishes along while I was preparing the meal, by the end of the night my kitchen was completely destroyed and I remembered why I miss having a dishwasher so much.

In true Brasilian fashion, we left the house just before midnight to go out with another couple to a bar that was having a Beatles cover band playing. Besides The Beatles, they also played all kinds of classic rock and we had a really fun night (or should I say morning?)

Saturday we got up and went scouring the city for a filing cabinet for our home office. It is a mess right now with all the paperwork, receipts, warranty info, etc. that currently has no home. We failed in our attempts, but we have a couple leads on other places to look. After that we went and test drove a Fiat Punto. No, as of this last weekend we still hadn't ordered a car. A long story, but we finally decided on the Punto and it was ordered yesterday. Now, short of the really painful part, paying for it when it is delivered from the factory, we are done with that. Thank goodness!

We walked over to Minas Tenis Clube I, the one right across the street from us, and spent the afternoon swimming and enjoying some time by the pool. That evening, we had plans to go see a play at a local theatre, but the ticket office where you can get discounted tickets was closed when we got there. So instead, we ended up being all dressed up at the mall shopping for new shoes. (We were denied access to the tennis courts at the clube last week due to improper attire. We were wearing our running shoes-which turn out to be strictly prohibited since all the courts are clay and they don't want some novice players tearing it up with running shoes!) We each got a new pair of tennis shoes, I got a pair of Timberland hiking shoes that were on sale, Eric found a new swimsuit, and we bought a squash ball. (We thought the clube had racquetball courts, so we brought our racquets and balls from the US, but it turns out to be squash-same racquet, different ball.) After our shopping, we went out to supper at a restaurant that serves typical Minas food, yum!

Sunday morning we went to the feira in search of a rug for our living room. It was a successful trip and then we drove over to Minas Tenis Clube Country. (The clube has 4 different properties, and as members, we have access to all of them.) As the name suggests, the setting is much different than the one near us slap in the middle of the city. Minas Country is out on the edge of town and built on a mountainside. Besides pools, tennis courts, soccer fields, restaurants, etc., this one also has hiking trails through the woods. It's a nice change of scenery and we enjoyed a few hours out there. Below are a few pictures from around one of the pools where we spent most our time.

Doing a little internet research, I found a Baptist church in Belo Horizonte that has a special English service on Sunday evenings. The church itself is comparable to the mega-churches of the southern part of the US. Their membership is incredibly large and their main church looks almost like a stadium on the inside. That style of worship is a little impersonal for me, but I felt like the attendance at an all English service would be significantly smaller in this city. We had no idea what it would be like, but Sunday evening we went to find out.

There were probably about 60 people there meeting in an auditorium in one the buildings that the church owns. Much as I was expecting from a mega-church, it was a very modern style praise service. As a Primitive Baptist girl, it wasn't my usual style, but to hear a sermon that was pulling scripture from all over the Bible and digging into the meat of it (and in English no less!) was certainly refreshing for my soul. We look forward to going back again soon. And out of curiosity, we plan to visit their main worship service too. Impersonal or not, it would be nice to see that many people all in one place excited about the word of God and singing praises to Him!

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