Tuesday, July 19, 2011

5 Things I Learned in Brasil ~ Uma Licao

Or Lesson #1 ~ The Rules are, There ain't no rules!

Wow. I can honestly say that I learned that lesson very quickly in Brazil. I was thrown into it just from the drive from the airport to my host family's dwelling.

This photo was on the "outskirts". I was way too scared to take a photo of the main traffic. I was too busy holding on to the person beside me and "Jesus Handle"! The families kept trying to tell me it was ok. This was perfectly normal. And I eventually got used to it, but man! No one is ever allowed to goad me about MY driving anymore!

You see...here...everyone drive little bitty cars that are standards. Why? So they can easily choose between the 1 of 2 speeds. Stop. And wide open. And I am not even kidding! The dividing lines on the streets/highways are merely suggestions and the stop signs...what stop signs? At least the dogs and kids were smart enough to move when they heard a car coming. And motorcycles apparently have complete right-of-way. When the 3 lane highway turns into a 6 lane highway, the motorcycles still weave in and out of traffic. And more than once we saw some who had paid the ultimate price for it.

All I have to say is when most cars there with only...say...24,000 miles on them look like they have been beat up and ragged out, all I have to say is I know why!

...and praise The Lord for good break systems.

Oh...and praise the Lord this isn't the price of gas for us!

That is per liter, people!

Another no rule that it took me some getting used to was their concept of time. As in, they have none. On more than one occasion I would ask what time it was and get the response of "who cares". Things never started on time and appointments were never really kept on time. But here was the best part...no one really cared. They were all completely okay with it. They were all very laid back and just sort of flew by the seat of their pants.

Now...those of you who know me very well at all know this did NOT fly with me! I began to panic when the bride was already an hour late to the wedding. But no one else had a problem with it. Not even the hundreds of guests that were already there waiting. It took some time, but I eventually gave over to the concept. It was very freeing. But then again, I didn't have any kids asking for peanut butter sandwiches or bills coming in the mail or a house of my own needing to be cleaned.

Some of my Brazilian friends will be coming to the states in May and even spending some time at my house. I hope we don't give them a heart attack with all the clocks in our house.

Another broken rule I hope to learn alot from...

Let kids be kids! The school schedule works a wee bit differently there. They only take core classes in school so kids only go to school for 4 hours per day. And with so many there are choices...the morning block or the afternoon block. So because of that, we saw kids everywhere any time of day. Some with their parents, some not. Many, many children were in the streets and at the parks playing with kites (pipa). You could look up in the sky at any time and see 40 pipa waaaayyyy up high! But mainly you just saw kids laughing and playing and enjoying being kids!

No iphones for 8 year olds.
No facebook.
No xBox.
No wii.
No TV.

Kids were being kids! And it blessed me and made me so sad for the future of our nation to realize what we are making our kids into.

Grown-ups before they are even tweens.

So last night as I watched my little ones outside soaking each other with their water guns, I was thankful for the images and life lessons that began in me in Brazil.

That the rules are, there ain't no rules!

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