Sunday 10th was a rest day. We slept in, had breakfast, and generally relaxed for most of the day with our lovely host family. What energised me the most wasn’t sleeping in or lounging in the hammock (although enjoyable!) but being silly on the Just Dance and Guitar Hero playstation games with the 2 daughters of the family, Lais (15) and Lara (7). We laughed a lot trying to understand each other. For ages Lara didn’t seem to understand that I couldn’t understand her and was jabbering away in Portuguese. Then she started repeating what she had said really loudly and slowly to me – classic! Lais is learning English at school, and their parents knew a bit, so with that and a lot of miming we laughed our way through the day. It was a lot of fun and so good to really laugh. We had a delicious barbeque for lunch -good food and nice people!
In the afternoon we went to visit the local military barracks which has a sort of zoo, with animals which they find injured in the rainforest. In the evening we went to church. It was good to see a worship team which included people from age about 10 up. The highlight for me was the song they do at the beginning of the service, where everyone hugs everyone else in the church! This had happened at the youth service the day before, but I had thought it was a one off. Apparently it is a common feature. No awkward hugs either – proper, friendly, smiley hugs J I love it! As usual, I had the opportunity to introduce myself and bring greetings from the Methodist Church in Great Britain, and I also gave them a small gift – a tea towel from London!
After saying goodbye to our host family, taking photos and exchaning contact details, we had a city tour and went to a very touristy gift shop with indigenous style souvenirs before catching our flight in the afternoon. Boa Vista is a planned city – all designed before being built. It has a grassy space in the centre, surrounded by government and law type buildings, then shops, then residential areas spreading out from there. It’s a really nice city – I much preferred it to the busyness of Rio. I think I am made for a quieter life!
Flying over the Amazon was amazing – I thought it looked like fields of broccoli! I managed to hop on the internet to post a blog at breakneck speed, then we went straight to Manaus Methodist Camp. I will try to post about the Methodist camp and the things we visited in Manaus tomorrow – but now I must go to sleep as it’s nearly 22.30 here and we leave at 4.45am to visit a river community. Must remember to take travel sickness pills as we will travel 3 hours by car then onwards by boat!