Monday, March 06, 2006

Mel, Volunteers, Things that make me smile

Stopped by church to return a cd and caught the end of the night service...stayed around to talk to Nayra, who just got back from Carnaval vaction and is tanned to a crisp. She was eager to hear all the details about the recent breakup which of course I couldn't give because even the pews have ears in Manguinhos, so we talked about other things instead. And then my phone rang with an unidentified/blocked number. Normally, I wouldn't answer that, but I'm dying for phone calls, so I picked up. And who's on the other line? Cristina Mel, wishing me happy birthday! Nayra teases me for the rest of the night, telling everyone about my "special relationship" with the stars...and Fernando and Joás and Joachim all give me the, "who are you and where did you come from and jeeze, you reallly DO know her?" look. It was kind of fun. To me, Mel is just a friend. She's famous, yeah, but for me, it's less of a big deal. Maybe because I pretty much heard her name for the first time when I was being introduced, so there's not this glamor surroundiing "my friend, the Christian superstar." Ah, whatever. I like Mel. And she speaks English!

This week in Manguinhos has been full of snapshots that leave me laughing or smiling to myself...a little blond girl swinging in the field, on a makeshift swingset created from an old campaign sign tied up between two poles...young boys wearing enormously over-sized motorcycle helmets and riding bikes too small for them, their legs banging against their chests as the helmets sway back and forth...pigs and horses grazing in the field as police vehicles race by...

I haven't spent even one night at home this whole week, between church services and going out with the girls, and watching novellas at Vivianne's house. The result of all this running around? New friends, new contacts, a host of new phone numbers, and the possibility of volunteers on the streets. It happened like this: Making dinner at Vivianne's with Erica and Noadia, I mentioned casually that I was missing the kids on the street and would anyone want to come with me sometime soon? Figuring that they would say no, I wasn't really all that serious. But all three of the girls spun around and practically shouted, "YES!" So there are three...and then when I went to a birthday party at the other Baptist church Noadia attends, I was introduced to some more interested parties...who invited me to their church the next night, where I was introduced to the missions coordinator who was interested...oh, and I also agreed to sing at their church one of these Sundays...so my schedule is full and I have help and I won't be all that alone once the Nichols' go back to the States for maternity leave. Possible volunteers from three different churches, two different denominations, in Manguinhos? That's a God thing.

Oh, and I'm going to the Trofeu awards show, kind of like the Brazilian Dove awards, which are like the Grammys for Christian musicians. Got that? I'm excited. Mel's rented a bus to take us to São Paulo, and I'm going to look for a dress in the coming weeks. Now this is something to look forward to...

1 comment:

Keith said...

Happy Birthday from all of us!