As I sit at home, preparing my classes for the next week (and yes, it will be a busy one, I'm mostly preparing myself mentally :) I've decided to get caught up here. Let me tell you about last Sunday. Susan asked if I wanted to join them on a trip to IABC, an Adventist boarding academy over hour out of town. Not knowing where it was or what they were going to do there, of course I said yes! So I had my first official trip outside of Brasilia! Granted, I'm still not exactly sure where I went (I'll have to look it up some time) but it was exciting to see the countryside instead of buildings (I am, after all, from Iowa).
We stopped by the airport on the way out of town and picked up two people who were flying in to also go to the programming. First arrival was Milton Torres. An incredibly nice man who also happens to be a (very talented) translator and is from the Brazil Adventist University. The next arrival was Pastor Torres would be translating for, Ted Wilson who as it turns out, is a VP of our global church. Consequently, he's also a nice guy. So the five of us drove what turned into close to 2 hours (maybe? we took only 1 wrong turn) chatting and enjoying the scenery. So by the time we arrive, I kinda forgot that everyone I was with were important. But when we got there, we had a few minutes to change and then the ceremony to celebrate the new renovations of the Academy began.
And what fun seeing all the formality!!! My actress side won out as I thought through every formal facial expression, ways to stand and did my best not to look bored during the service.
Following the dedication ceremony everyone then went to the next point which was the groundbreaking of the new church to be built. While we were standing out in the middle of the field Susan and I looked up to see....
So we ran (as well as our heels would allow us) to the car to get umbrellas. We arrived back at the groundbreaking just as the rain began to fall there. So splitting up the two umbrellas we were able to cover ourselves, Pastor Erton (SAD President), Pastor Stanley (Assist. to the Pres), Ted Wilson, Milton Torres and Magdiel (Susan's husband, SAD Secretary). It was quite fun playing the role of umbrella holder while talking to people I know, a welcome breath of fresh air when there were SO many people around that I didn't know. Pastor Stanley and his wife, by the way, just started up English classes with me recently, and I think he's close to one of my favorite people at the Division. He's just SO stinkin' nice and genuinely friendly! But a strange thing happens when you're escorting people of that caliber around, crowds open for you, as do locked doors. For those of you that know me well enough, yes, I find this fun. After another quick ribbon cutting, we arrived to the dining hall for the special dinner. After going in the back door, avoiding the long line and the locked front door, we settled in to our spots. There I met another interesting person.
Ozeias Reis is one of the Arautos do Rei (King's Heralds) here in Brazil, and well, the fact is, I was rather star struck. As you can also see when I sat 1 row behind the rest of them at the next ceremony.
Yes, those two unsuspecting men in the background were another two Heralds. And not only are they nice, but boy can they sing!
So the last program of the evening was a pastor ordination and a speech from Ted Wilson launching the Union's leadership and management seminar. And here's what it looked like from where I was sitting...
That would be Ted Wilson (with the slightly lighter skin and hair :) and Milton Torres on the right faithfully translating. At the end of the service, right before the King's Heralds were to perform their last song, most of the electricity went out (except for only the house lights) so there was no musical accompaniment and microphones, but being the fabulous musicians that they are, they performed accapella and sans microphone. And let me tell you, it was the most beautiful I've ever heard them sing. As soon as the program was over and we were walking out all the electricity went out. So clinging to one another Susan and I made it out the door to the car. We left rather quickly (to be home by around 12:30) so I didn't even get the chance to say goodbye to my new friends. But overall, an enjoyable evening. I don't know that I could survive that formality on a regular basis, but once, pretending to be a character from the Princess Diaries, it was fun.