“Hi! What is your name?” A boy, about 9 years old, asked as Luan and I waited at the bus stop. Luan and I were on our way to Cassino to look at some potential houses, and we were discussing the prospects in English. After telling the boy our name, and finding out his was Wesley (I tried really hard not to laugh at this because I was thinking of our friend Wesley), the boy asked me for an autograph (which I though Luan was joking about), and if Luan would take him to the US.
“But, you are her husband,” the boy responded, as he gave Luan a strange look.
“No, we are just friends,” Luan laughed.
“But, you are in love with her. I can see it in your eyes,” was the response we received. Luan was laughing so hard that he couldn’t translate the comment. At the same moment the mother turned and yelled something about respecting others at her son. Of course, the next question we got involved me knowing origami. What a strange question and funny kid!
After getting on the bus and being told to follow him, Luan and I took our time paying the fare and sitting down. Still laughing, Luan explained some of the comments the boy had made, saying, “See, you are kind of like a famous person here.” And, apparently, I needed to give the boy an autograph. I ended up writing always follow your dreams on a piece of paper and handed it to him as we got off the bus.
Seeing the houses was another story. The first place we saw was amazing, minus the location. It used to be a variety of business before being turned into a house. And, we would have access to everything, including the restaurant kitchen and all the appliances inside (you should have seen my face when I saw it), a fire/stone pizza oven, a churrasqueira, a bar area, and then everything in our respective house. The lady was amazing and told us, even if we didn’t rent the house, we should go over there and have a churrasco. Her husband spoke Chinese, and she is teaching him Portuguese (she doesn’t speak Chinese by the way). It was an amazing experience! The second house was horrible, and I never want to go back. However, today ended with a plethora of stories that I am sure I will never forget!
On a serious note:
Today the ETA's were sent an email about remembering to be safe. In the last month, several crimes involving ETA's in Brasil had occurred. Hearing about this made me realize that anything is possible, and realize how grateful I am to have the friends I have here, and the life that has been given to me in this southern city. My friends always walk Catherine and me home at night, take bus rides with us early morning or late at night, help us find housing, etc., just to make sure we are safe. We are picked up all over town and sometimes I take for granted the kindness and generosity we are shown. Moreover, I hope that all the ETA's that have been victims of crimes in Brasil are doing better!