Are you curious who is supporting VinB volunteers in Cristino Castro? Who is my Brazilian mum? Do you know how many Brazilian brothers and sister I have? Let me introduce you to the family Lopes Mendes.
Dona Maroca is an amazing lady who has brought up twelve children and has now taken me into her home. She spends her time producing arts and crafts and looking after her many grandchildren, which now number more than thirty. Day by day I am getting to know them.
Her house is very lively, often loud and almost always full of people; new faces every day. One of my first tasks was to learn and memorise the names of her children. Can you imagine twelve quite difficult names plus the names of their wives and husbands and of course, all in the right birth order. I can proudly announce that I have succeeded.
Families in Brazil are very strongly bonded together and the Lopes Mendes family is a great example, calling and visiting each other frequently. They are caring, affectionate and supportive, the solidarity within the family is admirable especially when there is a problem.
Each family member treats me as a regular part of the clan, so suddenly I am a daughter, sister, niece, aunt and cousin… All in one. I always dreamt of being part of a big family and now I am very glad to be a part of this special family.