Dave and Shelagh provide us with more insights into the life of the convent and in particular the vision of its founder.
Our new home – So the Convent where we are staying belongs to the Assumption Sisters – the order was founded by Santa Maria Eugenie in the 19th Century. She was originally from France and spent some time in England.. She was canonised (became a Saint) recently or as Sister Regina,head of the convent, says “was recognised as a Saint as she had always been one”- an interesting point. Maria Eugene had many ideas ahead of her time – she championed women as bringers of change as mothers and promoted education. Consequently the Assumption Sisters have established places for education in many parts of the world.
Even more singing – The convent is used as a conference centre/retreat so groups of varying sizes appear to come and go. Recently a large group has arrived – they are a Gospel Choir from Germany numbering about 50 – they have been travelling around performing concerts –this is their last stop before home. They have sung before lunch & dinner.
Other stuff – The food continues to be outstanding – so much for our plans to lose some weight before Christmas although trips up and down the hill to Lapa and the Centre are helping. The bus journey down the cobbles to town is quite intimidating and shakes every wobbly bit – visions of the opening moments of the film Frida (based on the life of the great Mexican artist – Frida Kahlo) flash before your eyes ! ! The old electric tram which used to take this route isn’t running as there was an “accident” some time back. Cariocas are however used to such hidden risks as the electric wiring in some of the older buildings demonstrates . On a more serious note the tram closure is having a detrimental effect on the local traders who are not seeing the same volume of tourists who used to love to ride the route. Local cars display stickers campaigning for its return. Maybe in time for the next Olympics . . . .
Shelagh & Dave
Thank you for reminding me of the debt we owe to the courage of visionaries such as Sister Eugeni who bucked the conventions and thinking of the time. Still an ispiration