Welcome home Helen.

Good news!   The laptop has arrived safely!  Our thanks to Helen who has recently returned from her first pastoral visit with Martin and now  shares  some  reflections.

What do you like best about Brazil? That’s the question that came up the most on my trip to Cristino Casto, Piaui, NE Brazil last month.

The people – they were all so kind and hospitable And good to see Martin, the ALVP volunteer, so settled and fluent in Portuguese that he often spoke to me in Portuguese instead of English. The children were beautiful, energetic and curious, full of character.

The Brazilian way of life  too – with plenty of time for people, visiting, talking, eating together, and more talking. The climate was hot – I’ve never been anywhere so hot before – 40 degrees while waiting for the bus in the evening in Teresina, reputedly the hottest town in Brazil.

Mass on Sunday – at 7.30pm when it was slightly less hot – doors and windows open and fans going, music, singing, great liveliness together with devotion. And then friends gathering outside in the square to chat when it was over.

The food – Trying manioc pancakes, and different kinds of fruit.

Speaking Portugese – I did enjoy it, having mastered 30 lessons before I set off and having fun practising and people understanding me.

My job as ALVP coordinator has given me the privilege of meeting and sharing the lives of such people and enabling young people to experience that we really are all brothers and sisters in one wonderful, varied world.

Helen and Martin with students from the college

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