Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mark's Law

Since I am no longer in Rio, I have a new blog.  Mark's Law.  Rio was awesome and I think about it often, suadade.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Well, I made it home this morning, safe and sound. I don't think I left anything, either. It is good be home, but I will miss Rio. I felt blessed to work with the missionaries and Brazilians who live there. I will finish this later, because I am really tired.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Um Mais Semana

Hey everybody,
My computer quit working, so my blogging will be even more limited. Hopefully I can get it fixed, but that won´t happen on this side of the equator. We are into our last week here in Rio and it has been a great experience. Our last week is full of goodbyes and finales. The last clinic is tomorrow and Sunday will be our last church service. Our midnight evangelsim has been rescheduled for Friday night, that is going to be tough. We also have invitations for dinner before we leave, so we are trying to fit them all in.
Almost every dog here is either a dachsund or has been crossed with a dachsund at least once in his life. So imagine any type of dog with short legs and a long body, it can get quite amusing.
On a side note, we thought we had lost a set of our keys for about a week. It was going to cost about $700 to fix because the keys opened the front gate, front and back doors to the apartment building and all of those locks would have to be changed. So we prayed and looked, prayed and looked, and prayed and racked our brains for the past week. None of us had te extra money to pay for them so it was a little unnerving. But, God answers prayer and the keys turned up at the front gate. How? We don´t know. That´s God for you.
Pray for a missionary family we met here. The mom died yesterday and they are not sure why. They have four kids. Please keep the Lembeck family in your prayers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Nuke the Fridge

Well I'll be here a little less than two weeks more. So I can start looking back at what has happened over the past six weeks. A majority of our time here has been spent working in clinics at local churches in Rio and so I have been able two see a large number of people/patients. A couple of things have stuck out to me, some them are quite funny. Most of the time, I have been tasked with taking blood pressures and sometimes measuring blood sugar. So I tell people what their BP or blood sugar is and I get a variety of responses. In many instances, people have gotten seriously offended when I tell them that they have high blood pressure. Last week, one of my teamates, Karen, told an older lady that her BP was high and she should get it checked out. The lady got upset and said it was not high, and then slapped Karen on her shoulder. The lady then stood up, took a few steps, still muttering in Portuguese and then came back and hit Karen on the arm again (Not hard, but not nice either). One of the highest BPs I have seen came from a lady who told me she had low BP. I also have to ask people if they are diabetic and I get 3 different responses. 1) "I don't know." which is then followed by a look or question that goes along the lines of "Am I?" I then tell them that if they don't know, they probably are not diabetic. 2) "No!" Which is then followed quickly by "Praise the Lord," "Thank God" or a similar phrase. The look on the person's is similar to when you ask a lady how much do they weigh or if you guess a woman's age and you go over. (Speaking of weight, the week I was doing triage, I stopped asking for people's weight about two hours into the first day, because 1) it wasn't really necessary for eyeglasses and 2) none of the women knew their weight or they had forgotten, hmmm.) 3) "Yes" but with a dejected look on their face, similar to the look a person has when they failed anything. More than a couple of times I had to try cheer some of the people with high BP or who were diabetic and explain to them that they were okay. I guess that is a part of being a doctor.

A note about the churches down here. I don't think we have been in a service shorter than an hour and half and most are about 2 hours. We went to a church Sunday night with several of our Brazilian friends and the service was 3 hours long. It hasn't really bothered me though. I don't know if it is the way the services are conducted (lots of singing) or the fact that I am down here to be missionary? The services are very organized, but they always feel very relaxed.

I have mentioned before that our missionary suggested we read Proverbs everyday and talk about it. It's pretty cool because my prayer before I left was that God would give me wisdom. We are well into our second trip through Proverbs and some things have repeatedly stuck out to me.

A wise man does 3 things
1) He works hard
2) He speaks honestly
3) He gives appropiately

Do those 3 things and God will be faithful to bless the wise man. All 3 of those virtues incorporate humility which reiterates one of main themes in Proverbs, pride accomplishes nothing accept trouble. So, I have stuff to work on.

Yesterday, we went to a school with a teacher from the church we go to. She teaches deaf children. We got to meet her class and talk to the other classes about us and why we are here. It was funny because most of the kids wanted to here what their names were in English. We would tell them, and then all of the other kids around them would laugh and point. I really only got into trouble when the kids found that my soccer team is Fluminence (Who made it to the championship of South America, but lost in penalty kicks last week). Let's just say the kids had a few choice word for me and some of them were in English. On a related note, Mrs. Reese got one of their neighbors who is not a Christian to translate for us. We had some good conversations with her and hopefully there is a seed there. Pray for Larissa, her brothers have decided to be atheists (She looks just like Amanda Bynes).

Tomorrow, Michael are going to the Christ Statue, that should be cool.

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July Sedation

Hey Everybody,

Today is the 4th of July here and in the US. It has been a little different here though. The 4th is one of my favorite holidays, mainly because it is in the summer, it has fireworks and it is patriotic. This week we have a better understanding of the US image abroad. Sunday night we had a lady at the church telling us very loudly that President Bush is the devil in no uncertain terms. No one has any redeeming words to say about our president. It is a little disconcerting and sad. Consequently, no one understands the significance of the 4th of July here. They don't understand how we can be patriotic with our current President that many equate directly with the devil. Any discussion of the 4th quickly resulted in an evalution of the President, so it was a quiet day. We do our best not to discuss politics. Fireworks are a daily occurrence here so they don't understand the fun of those either. On a side note, Tuesday when we were driving down the highway someone threw like an M80 near the side of our van. It was pretty crazy.

As our group gets to now each other better, we have started talking about the danger of kidding. We read Prov 26:18-19. It is not a serious problem, but it is not the best approach either. So we have all been trying to speak honestly, its pretty hard. Today, I have been thinking of a verse my mom used to say a lot. Matt 5:37 "Let your Yes be Yes and your No, No." A cheap joke is almost never worth it, yet it is so hard to resist. It's a work in progress.

I also got a Brazillian haircut at the church today.

It was definitely the entertainment for the afternoon.

Happy 4th to you all in America!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hump week

Hey Everybody,
We've passed hump week! I could tell it was hump week, because I started thinking of everything I wanted to eat when I get back. We were really busy all week doing triage, Karen and I saw 630 people in the 5 days, it was a lot. I liked it though, because I got to sit down speak to all the patients. My interpreters taught me how to ask all of the questions in Portuguese. I talked to a few people without an interpreter, that was cool.
This weekend we decided to do all of our shopping, so we went downtown to the place were all of the locals shop on Saturday and Sunday afternoon we went to the hippie fair in Ipanema. I got to do a little bargaining, I got everybody to knock off 5. I think I still paid too much, though. The coolest thing I bought was a painting of the beach. I had finished shopping and I was waiting around looking at some paintings that were really nice looking they were all beach pictures. The more I thought about it, the more I decided I wanted one. I counted up all the money I had left and I was 30 short and I started talking to the guy. I told him I only had 50, and we got him to knock off 20 and I got everybody who owed me money to pay up. So I got a really sweet painting.
We went to a family's house on Sunday after church and we had the best meal we have had in Brazil. We had chicken, sausage, and beef cooked on the churrasco and it was so juicy and flavorful. It was way better than the steakhouse we went to earlier and it was the perfect ending to hump week.
I decided that the ability to sleep anywhere in almost any condition is a gift and I am extremely thankful for it.

I am going to try and update again soon.