Saturday, November 4, 2006

Destination Brazil: Travel Blog #11

Leaving the chacarra grounds, you never quite know what sights will greet you in your travels.
You might see a family traveling down the road using a horse and cart, someone literally riding on horseback into the doorway of a construction store to place an order or a woman standing in the middle of the road begging for coins, holding a baby in her arms.
The sights, sounds and even smells, of Brazil will stay with me for a while.
It’s been an interesting experience to step out of my comfort zone, leave air conditioning and “fast food” behind to stay in a boys orphanage for two weeks.
I know now why Mark Mayberry fell in love with the people of Brazil, and why he and others have returned again and again to help out those in need.
It’s the same reason his widow, Debbie, returns to Maceio. Americans are blessed. The need in Brazil is great. In fact, it’s down right overwhelming.
Mark Mayberry and the others who helped to start the orphanage in Brazil saw it as a chance to provide some help, comfort and even a new life, for young boys without much hope for a future.
As I prepare to leave Maceio in less than 48 hours, I’m starting to feel overwhelmed with having to say good bye to Alan, Benedito, Lucas, Marcos, Gabriel, and the other 15 boys who have found a place in my heart.
The orphanage stands as a testament of Mark Mayberry’s vision. As the young men mature, hopefully the education and skills they gain here, will allow them to pass on the blessings they have been given.
I’m sure it will take some time to process everything I have experienced in the last two weeks. I’ll share more photos and stories once I return.
In the meantime, I’ll spend the next few hours preparing to leave, not knowing if or when I will return.
Thank you Bill Hood, for providing me with this opportunity. It’s been a trip of a lifetime. I know I will return to Joplin a different person.
It’s been quite an adventure.

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