I read somewhere recently that a Sabbath day's journey is 1.4 km, so I can walk to church if Ian gives me a lift home :-). We left Rio at 14:20. The purchase of a decaf coffee at McDonald's in Sao Paulo worked about as well as the purchase of the dinner we had last night. The girl was adamant that she understood me when I said, "Decaffinated", but what I received was Ian's cappuccino and he got my one, which turned out to be a hot chocolate :-)
Last night's dinner was a truly special one, in the restaurant overlooking Copocabana Beach etc, way up on the Sugar Loaf. Such a treat, looking out over those pretty lights. The first surprise was being given a selection of 5 or 6 interesting kinds of bread, complete with butter whipped with oil of orange, plus an olive spread. Wow! I thought. If it starts like this, with a fabulous free selection of breads, how good will the rest be?! The truth came at the end, when we were billed for it - never having ordered it! Obviously, a Brazilian cultural difference. In NZ, the bread would have been free, or we would have had to order it before it arrived on the table.
Then we both ordered duck. The receptionist came over - the non-English-speaking waiter had understood that we only wanted one main... She sorted it out. Then we ordered only one dessert and two arrived! We should have known what would happen when Ian ordered a cappuccino - an espresso arrived :-0 lol.
I am keeping my lips sealed about the other mix-up, but by now you can sympathise with me if I start to believe that God was trying to teach us something when the hot chocolate arrived today.
I suggested to Ian that it might be that Brazilians have a shame-based culture and it would have been very shameful to admit they didn't understand what we had ordered. Maybe that is what I am supposed to learn.
Since starting to travel around Tanzania and deal with people there, I have realised that basically I know nothing and that assumptions are dangerous things. A couple of years ago, I started saving money to send to Kondoa in order to make it possible for some clergy kids to get to school (perhaps paying for shoes, books etc), but later Bishop Given told me that even if there might be a school within reach, the school would not necessarily have a teacher and if it did, there might be a pupil/teacher ratio of 100:1. Not even the Government offering twice the normal rate of pay to teachers can necessarily entice teachers to come to Kondoa district. So I had to re-think the target for this money I had raised.
Thus I am a bit wary about how to relate to the Brazilians. I know nothing. The only thing I can know is "Jesus loves you and wants to heal you."