10) I am NOT Alone


As soon as I sat down to write this blog post, the song I am Not Alone by Kari Jobe came to mind. I then opened Spotify and put my worship playlist on shuffle and that was the first song to play. It has always been a favourite song of mine, but I think being in the situation I am currently in made the lyrics so much more relevant. Give the song a listen if you so wish,


I am not alone. I am not alone. You will go before me. You will never leave me.

You amaze me, redeem me, you call me as your own.

You’re my strength and my defender, you’re my refuge in the storm. Through these trials you’ve ALWAYS been faithful. You bring healing to my soul.

Being here in Brazil, nearly 6000 miles from my family, I assumed that I was going to feel a very profound sense of loneliness. However, I can HONESTLY say, that in no moment of my short time here have I felt even the tiniest bit lonely. So much so, that I have already proved how terrible I am at keeping in touch with people back home because I simply forget that people are worrying about me (because I am actually worry-free for the first time in a long time.) But yes, sorry family, I promise I’ll try harder to stay in touch – you know I love you all more than I can put into words.

I couldn’t have come to Brazil at a better time, because I arrived at the start of ‘Carnaval’, meaning that São Paulo was apparently very quiet (?????) because everyone had headed to the beach to make the most of the 30oC heat. If these last few days have been ‘quiet’, I’m slightly terrified for what public transport is going to be like for the rest of my time here. Carnaval has also meant that I haven’t officially started work, which has allowed me the guts of a week to get orientated to life in Brazil. Verna (my mentor) has been quite possibly the biggest blessing of my time so far. Her home cooked meals, chats, laughs, constant prayers and Brazilian culture lessons (including how to wash the dishes because it’s really different and specific method here) have been exactly what I’ve needed to help me settle into this wonderful country. I have been living with her since I arrived in Brazil, but will be moving out on Sunday/Monday to move in with my host family which is scary but super exciting.

Despite the fact that I haven’t started work at the projects, I have got the chance to meet several of the other Brazilian volunteers I will be working alongside and they have welcomed me in as one of their own. On Tuesday, we had our own pancake day, 'Brazil-style', with some of the volunteers from one of the street teams and I haven’t laughed as much in a long time. We planned to go for a civilised walk in the nearby park and ended up jumping on trampolines made out of old tyres like a bunch of children and then when we returned to the flat, we had a little sing-song (which of course also meant the flute came out) while we waited for the pancakes to be ready.

It turns out, Brazilians are even worse than Spanish speakers when it comes to pronouncing my name. So, I think my name here is going to be Kate (pronounced Kay-che) but I have just been telling everyone to call me whatever they want because I’ll answer to anything. My favourite moment of my time here in Brazil had to be on Wednesday. Two precious little children and their mummy came over to the flat and I spent the morning occupying the kids, playing the guitar, watching frozen and ratatouille and dancing to ‘Meu Deus é um Deus Grandão’ (Our God is a Great Big God). The six-year-old boy is now my new best friend and he said that he is going to come home to live with me because he really wants to live in Ireland! However, on the metro, Verna and I were discussing with the mum and kids about how I needed to come up with a new name because mine is just too difficult, and so my new best friend out of nowhere announced that my new name should be Priscilla. I’m not entirely sure where Priscilla came from but we did laugh for a good while about it.

As for the Portuguese, communication is definitely happening. It’s quite hard to come from Spain, where I was more than confident about chatting away in Spanish, to Brazil, where I am stumbling my way through conversations but I know this is going to get easier as time goes on. Verna has set me some (unachievable) goals for my time here to challenge me, including finishing 6 Portuguese books in 6 months as well as the entire New Testament in Portuguese so if you can’t get hold of me, I am probably trapped in my room reading.

Sending my love to everyone back home, and please don’t worry about me. I am being very well looked after here and hope to be in touch soon.

*****

'Com Jesus, você sempre está no lugar mais importante do mundo'
{With Jesus, you are always in the most important place in the world}

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