Thursday, March 14, 2013

Three Strange Days In The Life of One Missionary to Brazil

There are days that will stand out in your mind for weeks, some months or even years.  Other stories may live on through your children and grandchildren and still other stories may die with you.  I don't know which category this story will fall into but I do hope you enjoy it.  Don't feel bad if you laugh.  I did.

A couple of weeks after arriving back in Brazil, I took our car to the mechanic.  You can't work on your car here or people will start complaining.  It was a rainy day, we had a hard rain early on and then it began to taper off.  Anyway, I was at the mechanic and I went walking to buy a part for the car.  There is no sidewalk.  I was walking along the side of the road, just off to the edge, to stay out of the way of the cars.  Because of all the rain there were some puddles of water in my path.  I came upon one puddle that I did not want to step in so I stepped off in the road where there was a wet board leaning up against the curb (a curb with no sidewalk mind you).  I slipped on the wet board.  You might think you know what happened next but I did not fall.  I put my right foot down in the puddle so that I would not fall; only it was not just a puddle of water.  It was a sewage drain and the top was off of it with the sewage water forming the puddle.  Listen, if it was just the water on top of the sewage hole that would be normal but since the top was off my whole leg up to the top of my thigh sunk deep into the dirty sewage hole.  There was a group of people at a little snack shop right where it happened.  They were probably amazed at how I didn't really miss a step even though I almost got sucked into the sewage.  All that was for show because of my embarrassment.  They were quick to remind me "hey, you know that is a sewage hole, don't you".  I went on to the store and bought the part while smelling the stench that was wreaking from my pants.  After buying the part I had two choices:  pass in front of the guys again or take the long way around and avoid any further embarrassment.  I decided to pass in front of them and swallow my pride but this time I didn't care if cars were coming or not, I was taking the street.  After standing around for a couple of more hours I called Monica.  I was going to take a bus home but didn't want to rub any sewage off onto anyone so I called Monica to come pick me up.  When I got home I took a shower and washed my leg at least five times.  My pants still stink but only if you put your nose up to them.  
I was back to the mechanic for more but I was going to make sure to avoid any sewage holes.  Thinking back, as I write this, that may have been the reason day two is in this story.  I was walking to another parts store and I was looking at where I was stepping.  As I came up to the parts store, two guys who were sitting outside were looking at me and they both said "hey" at the same time.  Before I had time to think or react, I ran my head into a pole that was sticking out of the building to hold up the front part of the roof.  The two guys started laughing.  That was about all I could do too but I didn't want to call anymore attention to myself.  And when you laugh at yourself for something like this it kind of makes you look weird, so I held it in.  Yes, I have done it before and that is how I know.  I did get a little cut from the pole but nothing too bad.  
This day I was registering my car.  I was in a line, with my car, for them to check it over and make sure everything was o.k. with the car.  They closed for lunch and they get a two hour lunch break and they take the full two hours.  I left my car in line and went to get something to eat.  On the way back I was walking in front of a bus stop that was full of people, so full in fact that I had to step out onto the street.  As I was passing by the people I saw a bus was coming.  For those who do not know, when you want a bus to stop for you, you stick your arm straight out, perpendicular to your body.  As I was passing by, the bus was coming and I was licking my lips still with the good taste of my lunch on them when suddenly this lady sticks her arm out and instead of licking my lips I licked her arm.  I don't think she knew what happened and I really did not want to tell her.  Lady, if you are reading this, I'm sorry, I did not mean to lick your arm.  Anyway, her perfume was in my mouth for the rest of the afternoon.
I was at the prayer meeting that night telling everyone what had happened in my short week.  They all laughed.  Samueuel McKinney spoke up and said; "I want to go with you tomorrow to see what is going to happen".  
If we can't laugh at ourselves who can we laugh at.  I hope you enjoyed three strange days in the life of one missionary to Brazil.

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