A tired Kleber family -- with the Beloved Cat Clarese in tow -- arrived at the Porto airport on June 13... to be greeted by a TV crew from Portugual National TV. Yawn! They were filming Jordan's "return" to Portugal, as part of a documentary about his ancestors who were religious exiles from Portugal in the 1850s. (See "Religious Exiles from Portual" weblink, at the main Kleber Family Update page.)
After a week of unpacking, cleaning, and adjusting to the time change, we emerged refreshed and ready to enjoy our new hometown: Braga. Our apartment is just two blocks off the main plaza (photo, left) of this 2000+ year-old town. Join us on one of our favorite excursions: a brisk 25-minute walk from our apartment to the Igreja Baptista, which is also the location of Drex's pre-school, named "Fundação."
Thanks to the generosity of a dear friend, we were able to purchase this little Portuguese car. We named it "Jane," after our friend, and are thrilled to be able to get out and enjoy the Portuguese countryside. It also helps mightily with the weekly mega-shopping trip. The water in Braga is good but the pipes are bad, so we must buy bottled drinking water... about 45 liters (11 gallons) a week. Plus, they don't sell frozen juice concentrate so we purchase an additional 2 gallons of orange and apple juice. Did we mention milk? food? DIET COKE? No? Well, the car is a GODSEND. Without it, Deb would spend all her time carrying liquids from the grocery store to the apartment. Thanks again, Jane!
Within the first week, Jordan and Drex stumbled onto a park at a nearby Boy's Home. Thus began a new evening ritual: pack up an assortment of sports equipment and teach these new friends how to use it all.
Debbie tackled a string of linguistic challenges: banking, shopping and pre-school registration. Austin enrolled in a one-month Portuguese class at the local University of Minho. Drex began pre-school four mornings a week at Fundação.
Jordan continued to exhort and encourage a string of HFH volunteers arriving from around the world to work at the Braga jobsite.
Not surprisingly, a number of people wrote to express their scepticism concerning one of Jordan's weekly "Prayer & Praise" updates about the Festa do São João "head-bopping" ritual. Fortunately, an HFH volunteer group was in town and sent the following photos. On the left, an intrepid volunteer purchases her own small hammer and demonstrates proper head-bopping technique on the vendor. Notice the sacks of hammers in the lower right corner. The middle photo shows this volunteer being bopped by a happy child. Right photo: São João decorations in the Praça República. (Notice hammer-wielding youth.)
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