Bom dia! Our Portuguese lessons with Br. Francis Therese every morning have been going well, though we still can only communicate basic phrases. At least we are getting more polite! It has been a very busy and musical week here for us. From the very festive (loud) concert outside our convent walls last night, to radios blaring all around the city it seems music is an important part of the culture. This past week, Faith and I joined Brother Francis Therese at a Baroque choir. The choir meets every Monday evening at the lovely home of a German priest, Fr. Hans Bönisch, to sing sacred music. They were in desperate need of altos, so Faith and I were heartily welcomed to join.
Here is a link to the choir webpage: http://www.barroconabahia.com.br/coro.asp
Also this week we began our music/dance class in the Mary Magdalene house in the favela for the children where we will meet two or three times a week. Faith and I were able to teach them the Virginia Reel, an old American folk dance with some peppy Irish music to keep the beat. The children, ages 5-10 absolutely loved it and not surprisingly were able to keep up with the quick tempo. (Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures since I was busy having so much fun with them.) After dance, Br. Francis Therese gathered them around and gave a small lesson in music theory. This week they began to learn the scales of do, re, mi, etc.
Yesterday Faith and I began our arts and crafts class with the children of the same age group. We provided paint, paper, brushes, and asked them to paint something they were grateful for. Some drew their families, their homes, and there was a general theme of rainbows. Next class they will be able to take their works of art home.
Faith and I have also been able to partake in the ministries of Holy Hour and Sunday mass at the Church in the favela once a week. Both are open to the whole community and provide a wonderful opportunity to meet the people of the neighborhood. We have been welcomed by the people of the parish with open arms and even received a special blessing on Sunday from Brother. It has been a blessing to be able to use our talents to take part in the community here and we look forward to getting to know more people!