The first week with the beautiful game by Jess

It’s been a big week since the World Cup started and so much has happened. I mean the Blues finally won a State of Origin after an 8 year drought. Anyway, to kick off the World Cup we went to stay with our billets in Vilar Dos Teles. Our billets consisted of two different house-holds that we were to travel between, each just as lovely and welcoming as the other.

Amy was sick, so although we were a little house-bound it worked out well. We managed to go for a walk on the street and met some of the local kids because they wanted to touch Amy’s blonde hair.  Amy’s hair always gets people’s attention. I often hear people say “Que Linda” (how beautiful) as they walk past. Unfortunately I still haven’t learned the word for ‘gentle’, so when it comes to kids, I try to say as sweetly as I can “Para por favor” (stop please) and just hope I don’t scare them away. I haven’t so far 🙂

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Tim and Fernando (our host) made a trip into Rio to pick up our World Cup tickets (that’s right) and it was then that we realized Rio was a 1-hour drive away or a 3-hour trip via public transport. Although these guys were willing to take us as much as they could, unfortunately for a whole month it wasn’t practical. Hence, I started the search for an affordable place to stay. Given that it’s the WORLD CUP and prices are tripled, I was concerned about our options. However, with favour on our side we found a great two-bedroom apartment close to the prayer room and Maracanã Stadium. We moved two days later.

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We took a couple of days to rest, as I had now joined Amy in the sick department, but on Monday we made our first trip to the prayer room. We weren’t able to stay long, but it was great to be there anyway. We will go there as much as possible either as a family or separately.

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The rest of our week consisted of hanging out with Frank from Australia… (sorry about the horrible picture quality)

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Amy’s 2nd Birthday…

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And all of us becoming seriously sick with a dreadful flu. The type of flu that makes you go through boxes of tissues and unable to open your eyes in the morning.

On a plus side, we have watched a lot of World Cup games and love to hear the Brazilians cheer and celebrate throughout the area we’re staying. I’m pleased to say that the Brazilians in our area seem to cheer for Australia when they play… it must be the similar colours. We have been asked a few times, why we play with yellow and green “Why do you use Brazilian colours?” they ask, “Yellow and green are not on your flag.” Fare enough questions really, but the most embarrassing thing is that I had to Google the answer. Apparently there are lots of reasons, so we just show them this…

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Well, after a big week what else have I learned? Firstly, Amy really loves balloons!

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Secondly, Brazilians really know how to celebrate and are far more passionate about Football than us laid back Aussies are about anything. It’s hard to explain if you aren’t here, but the noise of triumph and heartache comes from EVERY house at every moment of the game.

Thirdly, I’ve learned that although I had dreams of spending long days in the prayer room, with Amy and especially while we’re all sick, it’s just not possible – we can only do what we can do and that’s ok 🙂 Well, I keep telling myself it’s ok.

Lastly, I’ve learned that I want a bigger heart to love. When I look at my life and the state of my heart, I desire more. From everything I’ve done up until now and people I have known, I know that there is so much more. I know that God has created me with a certain capacity and I don’t have to be someone I’m not, but perhaps that’s it… I believe God is growing my heart to love more. I recently posted on FaceBook:

“God reminded me again today that I have one purpose, and that is to love. I could ask for no greater assignment.”

Like most lessons in God, it starts at home. This means learning to receive God’s love more and then loving Him back. It means loving Tim and Amy when I just want a moment to myself or I’m too sick to move. I think this one will take some time, but that’s ok. I have time to give.

Much (more) Love
Jess xxoo

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