Day 1: Rise and Shine … Let’s Go to Brazil!

Good Monday morning all!  As I told you HERE, Renaissance Man and I leave today for Brazil and we’re taking you with us!  We have a fantastic week ahead, but this morning we’re just trying to get out the door.  Seems like the perfect time for my favorite Banana Oat Breakfast Cookie and a glass of milk.  Care to join me?
Click HERE for the recipe.

Unfortunately, due to some crazy-high airline prices this month, we won’t be flying out of Knoxville as we usually do.  Instead, buckle up and smile ’cause we’re driving 7 hours to DC to catch our late-evening flight to South America.  After all, there are places to go and people to see!

In case you like to read in the car as much as I do, here are a few FAQs to help you prepare for the trip.


* Where are we going?  We’ll fly into Sao Paulo, Brazil — a city of over 11 million people — then (hopefully) be met by a staff member of Hope Unlimited for Children.  If not, we’ll catch a bus.  Either way, we’ll ride for 1.5 hours to Campinas, Brazil, home to Hope Unlimited for Children‘s City of Youth and Nave Mae Preschool.

* What’s Campinas like?  Campinas is a city of both great wealth — among the world’s leaders in per capita private helicopters and personal armored cars — and extreme poverty.  The metro area population is almost 3 million with nearly 40% of the residents crammed into favelas (slums) living in scrap lumber shacks as raw sewage flows down dirt streets.  The children of these desperate conditions are often abandoned, abused, and exploited.  Child prostitution is rampant, and the cycle of poverty and destructive lifestyle is passed from generation to generation.  For 22 years, Hope Unlimited has served some of the most desperate children of Campinas, always hoping for more than even the rescue of individual children, but the transformation of a society. 

* What’s the weather like — and what time is it there?  This week’s forecast is for temperatures in the 60s to low 80s; it should be very pleasant.  As for the time, Brazil is currently one hour ahead of East Coast time. 

* Are we there yet?  Ha ha. You’re so funny!

* How long will we stay?  We’ll be in Brazil for almost a week, but part of the time will be spent in the city of Vitoria.  I’ll tell you more about Vitoria later. 

* Does this trip have a “purpose” or are we just going for funThere’s a purpose.  Every other year, the Board of Directors of Hope Unlimited for Children has their May meeting in Brazil. Although some Board members make the trip more often, this is the best way for many of them to stay connected with the Brazilian staff and — above all — the children we serve.  I expect it to be a week of laughter, hugs, prayer, tears, excitement, tough decisions, good food, pot-holed roads, and a too-hard bed.  I do NOT expect it to be an easy trip … or a “fun” trip … but I do expect it to be time very well spent. I hope you’ll agree.

Want to know “Why Brazil”  Click the Hope Unlimited label on the sidebar.

Join me for Blue Monday @ Smiling Sally


  1. I was excited to see this post show up. Glad to know that you are off and on the way! I’m one of your back-home prayer warriors. And now, I’m clicking the cookie recipe…

  2. Safe trip, Susan. I’m sure it will be as purposeful and blessed as ever.
    Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day.

  3. And btw, I hope the plants DO stay alive and lush while you’re gone.

  4. I am sending you wishes for safe travels. May your time in Brazil be productive. Take care of yourself! Hugs, Nellie

  5. What an unusual post! Thanks for joining in to Blue Monday.

    Happy Blue Monday, Susan.

  6. Brazil! Hope you’ve been brushing up on you Portuguese.