May 20, 2008

Life In Sao Caetano / Sao Paulo, Brazil

When most Americans think of Brazil, they think of the Amazon, jungles & rain forests, Rio de Janeiro, and Carnival... Life in a 3rd world country... And there are supposed to be monkeys and other animals running around in the streets. This is what most of America sees on TV about Brazil. Life here in Sao Caetano/ Sao Paulo is vastly different than the perception most Americans have.

Our city, Sao Caetano do Sul, is located next to the city of Sao Paulo. Both are fairly modern cities, and life here is not a "3rd world country" type of life. We have excellent health care here (praise God), and we have modern conveniences like cable tv (we even have ESPN Brasil), cell phones, wireless internet,... we have many pizzarias and good restaurants. There are many small specialty stores, and also some supermarkets like Extra (Brazilian) and Carrefour (French). There are many strange and different things, and also there are some familiar things like McDonalds, Sam's Club & Wal-Mart (although their prices are not cheap here), Pizza Hut, Blockbusters,... There is a GM plant here in Sao Caetano. You see familiar cars like Chevrolets and Fords and Volkswagens, and you also see Puegots, Citroens, Fiats, Renaults,...

It is definitely an urban city lifestyle, and is vastly different than the suburbs of Marietta GA (north of Atlanta) where we lived prior to moving here. There are no houses with large yards with lots of grass and trees. There are houses with little or no yards, and there are many high-rise apartments. There are narrow roads filled with crazy drivers driving small cars or motorcylces, and also many buses and pedestrians. Brazilians are very wonderful & kind & warm people, but when they get into their cars... well we won't go there. And of course there is the different language. They speak Portuguese here in Brazil. It is the only country in South America that speaks Portuguese; all the rest speak Spanish.

Life here is certainly different. There are some enjoyable things here, especially the wonderful people. And there are things that are not so enjoyable. All of the adjustments, and the learning of a new language, and the sacrifices that we have had to make to come here are well worth it, to see many people coming to Christ and to see God being glorified. It is a great privilege and joy to have the opportunity to join God in His work here.

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