Sunday, October 03, 2010

A Week in the Life: Domingo (Sunday)

8:00 a.m. - We wake up. We can sleep a little later on Sundays since church doesn't start until 10:30. With the cooler weather, we are able to close the blinds in the boys' room, so they sleep in also, which is nice. We have breakfast -- leftover blueberry muffins from yesterday, yogurt, and fruit. Then we shower and get ready for church.

10:00 a.m. - We are just walking out the door. Usually, we try to leave by 9:45. Today, we are running late, which means we have missed the two busses that will get us to church on time. We walk to the bus stop and wait for the bus. Alex climbs the tree near the café while we wait. Finally, a bus comes, and we hop on. We ride to the nearest Metro station and get on the metro (subway). We ride to Picoas, ten stops away, then walk 3 blocks to the church building.
Walking Running to the bus stop

Waiting for the bus

On the bus

On the Metro

The church is up the street on the left

The Lisbon Church of Christ

10:45 a.m. - We are 15 minutes late to church, but they haven't started yet, because the power has been out all morning. This is a common occurence -- not the power being out, but starting late for whatever reason. Things are much more laid back here. It's good preparation for Africa! We greet our fellow church-goers the European way (kissing each cheek). After a few minutes, the power comes on and it's time for Bible class. There are no classes for the kids today, so the boys sit with us in the adult class. It doesn't last long since we got started so late.

11:30 a.m. - Worship begins. The format is pretty standard, although the atmosphere is a lot more lively than most churches of Christ in the U.S.! Many African and Brazilian members are a contributing factor to this. In fact, the church has a smaller percentage of Portuguese members than those of other nationalities. Everything is in Portuguese. After the offering, the kids head upstairs for children's worship. Stephen isn't quite old enough to go, so he stays with us and plays quietly during the service. Sometimes, he takes a nap, but not today. I do my best to pay attention and try to understand, which requires an enormous amount of mental energy. After almost 5 months of language study, it is frustrating how little spoken Portuguese I am able to actually pick up. I feel like I should be able to understand more, and it is discouraging.

12:30 p.m. - The service is over. We just found out that there is a lunch after church for couples and families. We didn't know about it before, but we decide to stay. We visit and watch the kids play while the food is being prepared.

1:45 p.m. - The food is finally ready. The Portuguese eat lunch and dinner very late by our standards. It took some getting used to in the beginning, but now we expect it, and I always come to church with lots of snacks for the boys. Today, there is roast chicken, some type of beef stew with rice, a green salad, potato chips, bread, and ganja (Portuguese chicken noodle soup). Everything is delicious.

Alex, Stephen, and Eliana playing

Eating lunch

2:30 p.m. - We leave before dessert is served so that we can catch the 3:00 bus back home. This is how it is when you don't have your own vehicle -- your life is ruled by public transportation schedules! We walk back to the Metro station and hop on the train. We make the bus with 10 minutes to spare. Stephen sleeps most of the way home.

3:20 p.m. - We are home for the rest of the day. There are no Sunday night services at the Lisbon church. While Rusty builds ramps and plays cars with the boys in their room, I pot a few herbs I bought yesterday and hang out the laundry. The laundry is a never-ending chore here. I literally do at least one load almost every single day. Part of it is our tiny washer, and part of it is the drying space. If I don't do a load every day, it can quickly pile up on me. Then, I wash up the dishes from breakfast while the boys watch Veggie Tales.

Playing cars


Basil and cilantro

Laundry hung out to dry

5:30 p.m. - Our Sunday night traditon is brinner, or breakfast for dinner. Tonight, I make banana pancakes. We eat, and Rusty helps me clean up the kitchen. Danny comes over to use our scanner. I give the boys baths and get them ready for bed.

Stephen "helping" me mix up the pancakes

8:00 p.m. - The kids are in bed. They don't normally go to bed this early, but Sundays are long days, and neither of them got a good nap today, so they are ready. Stephen has a little trouble settling tonight. I finally let him fall asleep with Rusty on the couch.

9:00 p.m. - Rusty still has homework to do. I sit down to find something to watch on TV. "Pearl Harbor" is just starting. I decide to watch for just a little while, but then we get sucked into the movie and end up finishing it.

12:30 a.m. - We're finally going to bed!


  1. I was really interested in reading until you said you went to bed at 12:30am- YOU ARE CRAZY!!! :)

    Sounds a little like our Sundays growing up- I remember those days were so long, but they were always an adventure.

    You will get the language Laura- don't worry about it. I think our world is crazy in the sense that they think people can just "learn a language" in a short amount of time. It takes 5-7 years to master a language- you have plenty of time :)...Love hearing your stories.

  2. Laura,
    Just think how long it takes a child to really be able to understand a language (and they don't have a million other jobs to do at the same time!) It will come. Just keep at it!
    Thanks for the blog idea. I'm loving the commentary and the pictures. Love you, Mom