Feliz Ano Novo a todos

DSCF3627Henri Nouwen shared that “to give someone a blessing is the most significant affirmation we can offer.  It is more than a word of praise or appreciation; it is more than pointing out someone’s talents or good deeds; it is more than putting someone in the light.  To give a blessing is to affirm, to say ‘yes’ to a person’s Belovedness.” MAY GOD BLESS YOU EACH AND EVERY DAY IN THE NEW YEAR.


Drive to Corumba – heading towards the Pantanal

Eucalyptus trees

Eucalytus tree forest

Yacare Caiman

Jacare crocodile

River Paraguay Bridge

Ponte Rio Paraguai

Paraguay River

Rio Paraguay

As Serras Gêmeas

Maciço do Urucum (Pantanal) – As Serras Gêmeas


CAIJ Cripam- Where I work in Corumba

Centro de Apoio Infanto JuvenilChildren and Young People Support Centre

Centro de Apoio Infanto Juvenil
Children and Young People Support Centre

Click on the link below to find out more about the Don Bosco project I work at in Corumba.  Its in Portuguese and over the next few posts I will translate as best I can.  CAIJ Cripam







While everyone I know in colder climes is struggling with cold, possibly freezing temperatures, I deserve little sympathy for the sweltering heat here in Campo Grande – yes my dear friends I can almost hear your thoughts.  But even the Brazilians are complaining about the heat.  Its easy to see why air conditioning is a must, if you can afford it. Shady spots under trees, awnings, just about anything that will take the scorching sun off your head, I have learned to spot in the distance and navigate in my pathway.


Oh another interesting experience I had in Campo Grande was terere (tay-ray-ray), a tea infusion of yerba mate.  Originally from Paraguay but popular in northeast Argentina and western Brazil, namely Mato Grosso do Sul, terere is drunk cold, sucked out from a horn cup called a guampa with a bombilla (metal straw) – looks impressive – see photo below.  Taste = bitter but refreshing on a hot day and with its caffeine  , its a good replacement for a hot coffee.   The place to be  on hot sunny afternoon in Campo Grande is Parque das Nacoes Indigenas, drinking terere.


DSCF3049 DSCF3047 DSCF3055




Don Bosco University

Don Bosco University

Universidade Catolica Dom Bosco, Campo Grande

If you’re you going to spend time with young people then a great place to start is a university.  Under the superb guidance of Samila and Tais, I was given an extensive tour comprising the library, various departments like psychology where Samila did her masters, the chaplaincy office, gym and swimming pool. The highlight for the girls, well mine too, was their popular radio station, 91.5 FM, which brought back lots of fun memories of my radio days in Trinidad.

Meeting DJ at 91.5 FM, University radio station and saying hi to all in Campo Grande

Meeting DJ at 91.5 FM, University radio station and saying hi to all in Campo Grande

Dom Bosco volunteers

Tais, Samila and friend, university students and graduate


Lost in Translation

First day in Campo Grande, in the province of Mato Grosso do Sul and I hit the ground running.  As planned, I joined the Salesian community for morning prayer and mass at 7am, a bit jet-lagged and tired from having no sleep for 24hrs, but determined to get my first full immersion in Brazilian portuguese.  What a wake-up call or better yet “baptism of fire”.   Newsflash:  my knowledge of portuguese is nil, nunca, ninguem.  Thank God I recognised a few words like Deus (God), Jesus and Amen.  It was a full on experience of being lost in translation but on the brighter side is a warm, friendly and understanding community of people who have extended an incredible welcome so that I feel at home.  Let the journey begin Lord.

Salesian Community

Salesian Community, Campo GrandeDSCF3131 DSCF3129 DSCF3127 DSCF3116