Definitely one of the highlights of my experiences so far in Brazil. I am grateful for the silence in such a beautiful, tranquil setting here in Campo Grande and the enormous hospitality of the Salesians in residence.
The retreat centre is actually located on the site of the botany and veterinary departments of the Don Bosco University but this clearly adds to the ambiance, making it ideal for gentle walks, quiet talks, prayer, reflection, contemplation and relaxation.
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.
That’s welcome in Portuguese. Welcome everyone to my blog about being on mission with the Salesians of Don Bosco in beautiful Brazil. Why some of you may ask? I am simply following an ever-since-I-have-known-myself God-desire to work with children and young people, particularly in Brazil. A teacher (professora) at CAIJ in Corumba where I work, asked me “why Brazil?” She hugged me when I told her that Brazil has always been on my heart. I hope you join me for the journey. Bom viagem.