Our bus was waiting for us but we had some people who were joining us that had not arrived yet. The area in front of the hotel is small and lots of traffic. Several heated conversations between our driver and hotel staff. They finally found a compromise and the bus moved out of the way. 
Small motorcycles everywhere. I forgot to say yesterday that we were driving as school let out. Mom’s with kids on scooters and small motorcycles buzzing around like bees. 

We did our final touristy things of getting souvenirs in the big market downtown. The first place I’ve seen tourist. A group of heavy metal fans all in black doing the same stuff every tourist does. 

I was surprised by the no smoking signs and the recycling bins. Not sure how much the bins are used by you don’t see many smokers. 

In the afternoon we went to Casa dos Filhos were Captain Rex and crew put in a show for the kids. This is a center that provides care and education for the extremely poor. All of the children are below the poverty level which is pretty low here. And yet they seemed happy. Even I got a spontaneous hug from a kid. 

On the street it seems like there is so much energy and everyone is doing something. Smart phones everywhere. Then you see a favela, a slum of wood and cardboard shacks and you can’t imagine how these people survive. 

The Venezuelans we saw yesterday are gone today. Removed by the government. Don’t know where to. 

Two small victories today. I remembered the Portuguese word for “I’m sorry” or “excuse me.” Desculpe. 

Our group got a little spread out while walking. The translator was in front of me and turned to look where people were at. Her first thought when she saw me was “He’s a Brazilian, where is everyone?” Score for blending in. 

Mission work

I don’t know how to describe this evening. If you’d told me a few days ago I’d be standing on a street corner in Brazil leading a prayer for a transvestite prostitute because he asked me to I’d have told you you were crazy, but it happened. 

Prostitution is legal here. The government even pays for sex reassignment surgery, but only one way. The prostitutes come in all shapes, sizes, skin tones, and genders. Some of them are quite good looking. Some of those are men. Of course most of them are controlled by pimps and on drugs. One we spoke to was a dealer too. Some go to the prison to have sex with high powered criminals there. Brothels are not legal but of course their are ways around that. 

Prayer requests almost always involve protection for themselves and their families. 

A very surreal night. 

A lot for me to process.