Yesterday I walked around Rio for around 4 1/2 hours. I walked up a trail up the mountain beside Sugar Loaf called Urca. It took around 15-20 minutes but I had already been walking close to 2 hours by that time and was worn slap out. Then I walked to Copacabana and bought a few souvenirs for my youngest nephews and then took the metro back. After 4 1/2 hours, there was no way I was going to walk back an hour back to the apt.
Thankfully two of my good friends from church let me stay with them these last few days in Rio. One of the guys lived in Gadsden, Alabama and did an exchange program at Gadsden State a few years back. Such a small world. He talks about how much he loved the people in Alabama. He actually bought me a couple of shirts as souvenirs to take back. One is a Brazil shirt and the colors are like Falkville colors, blue and yellow which I think is cool. The other is a shirt for a soccer team that I pulled for here.
Kind of sad and excited at the same time. I'm very excited about seeing my family and friends when I get back. I've made some good friends that I will miss as well as seeing beautiful latin girls everywhere. I've been asked what I will excited about the most when I go home and my immediate answer is peanut butter. I didn't realize how much a big part of my meal plan it was until it was gone. Seeing peanut butter here is like having a bald eagle sighting, not a real common occurrence.
Seeing Sugar Loaf one more time today was really special. I walked to the area that I first lived in Rio and thought about when I came here. I think about that if I had just stayed where I was I would have missed out on a lot this past year. I'm definitely glad I did it even though things were different than I expected, that's just life. I've learned a lot about myself which has been invaluable.
I really want this to be just the beginning of my travels. I learned a lot of what I want to do more of next time and things I don't want to do. I discovered that risks, although very uncomfortable, aren't as scary once you take them. I have some ideas for my next step. I always have a plan but ultimately God will show me the best path. I appreciate those that have prayed for me. God has really protected me in so many ways of which I am very thankful. My blessing for you is my favorite scripture:
The Lord bless you and protect you;
The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you peace.
Um abraco amigos!