July was a month of rest from my regular classes but gave me an opportunity to see a different project site.
I spent a week working at a favela called ‘Buraco Quente’, which translates ‘hot hole’ – called that because the whole slum burned down in 2006 and has since been re-built. My church does a lot of support activities here, and during the winter break this site hosted a reading week.
I went and listened to local children reading books (in portuguese!) for which they could earn points. By the end of week, depending on how many points they earned, they could win prizes. It was a really fun week, and I only needed to ask for help a few times for some words in portuguese! On Friday, I gave the devotional on “Five Things that God cannot do.”
This little girl, above left, did not want to read to anyone the first day. The second day, her friend said she wanted to tell me about the story she just read, but I could tell when she started that she had not really read the book, she was just looking at the pictures. So I asked her to read some of the words for me out loud, and she had a lot of difficulty. She also appeared to be confusing a lot of letters, so I worked with her the rest of the week, and on Friday, she was doing much better! So fun to see her progress!
team of volunteers
One of the teenage boys who helps out at Lar Batista attended the Coca Cola training program second cycle at Vila Andrade. I attended his graduation program, and it was nice to see another large group pass through this program. There have been a number of participants from the first cycle who have found jobs. Keep Thomas in your prayers as he begins his job search.
Thomas, myself, his mother, and the training coordinator