We made it to Porto Alegre! After a quick flight on GOL airlines, the Brazilian version of southwest, we were finally in Rio Grande do Sul. We hadn't checked any luggage and we had already gone through customs in Sao Paulo, so it only took us 3 minutes to meet Luciano, who was picking us up. Luciano Pierucci and his family were really close to Grant on his mission...Grant was able to see them married and baptized while he was serving in Canela. They love him a lot and were so happy to hear that we were coming. Luciano was there with his daughter Giuliana, a sweet, smiley 11 year old whose personality totally reminds me of Olivia. We greeted each other quickly and then immediately made our way to the train station to head towards the Pierucci's house in the neighboring city of Esteio. Talk about being thrown into a culture. We had only been on the groud for 15 minutes, and already we were riding on a packed metro train! I felt like a kid in a candy shop and just wanted to look out the windows the whole time with a big grin on my face, but I didn't want to look too much like a gringa. Grant and Luciano were catching up on our way there, and so I sat next to Giuliana, though my halting portugeuse kept us from taking too much.
We made it to our stop, where we met up with Geneci, Luciano's wife. We all walked home, about a 15 minute walk.
The Pierucci's immediately helped us feel at home and we could tell they were so excited to have us. They brought out a BIG box of fotos, showing us baby pictures, pictures of their friends and family, and pictures of them with Grant. We gave them some American candy and a Disney ornament for their Christmas tree. We visited, met all of their animals, and ate a late dinner.
At around 1100, grant and I were dead. Between lack of sleep and culture shock, our brains were a little fried. It was a BUSY day, but an adventure! I can't wait to spend more time with this sweet family.
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