Feliz Páscoa

Feliz Páscoa is Happy Easter in Portuguese.

Last year we were fortunate to be home in Canada for Easter weekend, in between assignments from China to Brazil. We are celebrating Easter this year in Brazil. We came to Sao Paulo this weekend with the hope of attending an English speaking church service. I have to say that is one thing we REALLY miss about living in Brazil. In Resende, everything is Portuguese. Easter Sunday is definitely the Sunday we want to be at church.  So…I emailed a friend in Canada that used to live in Sao Paulo and he suggested Calvary International Church. It is the church he and his family attended when they were here. Sunday morning  we got up bright and early and went to the early morning service.

There was lots of great music ( songs we know) scripture, drama, testimonies…a wonderful worship time. Pastor Bill Fawcett and his wife are sweet ( they remind me of the MacKenzies) and they remembered Cary ( our friend who recommended the church). It was so nice. It’s just too bad it’s 300km to Sao Paulo!

Normally on Easter after church, we would have Easter egg hunts with the kids and have a delicious ham dinner.  Ham has been the choice Easter dinner in our family since I was a child just like Christmas and Thanksgiving are Turkey, and New Year’s Day is Ham. Well, you just don’t find restaurants serving Ham Dinner with all the fixins in Brazil. (By the way, I made a delicious ham dinner last week) In Brazil, foods associated with Easter include not only the sweet (the HUGE Chocolate eggs) but the salty. Eating salt cod (in Portuguese bacalhau) is traditional throughout the country. Yep, salt cod! Brazilians love bacalhau and serve it in many forms year-round, not just at Easter time. This is part of the culinary heritage that Brazil received from its former colonial power, Portugal. The smell of this salted fish drifts from one aisle to another in supermarkets and few shoppers leave the market without at least a small package of salt cod and a chocolate Easter egg. That’s the Brazilian Easter tradition!

Every supermarket has salt cod fish displays for Easter- yuck!!
Every supermarket has salt cod fish displays for Easter- yuck!! This is just a small one 🙂
salt cod fish
salt cod fish

Expensive taste in chocolate!
Expensive taste in chocolate!

We enjoyed bacalhau yesterday and today had Japanese shrimp & veggie tempura, Brazil style! I love these places and never miss an opportunity to try street and market food!

Cooking the tempura
Cooking the tempura
Easter Dinner 2013 in Brazil :)
Easter Dinner 2013 in Brazil 🙂
Very interesting...and so good!!
Very interesting…and so good!!
David thought apple streudel for dessert...wasn't as good as he thought so he had 2 desserts!
David thought apple streudel for dessert…wasn’t as good as he thought so he had 2 desserts!
My favorite type of dinning in Brazil!
My favorite type of dinning in Brazil!

One of the most beautiful traditions in Holy Week in Brazil is the decoration of streets for the Sunday procession. In many of the colonial cities like Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais state,  people create colorful carpets with wood shavings, flour, coffee, flowers and other elements the night before Sunday for the procession to walk on. They also like to hang colorful throws and cloths from windows.

colorful carpet
colorful carpet

We didn’t catch any of the Sunday processions but at our hotel Friday, I woke up from an afternoon nap to the sound of music coming from the street. Instead of going outside, we went to the rooftop. We had a great view of the Good Friday procession around the block.

We REALLY miss HOME during the holidays BUT, it is a wonderful experience to be in a different country for major holidays, to see how other countries and cultures celebrate. We are very thankful for all the experiences we’ve had over the last few years.

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Adventure For Two

I am from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada and I'm back from traveling with my husband on an expat assignment to foreign lands. 2011-2012 we were in Shenyang, China. Spring 2012- Spring 2013 we were in Resende,RJ Brazil then back to Shenyang, China in July 2013 until the end of July 2014. Expat life WAS amazing! Adventure abounds no matter where we travel to. We really enjoyed the amazing opportunity to live and experience culture and tradition in these places. BUT now we are finished and adjusting to life in our small town in Canada. Our days of travel and adventure are not over.

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