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Everyone had been asked to wear red dresses, blouses or ties. We were given Santa hats and dress/shirt favors taped to the walls. The noise in the cultural hall was deafening, with talking, laughing, former companions linking up, slapping hands in a HARD handshakes and big long hugs (braços), and everyone getting re-acquainted and meeting new people. And FLIRTING, CHECKING OUT OPTIONS. ;)
We spent some time getting to know Pres. and Sister Monteiro's teenage son and daughter (of course, I've forgotten their names already). It is still hard for me to join in on conversations in Portuguese. Dennis carries all conversations with ease.
After an extended visiting time, there were skits from each of the zones. Lots hoots and whistles, hollers, cheers, "palmas" (clapping), etc.
Following the skits and more snacking on the sweets, everyone lined up on a huge circle for the gift exchange. All the big curtains were drawn to include the chapel for standing room. We rotated gifts, then opened them. Most gifts were small trinkets, but it was fun. About 8:00 p.m., the party wound down and missionaries, in groups of 2,4 or more left building to catch their busses or rides home.
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It was a good day to celebrate Christmas
while we are in Brazil! Uh...Now what?
What will we do in December?!