Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yes, we're still here

What do you know, we finally get internet back so we can blog whenever we want and now we are so flippin busy, we don't have time to sit down. Kimmie hasn't transferred the rest of her pictures from the camera but I have a few to share.

For those of you wondering, we have moved into the house. Thanks to a bunch of help from Donny, Wendy, Sydnie, Randy, Brian, Liz, Myron, Matt and Megan (and Alexis) everything got moved successfully to Maple Valley. Matt and Megan came down Friday night to help pick up the truck and load most of the boxes. Megan and Alexis were in charge of the controls for the lift gate and they didn't drop us once.
Saturday morning came and the rest of the crew showed up ready to work and I was left spinning in circles pointing at things to load. Who knew we could fill a 24' Budget truck and then some with all of our stuff!!

We all made our way to the new house where once again, I was left shouting out as fast as I could where everything went. As soon as I would say it, the item was on it's way and the next person was already asking. With all this help, we were done unloading by noon with smiles still on everyone's faces.

After dropping the truck off, Wendy and Donny and I came back to the house to meet the GE delivery guys with our fridge and washer and dryer. While we were waiting for the guys to install everything, Wendy looked in the backyard and saw a doe and her baby wandering through. (This is very eerie since the first day of moving into Gregg's house, there were deer standing in the driveway.) Kim still had the camera in South America so you will have to suffer through a camera phone montage, but it was still very exciting to see.
We will definitely have to get the fence up before Kim plants her vegetable garden next year.
Stay tuned for more from Kimmie's trip to South America and maybe some blackmail pictures from Boise ;o)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Restaurante Maria do Peixe

Maria's restaurant of fish. This is Tim's favorite restuarant and now I truly understand why!! Tim has been talking about this restuarant for as long as we had been planning this trip. Our old co-worker Dirk was jealous to hear we were going to eat at Maria's. James called in one hour before we wanted to eat. Lucy Maria begins cooking and as soon as you get there you are served. The menu is fresh fish of her choice. The outside of the restuarant.
The inside was beautiful, fully open to the outdoors. Tiki is the wood of choice here and it is everywhere.
The tables were neatly arranged. Tim loved the chairs as they were quite comfortable and very pretty.
Tim, super excited waiting for lunch! After the first bite Tim said "ah just like how I remember it" Truly amazing!I took this picture thinking all the food had been served but I was wrong they brought several more plates. We had fresh fish cooked two different ways, rice, beans, tomatoes, potato salad, and a few other things I did not know. The hot sauce is aged in a barrel for 1 yr and man, it is hot!
The chef is Lucy Maria the daughter of Maria. Maria had retired. She was so cute!! She came out and greeted every table after the meal was served.

Coca Light, por favor

The coca cola light is amazing here! They use a different kind of sugar and it rocks!

A day in the life of a Brasilian Mango

One of our growers is packing mangos for Europe. They were kind enough to give us a tour. Below the workers are cutting the stems and placing them stem down on the line. The mangos drop into a water tank to clean them of any particles and then they move on down the line.
Next they pass through a machine that dips them in wax. It also sorts them by the blush color and weights them in order to achieve a very uniformed carton.
Once they are sorted they drop into a line, where the worker handles just that size and blush shade. This guy is then packing them into the cartons to ship.
This is the start of his pallet. It will be around 6 feet tall when it is finished.
For the tour we had to wear tight white shirts (not tight on the locals) and hair nets as they are GAP certified. There were no pictures taken of this...

Monday, June 2, 2008

My little slice of the palace

The Petrolina Palace hotel is like nothing at all I have stayed at before. As Dad would put it "this is not a place Oergel women would stay." Thankfully Tim had warned me that you have to walk down a very long hall to get to your room and it has sensor lighting along the way. I have the room at the very, very end of this hallway. As you walk the lights in front of you turn on and the lights behind you gradually turn off. Once at your room you have to get your key in the door and open kind of quickly or the lights go off. It has taken me the last two days to finally get into the room before the lights go off. I imagine I look like a chicken flapping me wings frantically trying to turn them back on with my key stuck in the door! Yesterday morning Tim broke his key off in the door of his room... Getting closer. See how it is lighting up along the way.

I am lucky to have a suite. This is my front room. No outlets in this room so my computer is plugged into the only outlet in the bedroom.

My room. There is no clock so I use my cellphone as an alarm clock. This probably is because once in your room to get your own lights to work along with the air conditioning you must put your key in a slot next to the door.
So to recap I walk down the long long hall like a chicken flapping my wings then throw open the door. Slid my key into the slot to get the lights on then quickly take it out of the slot and lock the door from the inside all before the interior lights go off.

I am happy to report I am coordinated enough to do this!! Wow, I am good or what!

The road to Petrolina...

Yes, my friend that is a donkey hanging out on the side of the road. They are everywhere, I tell you!
Get your hmmm melons, here??
Horse and cart outside of the main fruit market. We passed quite a few along the way to the farms.
This was the old train depot, built in the 1800s.
The main bridge in town.. We haven't seen a train on the center tracks yet, and personally I hope we never do as it will be a tight squeeze! They have been upgrading the bridge for the last 10 years. All the work is done by hand.

Petrolina Palace, our home for the next three days. I will take pictures of the inside tonight. Let's just say it is a bit creepy!
Oh, and these are the local horses and donkeys that chill in the lot next to our hotel.

Toto, this doesn't look like home...

After 48 hours of traveling, I have finally made it to Petrolina, Brasil!

Sunday Tim and I landed in Sao Paulo. We had roughly 10 hours before our connecting flight so we checked in the transfer hotel, which is a Marriott close to the airport that you can rent a day room. The hotel helped us set up a driving tour of the city with Pa'. He was super nice and showed us as much of the city as possible in three hours. Sao Paulo can be dangerous so we only got out the car once for a picture in front of the football staduim. Pa' was very proud of this hometeam! The view out my window at the transfer hotel in Sao Paulo

Football stadium, holds roughly 80,000 people!Sao Paulo is home to over 34 million people. Most of the skyscrapers were apartments not office buildings.
Old and new mixed throughout the city.The hotel below was shaped like a giant boat. Sort of a modern Noah's ark!

This statue was given to the city but neither Tim nor I could understand Pa' and who gave it to them. We had a wonderful tour that put us back at the airport for our flight to Petrolina... Monday we start our meetings bright and early.