Saturday, December 26, 2015


Today we went to the waterfalls, a very good hike, Mike with little Lila showed us the way.
We got offered rides and people were surprised that we preferred walking.
It is so nice to cool off in the pools after a hike. We see lots of tattoos on young people, some very elaborate. Met 3 girls from Brasilia with interesting tattoos and thy let me take a picture.
We had a nice picnic and then headed down the mountain as the clouds kept coming closer.
We were offered a ride again but refused, only to be sorry a few minutes later as the few drops tuned in to a tropical rainstorm with thunder and lightning and no shelter. In minutes we were soaked to the bone. 3 km. before the town we found a house under construction, so we took shelter there until the worst of the rain stopped. Lucky Norbert and I had extra clothing and towels to  keep Lila warm. Arrived at the convent like drowned kittens. We were thankful for the hot shower.
The next day at 4pm. the Convent got a call that there was a donation of furniture, toys, washer, kitchen machines and clothing waiting in Brasilia which is 150 km. west of here.
It needed to be picked up today, there is a truck waiting to be loaded there.
So Norbert, Sister Maria and two other nuns hopped in the car and drove to Brasilia.
Thy arrived there at 6pm. and had to wait two hours for the truck to arrive.
The truck was a 1980 Mercedes 911, almost no breaks, no high beams and a very loose steering box. It took them 2 hours to load and off thy went, Norbert, 3 nuns and an overloaded 
Truck that had a max. speed of 80 km on the flat, never mind up hills. Got to the convent at 1:30 am and had to leave at 4 am to bring the truck back and pick up the car. Thankfully in the morning the truck would not start, so the owner of the truck drove down with Sister Maria's car and picked up his truck. What excitement over the donated goods.
That afternoon the children put on a Christmas play and thy received gifts.
The next day the fire truck arrived all decorated and sirens sounding, with food donations, we brought the grandmas down to meet them, thy were so happy to hug the fireman. All day long people kept coming  to donate food and cleaning supplies and also new clothing for the Grandmas.  
We prepared a big Christmas dinner with 3 turkeys, I was in charge of the turkey's as thy are not very common here. (Thy turned out well thanks to Mary who thought me how to cook them)
After dinner we went to church were we distributed toys to the children. The convent has an ambulance and  the siren was the signal that Santa had been there and to pick up the presents. Afterwards the presents for the nuns were given and even we received presents.
Then we sang Christmas carols in Portuguese, German and English. The nuns had to laugh when we sang the Drummer Boy. 
Christmas Day we drove to a little village to attend church and distribute more toys.
This was truly an extraordinarily Christmas which we will always remember. Especially the happiness of the nuns when needed supplies are donated.
Norbert is very busy, thy keep finding things for him to fix, when thy discovered that he can weld, 
thy asked him to fix the railing in the courtyard as the fire department has been after them for a long time to get it fixed. So with the little tools he has, he got the job done, in the process teaching sister Anyshirley how to weld. While Norbert was cutting back some bushes he disturbed a wasp nest and got stung 5 times,so now he has a swollen face, arm and shoulder.
Today I prepared the Blue Wonder for travel with a good cleaning as it was not so hot today.
Christmas Day was 45 degrees here, really too hot to move.
Our intended stay of one day turned out to be 10 and one of the best experiences of our travels.
We will miss all the friends we made here and bless them for the work thy do.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Update on rear axle.
As of this writing we are back on the road. The rear axle is fixed, thy send it out to a machine shop were thy welded it and machined it to its original dimensions, and then installed the bearing Norbert had brought along. We were allowed to sleep in the camper in the shop, and next day Ueverton, one of the workers invited us to his house for lunch, his wife Josina had cooked a 3 course dinner, thy made us feel part of their family. We drove back to Brasilia and visited the government district, we wanted to tour one building but were told that you must be properly dressed, no shorts or sandals. So Norbert was out. Met up with Florence and Yohan from France whom we had met in Chapada Diamantina, and it was a nice surprise to see them again. Went back to Auberge de Jufentude where we camped before and this time there was a camper from Switzerland, with Paul and Elsbeth. Thy have traveled the whole north, central and South America over the last 4 years. Thy plan to travel Brazil extensive for the next 6 months.
Today we left Brasilia and drove to Pirenopolis, 140 km west of Brasilia. What a nice and historic place. As we were writing our name in the guestbook of the church/museum  we were told that there is a Nun from Canada and would we like to meet her.
So we met Sister Maria, from Terrace, British Columbia, working in Brazil for the last 34 years. What a bundle of energy, and lots of fun.
The 4 Nuns working here look after 100 needy children. Also 25 seniors, most with dementia and abandoned by their family's . Incredible the work thy do. We were invited to stay here, have safe parking for the camper and a big room with A/c and bathroom. 
Norbert was able to do some needed repairs like fixing drains and electric outlets. He also fixed their chainsaw and today thy cut down two very large trees with the help of some other volunteers. I helped with sorting clothing that was donated from Canada and the USA.

Also staying here and doing some volunteer work are Simone, Mike and little Li

la from Germany. We will be here until the 20th. then travel south to Uberlandia.
Hugs to all.
Norbert and Greti

Monday, December 14, 2015


From Seabra we drove to the city of Brasilia, in the Federal District. It is very hot and I am grateful for A/C The whole camper is hot, my pots feel like I just took them out of the dishwasher, and the fridge has a hard time keeping cool. We are now camped at the youth hostel on the outskirts of town.
Here we met Hiltrud and Sigfried from Germany who are traveling in a 1980 Mercedes 711 camper conversion. Thy are on the road for 4 years and were very surprised to meet other Overlanders as we are the first thy met in Brazil. Thy were planning to leave the next day but were so happy to have company that thy stayed another day. We are having trouble with the rear axle so tomorrow we have to find a place to have a look and see what the problem is. Norbert suspects the bearings, he did bring parts from home just in case. 

The Today we said goodbye to Hiltrud and Sigfried, and also met two students from France who are staying at the Hostel and are exchange students. Allan said good morning to me , but I did not understand him until it dawned on me that he is speaking  german, Both he and his friend speak very good German.
Today is Monday and we found a shop that fixes axles, just as Norbert was backing in to the Garage, the right rear wheel bearing gave out completely. How lucky can you be, a big thank you to our Guardian Angel. It should not surprise me any more the way things fall in to place. 
I will update as soon as we know more about the axle.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti