Guest blogger Ruth Leckenby.
The time I thought: "Praise God!!!"
There were a lot of praise god moments but I think the whole of the last day, the Monday that I flew back to England, was probably the time I said it most. The day after going getting back to York I was to fly to Italy for a family holiday. It turned out that I had a 16-hour turnaround so I felt like being a bit packed and ready would be useful! My plan was to wash and dry, and then pack all my things for Italy in a bag that Rachel had given me this would then leave room in my big bag for the many presents I had bought! So I woke up early and got one load of washing on and then the heavens opened and a huge Brazilian rainstorm poured its contents on my high spirits! But there had been a few occasions that the rain had only lasted a short while so I tried not to get too despondent. Due to contacts at Cultura, Rachel had obtained some free tickets for a boat ride in Pirangi, the coast south of natal so we headed of nice and early to avoid any traffic. Basically to cut a long story short, we arrived at the boat early so got the hour earlier trip which due to another couple of passengers and their imminent flight, was half an hour shorter, meant that we had a very relaxing enjoyable boat trip and also had time to look around the market at the worlds biggest cashew tree. We got home to find that the sun had well and truly dried everything and my clothes were now crispy and ready to be packed. This also meant that Rachel and I had time to visit the shop around the corner, I still cant remember the name of it [Palader Setanager - Ed Dave] and generally enjoy a relaxing afternoon. Altogether it felt like Gods hand had just been guiding us so smoothly throughout the day and getting on the plane in the evening I felt so relaxed and ready to take on anything that life threw at me next. Later that evening as I walked through the security gate at the tiny Natal airport with Rachel waving and little Nelson waving, blowing kisses and giving his version of thumbs up, to me, I praised God for the immense time I had had in his wonderful country! Standing there thinking about what I’d done in the 6weeks, almost to the hour, of arriving, I got quite overwhelmed, at the beauty, the tastes and sights and sounds, and the immense welcome I had received from Rachel, Dave, Nelsio and the whole extended family. I cried a little, which prompted a little lady in front of me to pat my arm and say a few reassuring sounding Brazilian words to me, another simple act but so comforting and calming!!! A flipping good holiday I’d say!!!!