I'm already in a state of semi-shock that I will soon be leaving what has become a very comfortable environment. I'm also shocked every time I look in the mirror, because I now have no hair. Yesterday was Rodrigo's birthday and we started it off at midnight by shaving my head (I asked him what he wanted for a gift, and that's what he wanted), and then going out for drinks. The day was relaxed, we had amazing food for lunch, as always, and I went out with Raquel to buy supplies for the Creche. The kids there eat all three meals at the daycare itself, and therefore brush their teeth there as well. However, the toothbrushes, soap, toothpaste and towels (for baths) come from home, and as you might guess, most of the kids don't bring anything. I went to Sam's club and picked up about 50-60 of each item (yes, they have Sam's club here, can you believe it?)… I dropped the stuff off today, and will be giving a short lesson on how to brush your teeth on Monday, before I leave. It's quite sad, I did a quick study of the kids mouths a few weeks ago, and they look like the horror photos that used to be in the waiting room of the dentists office when I was younger. One of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell wrote a great article on the failure of the health care system in the US, and wrote about the worst problem for the uninsured: bad teeth. A few dental supplies certainly won't fix everything, but I think these kids are in a really sad situation if all for the lack of a 25-cent toothbrush.
Last night Rodrigo and I went out with a bunch of his guy friends to have a chopp (tap beer). Nights with these guys are always memorable, and of course last night was no exception. We are having a huge churrasco tomorrow, because today is Rodrigo Sally's birthday, and I'm leaving on Monday, so we've combined and invited everyone. I started making a list of people I wanted to invite a few days ago, and it came to over 60 people. This has been an incredible experience because of these people. I will not return home the same person that I was when I arrived. Thanks so much to:
Padilha, Sally, Jessica, Bruna, Binho, Natalia, Daniel, Bilau, Bidu, Erica, Andre, Tainah, Stella, Chico, Paula, Flavia, Colonese, Juquinha, Bruno, Gugu, Andre, Sandro, Bruninho, Patricia, Priscilla, Gabriela, Andre, Nicolas, Manu, Mari, Deborah, Roberta, Katarine, Natalia, Dani, Marcia, Luciana, Leandro, Leo, Rafael, Marcel, Thiago, Sara, Suelen, Manu, Rogerio, Steve, Arthur, Felippe, Vinicius, Fabi, Marina, Ana Paula, Juliana, Deborah, Joana, Livia, Pamella, Maria, Raquel, Fernanda, Thiago, Sabrina… and this doesn't even count all the wonderful people I met while traveling, who can't make it because they don't live in Niteroi.