October 2001
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One brisk October morning, surely no more than 64 degrees, Debbie stumbled upon a group of what appeared to be well-floured and brown-sugared freshman on their knees, begging to be photographed. (Notice the proud Braga natives behind the freshman?)

It soon became apparent that there were quite a lot of floured-freshmen, kneeling in a long line between their black-caped superiors... docilely approaching the main fountain of Braga.

Once upon the rim of the fountain, each freshman was duly anointed with fountain water (see long wooden spoon, below)... and released.

What fun! It's easy to understand why Austin wants to go to college in Portugal, isn't it?

The twelve Habitat houses in Palmeira are progressing nicely and, hurrah-hurrah, more and more Portuguese volunteers are showing up to work on-site. Here's a shot of one of the quadplexes.

Another highlight was a week-long school break during the last week of October... wherein the weather cleared up and warmed up to a gloriously sunny 73 degrees. Drex and Jordan went camping at this beach (photo, right). What better way to spend Oct 31st?

The rest of October was spent playing with Drexel's new turtles, Tarta and Ruga ("tartaruga" being Portuguese for turtle), and continuing to help Drex settle into the school routine. Austin is still trying to get one of the local high schools to let her audit a class or two.

An email from Debbie's mother in Washington prompted a discussion of what types of things we missed from the USA. Austin's answer: Flour Tortillas. So Gramma immediately emailed a recipe. Here's Austin's first tortilla attempt. Tasted great, but the kitchen was a mess!

Speaking of missing things, Debbie was beginning to suffer from "pattern" withdrawal. This caused her to rummage through the remnants at local fabric shops and to haunt the local open-air markets for inexpensive things to hang on the walls. The result: another highly-patterned living room.

She hasn't caught up with the record-breaking 11 different patterns in the old Seattle living room (right) but then the Braga living room IS smaller.

HINT: When you visit, try to convince her that the price-is-right, blue-and-yellow-plaid couches are really almost charming... OK?

Speaking of which, when are you coming to visit???

May God bless you all. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support.

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