Friday, November 18, 2011

Portugal- The First Few Days

First of all- forgive me, I am typing on a Portuguese keyboard and it´s a little different.

Tuesday morning we arrived at DFW at 8:30 in the morning and took off for Miami, a 3 hour layover then a long flight to Madrid, another 3 hour layover and off to Porto.  Cristi met us in Porto with our 5- 50 pound bags and we headed to the mall for lunch.  The food court was really cool and offered us a lot of options ( including McDonalds) but I had some crepes.  Yummy!

We looked around a bit and headed to Coimbra to their apartment.  It's wonderful and modern and the perfect place to entertain.  After lugging the suitcases in we headed out for dinner.... at McDonalds (I can't escape it!).  After dinner we came home and pretty much crashed.  Exhausted after being in an airport or in the air for 24 hours.

Thursday morning we got up and headed to breakfast at a cafe inside the grocery store.  We proceeded to grocery shop for the next few hours for a weeks worth of Thanksgiving dinners.  3 grocery stores later we got back to the house and made sandwiches and started cooking.

The pies were first- 2 pumpkin and 2 pecan.  Then we headed to Calvin's elementary school to read them a story in English and share some pumpkin bread and chocolate chip cookies.  They were totally precious pre-schoolers and we loved watching them interact with each other and speak in Portuguese.

When we were done there we headed home to do the rest of the cooking- green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, deviled eggs, pumpkin soup, turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing- and I'm sure there was more.  LOTS of cooking, cleaning, arranging, etc.

At 7:30 or 8 the students from the local University start arriving.  Michael and Cristi meet with them twice a week to help them practice English so this night was all mostly in english.  15 students came and that was a BIG group.  Luckily we had doubled some of our recipes.  I could go on and on about how much fun they were.  I think we counted 5 different countries represented and we loved teaching them about thanksgiving food, helping them with English words, playing cards, learning more about their lives and telling them more about ours.

I will have to wait to post pictures until I get home and unload them from my camera but we got a lot.  When we sat down to dinner the first thing they wanted to do was pray.  They have seen so much American TV and movies where people pray before their Thanksgiving meal they were excited to participate in the tradition.  We also took the opportunity to go around the room and talk about what we are thankful for.

They were absolutely precious and we were so blessed to meet them last night.

Today we toured the city this morning and after another grocery run we started cooking.  It's time for me to go help Michelle put the finishing touches on dinner before our guests arrive in 1 hour.

More pictures later!

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