Brazil Trip

Valerie had the honour of taking 28 teddy bears bought from the donations given by band members.
She also brought the money donated to take the children to the zoo and have a party for them.
Pastor Carlos and Dona Sonya, her granddaughter, Jefferson and his fiancé came to Noreen Smith house where Valerie was staying where she handed over the teddies to the pastor.

The following day Valerie and Joao made their way across Rio by public transport and then adventured by boat to Niterio, where we were collected by the pastor and taken to the church.
The ladies of the church had prepared lunch for us and afterwards there was a tour,
showing Valerie the work that the team which is hoping to go out next year will be involved in.
It is the building the church hope to open as a cheche for the children of the favelas.
The pastor and his wife took Valerie to the favela where the children
who would be going to the holiday bible club in the church were from.

There was a mini bus there to take them to the church. Photos taken, forms filled and everyone set off to the church with much excitement from the children. When they arrived at the church it was decorated for the theme Noah's Ark. They played games as we discovered that there were 28 children at the party the exact number of teddy bears that had been donated. The pastor asked Valerie to hand over the teddies to the children.
Each child when they received the teddy held them so tight.

The next day was the trip to the zoo. Valerie and Joao again took public transport to the zoo but it didn't go close to the zoo, so it was a good stretch of the legs in the heat of the midday sunt. When they met the pastor and the children they were told how excited the children were to be on a bus because they had never been on a bus before. There was great excitement at seeing all the children, there was also enough money in the kitty
to buy all the children an ice lolly much to their delight.
The pastor has a full time job and runs the church in his spare time. He rebuilt the church from scratch and has bought a house in the poor community he lives in to turn into a creche for those in the area.

The pastor and Sonya and other member of the church held a thank you BBQ for Valerie at Sonya's house.
The evening started with a time of praise, and then the pasto'rs wife presented Valerie with a gift.
The food was fantastic. It was hard to believe that it was 22 degrees C and Valerie needed to wear a coat.
The pastor is really looking forward to the team coming out next year.

Some of the marching band community met Gaynor when she was in Ireland in 2015, and had heard of her death in August of 2016. It was donations from a cd made by the bands and other donations that enabled Gaynor and Sonya to come for that visit. It meant so much to Gaynor and Soyna.
Gaynor's children have volunteered to translate for the team when they visit next year. This visit Valerie spent a Sunday with the family. The steps are the ones that lead to one of the girls homes and typical of how to get to a house in the poor community.
Gaynors family want to thank the band community for what they did for their mum.

for the photo gallery click here