Our last day in Brazil was filled with new sights and a few foggy clouds. We started the day early to go plant trees with the “Pao de acucar verde project” at the base of the Sugar Loaf Mountain.
It was a foggy damp morning but we were all excited to visit and see the sights from the top of the Sugar Loaf Mountain. Trees and flowers surrounded us with the ocean to the right of us. It was beautiful just walking around and noticing all the awesome nature God has surrounded us with.
By the way, Brazil has sparkly dirt, which I found odd but awesome. Once we started planting our trees we kept hearing this whistling sound and one of the volunteers informed us the sound we were hearing were the monkeys.
Of course knowing our team, we were searching high and low to see these little monkeys. We had been talking about seeing monkeys each time we were hiking but still hadn’t seen any. So when we heard there were monkeys around these little creatures captivated us all.
We got the video camera out ready to film and got it so close to some of the monkeys that one actually licked the lens at one point.Once we were done planting the trees we walked back down to go get on the gondolas to ride up to the top of the mountain. The view from the top was breath taking even if we couldn’t see it all due to the fog; it was still beautiful. The view ranged from the city to the ocean; you really could see all of Rio from the top of the Sugar Loaf.
After spending some time walking around taking pictures at the top we got back on the gondolas and headed back down the mountain where Garner and I started walking towards the lagoon. Everyone was confused as to why we weren’t heading towards the van but instead heading towards the ocean because at that point everyone was starting to get hungry.
Garner then told everyone we were heading to the ocean to baptize me. I had been thinking of this since day one in Brazil. I have wanted to grow in my faith for a long time but always made up excuses for whatever reason and never really got anywhere.
Since being in Brazil God has shown Himself multiple times and it blew my mind every time. After having a lot of deep conversations with our team leader Shannon, and teammates Brittnay and Molly I felt more and more comfortable in my beliefs and what kind of relationship I wanted with God.
I truly have grown so much closer to God, all my teammates and leaders. It just felt so right to take the plunge.
I wanted my baptism to catapult me into my faith. I am still in the growing process but it all just felt so right and I am beyond excited to see what God has in store for me.
So, after all my thinking and growth over this trip I was baptized at the foot of the Sugar Loaf Mountain in the lagoon there surrounded by my LUV family. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It was so perfect to me and I am excited to see what comes next.
After all the excitement was over we headed to the van to go back to the hotel. Once we all changed we headed to a fantastic meat-filled lunch.
The restaurant we went to was one you see on the “Food Network” or “National Geographic” where these waiters come around with different kinds of meat and cut it and put it right there on your plate. I have never seen so many different kinds of meat in my life!
It got to the point where Garner started getting the meat sweats but that didn’t stop him or Brandon; I have never seen two men eat so much before, but it was all delicious and you wanted to try everything they brought out.
Once we all finished eating we needed to walk off all that food so we finished up our souvenirs shopping for our families at the hippie fair next to our hotel.
Later we rested up finished packing then headed to the airport. Carlos, our bus driver, surprised us with some Brazilian goodie bags. It was heartbreaking to say goodbye to Carlos. We all got close to him in a short period of time, but he officially is a part of the LUV family.
Next was saying bye to “Matty Ice” (Matt Rehbein) as he went to catch his flight to another city in Brazil to visit family.
Finally getting through security and all the hard stuff we boarded our plane to ‘Merica preparing for the nine-hour flight.
As my last year at Lipscomb is winding down I cannot express how blessed I have been these past four years. I would have never gotten such a great opportunity if I went to play volleyball anywhere else. I am sad my time is ending but am so thankful for everything I have been a part of and seen thanks the Lipscomb and LUV!