Adventure in Brazil - Tchau Brasil

I seriously didn’t want to leave Brasil.  There were more schools in Barbaso Ferraz that wanted murals, and I wanted to paint them.  Unfortunately, it was close to the Christmas travel season.  To change my flight out of Brazil, or buy a new one-way ticket, would have cost more than the original ticket.  It just was not an option I could afford.

So, all too soon, I packed up and headed to the airport.  The people who graciously welcomed me three very short weeks ago, escorted back me to the airport.  Three of the guys, the men in black, all dressed appropriately to show their mourning.  (And, interestingly enough, they all live in a town without any kind of golden arches.  At lunch, they all had the same golden logo with their meals.  Perhaps in preparation for their own funerals?  I had pasta without a hint of arches.)

Just prior to going to the departure area, I told them that I arrived in Brasil to a banner and eight welcoming strangers.  Now, I left with no banner, but with a Brasilian family.

When Geremias stopped crying, he translated for the rest.

Everyone hugged one more time.  Then, to end the lingering suffering, I headed through the doors to the departure area.  My flight was already boarding.

In a time before selfies (and, yes, there was a time before selfies) my record for actual real photographs on paper with strangers was in Borbador, Java, Indonesia.  It seems that Indonesians like to take photos of themselves with foreigners.  After the first person was brave enough to ask for a picture, the ice was broken.  Over 40 people asked to pose with me among the temples in the Buddhist complex.  I had one-on-one candid photos, group shots with a dozen people, small group, large group and very, very close ups.  I didn’t think that record would ever be broken.
I never planned on Brasil.

Over the course of three weeks, I was treated like a celebrity.  There were too many photos to count.  Hundreds of them.  Really.  Most were with people who spoke no English.  Some I never saw again after the photo.  But, there were many who became a part of a large Brasilian family that I hope to see over and over for the rest of my life.
So, I’m going to end my travels to Brasil – this time – with a few more quotations (thanks to Google Translator) that have come my way from my new family as well as a smattering of selfies.  Hopefully, you’ll understand why I must return again and again and again.

Kalleu – I will miss you.  You are the best American.

Ivan – I already miss you, so come back soon, for us to paint together.

Viviane - We are already missing you ... we look forward to your return. See you soon!!!

Alisson - Come back soon Phillip, we are waiting for you, arms wide open.

Thais – Phillip, I hope to see you again soon.  It was a wonderful experience to spend some days with you.  Thank you from my heart.  Your work is magnificent.  There are no words to say thank you.  This is a friendship that will always be remembered.  Come back more often to Brasil.

Felipe – It was great to have your presence during this time here in Brasil, Phillip.  I’m sure the doors will always be open to you when you want to come back.  Always come back!

Mari – And once again the tears stream from my eyes.  It is so sad to have to say goodbye to a great friend.  We will keep these memories as special moments.  Come and visit us.  Thank you for everything!

Luiz Fernando – You’re one of the best people that I had the pleasure to meet in my life.  I am extremely emotional, but this isn’t a goodbye, because I know we are still going to meet again.

Alessa and Jeferson – I hope we have made this journey marked in your heart and that you will never forget us.  We’ll miss you! A big hug.

Vini-Amor – Thank you again for giving us these beautiful moments in our lives.  Thank you for being the wonderful, caring and friendly person that you are.  I wish the best.  Remember: I will learn English to talk to people in Ohio. Thank you for entering our stories (in your blog). We love you, my great friend.
And, perhaps, the last quote sums it all up.

Dalillah – You should move to Brasil.