Feeling pretty much myself again. This afternoon Paul, John (the American missionary – his family’s website is here), me and Patrick (one of the guys) went ten-pin bowling. As you do.

This is up on top of one of the local hills, which you get to via cable car, called the Teleférico.

It’s a little freakier than the one in Christchurch since you have open seats, with a pull-down restraining bar in front, and then a whole lot of nothing. Particularly in the first section where there’s a huge drop-off as it swings up over the town and into the bush.

Fortunately it’s a lot easier to take going down.

The entertainment complex at the top has indoor bowling, laser tag, and a dinosaur slide which is possibly the coolest thing built by human hands in all of Brazil. All of which, though open, was completely shut down and devoid of customer activity until we came up, at 2:30pm on a Wednesday. I think I spotted two other cars with people on the way up; the second section of the cable (it’s in two halves with the complex in the middle) was completely shut down and the operators had to radio to each other to turn it on when we came past. We were the only lane open in the bowling alley too.

It’s a pretty good facility (apart from probably voiding the life insurance of anyone who goes up it) but you have to wonder why it doesn’t get a lot of custom, and how despite that it remains open. But then a lot of shopping malls seem to be like that too: half empty, yet somehow not quite dead.

It does make me realise though what a nice place Nova Friburgo could be, if things worked.

We had the 7pm church meeting tonight and as it was the last one before we leave tomorrow, everyone prayed for me and Paul. It’s all coming to an end so suddenly that I can’t quite cope with it. I do wish I knew more Portuguese; the most I can make out are a few keywords every few sentences.

We leave for Rio then Belo Horizonte tomorrow at 8pm. Surviving the youth camp could be interesting. I really have no idea what to expect in the way of accommodation or facilities, and there’s a weekend to get through.

I never did do the interviews I was hoping to do with the other workers. I guess that’s how things work out sometimes. Everything’s so chaotic and there are so many multiple schedules going on that it’s just very hard to predict what’s going to be possible, even in a month.

Lots of photos in my Flickr photostream, in case you’ve missed them.


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