My last blog was designed to convey the atmosphere of this place (John of God´s Healing Casa in the small town of Abadiania, Brazil), where I have deliberately landed on my second stop in this current, year-long, around-the-world journey of mine; embarked upon just three weeks ago tomorrow. So now, I shall attempt to describe my surroundings a little more clearly:
The Portuguese language is a mouthful for all Americans…..well, truthfully, all languages are for me, as my multi-lingual sister, Ann, will attest. Even the name of this little town was once a challenge, back when I called it Aber-dane-eeya. Wrong! It´s pronounced Aba-jhan-ya. Knowing Spanish, which I don´t really, doesn´t help very much either; but as usual, there´´s a lot of English translation going on here, so we dummies can float along as we always do internationally, because the whole world studies our mother tongue.
Anyway, picture a highway running west from Brasilia (Brass-see´-lia) on the way to the pretty big town of Anapolis (500,000). Abadiania is a pit stop along the way, with local businesses lining that six-lane road. `The Casa,`as John of God´s complex is called, sits about half a mile off the highway, at the end of a ten-block, paved-but-mildly-potholed strip of asphalt lined with casual businesses sprung up to serve the spiritual tourists who flock here from all over the wold; most seeking healing.
Many small walled pousadas offer rooms facing inner gardens and hammock-strung shelters. These charge between $17 – $25 per day, depending upon the meal plan selected, fanciness, and proximity to the Casa gates. They usually have kitchen facilities for those who wish to patronize the grocery store and breakfast or snack right there. Some nice hotels here can charge up to $60 per day, often with some meals included. Plus, there are most beautiful homes and apartments for rent for longer term stays or families and small groups. Anyone, healthy or handicapped, can find accommodations to suit them and their budget.
Food in Brazil is SUPERIOR to food that I have found in the rest of the planet! I have not met a meal here that I didn´t adore! And that is saying something, because in the large neighboring country to the south, whose name begins with an A…. on a different trip, I could never find any meal that I liked…and forget the beef they are so famous for, unless you want to spend $50 for a plate of it. Anyway, food here being so wonderful, there are miraculous little restaurants all along this roadway to the Casa, where one would like to spend all day, drinking Acai Berry shakes and tasting every single menu item, priced between $4 – $15. So, who would elect to cook? I settle for coffee and granola at the pousada for breakfast and then yum-yum….try to figure out where to take my tastebuds for the other two meals.
When the Casa is open for the Healing Sessions every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we are all served a delicious bowl of soup and a good chunk of bread as guests of the Casa every noon. But that shall be the subject of a future blog. The town has been very quiet for over a week because John of God has been in Germany, conducting a huge four-day healing event. I was here two weeks before he left, so I have experienced much; but I shall wait until the end of this week when things are back to normal to report on the details of life in a day at the Casa.
Now, after that aside about the soup served at the Casa three days a week, I shall continue my description of the great restaurants in this tiny, but cosmopolitan place. Beautiful Moema, a fashion model, runs the home-cooking-delicious, Alchemy Buffet, with her Mom; and an Irish man owns Frutti´s, a true health food hangout where you can sit for hours consuming acai puddings and smoothies and hailing your friends as they go by. I went with my pousada mates yesterday to where the locals eat across the highway and enjoyed an unlimited buffet for $3. Unbelievable! I was python-full of salads and veggies when I left.
My pousada room with its own shower bathroom, costs $16.67 per day, and food costs, (with the help of the excellent local grocery store) could be kept as low as $5 – $10 per day. So, I can live on a budget of $25 per day….less than being at home. Life is Good! I had a backache, so I splurged on a $40, one-hour, full-body massage, which was heavenly. Attractive white and bright-colored clothing is temptingly displayed from small shops along this avenue and many, including the Casa, sell lovely crystals, large and small.
One must make a 40-minute bus trip to Anapolis to do any sort of banking, such as ATM withdrawals, and that takes the better part of a day. It makes sense to get enough Brazilian Reals (pronounced hey-eyes) to last a month. With two trips to that big city under my belt, I´m becoming a little more savvy about how to navigate, especially as to how to find the Onibus station for my return trip home. People are very willing to humor someone who is willing to make a fool of themselves for information. We laugh a lot, but it gets the job done.
The internet now closes for lunch…so I will finish when I return at 1:00 p.m.
Well, I´m back at the computer, but have decided to spend my time blogging on my other website, www.insecretdiffusion.com It will be muy interesante, so better go over there for a looksee. Get on that RSS feed, if you haven´t already done so. That´s where many of my spiritual new understandings are going to be posted. Just now, my posada is full of some very curious women from all over the world who are plying me with fabulous questions to ask The Holy Spirit. We spend our evenings in the hammock shelter discussing the answers I´m getting….with simultaneous translations into Slovenian and Portuguese, no less.