Updates from May, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • ivanildotrindade 11:50 pm on May 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Amazon rainforest, , , most expensive cities, most populous cities, most populous countries, nile river, São Paulo, South America   

    ANSWERS TO BRAZIL QUIZ 

    TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF BRAZIL

    I. Multiple-choice:

    1. Brazil produces more cars than the following country:

    O U.S.

    O Great Britain

    O Mexico (Right answer)

    O Germany

    O China

    2. The currency of Brazil is called:

    O Real (Right Answer)

    O Cruzeiro

    O Cruzado

    O Riel

    O Pataca

    3. The following is something Brazil is NOT famous for:

    O Bypassing the giant drug companies to produce cheaper, generic AIDS medicine.

    O Giving to the world the classical composer Heitor Vila-Lobos.

    O Revolutionizing the music world by creating a new sound, “bossa nova.”

    O Producing famous soap operas, known as “telenovelas,” which are broadcast around the world.

    O Being the first country in South America to elect a female president. (Right Answer)

    4. Which country is NOT among the top 10 most populous in the world

    O China

    O Russia

    O Japan

    O India

    O Brazil

    Right answer: NONE. The top 10 are: 1. China 2. India 3. United States 4. Indonesia 5. Brazil (about 200 million) 6. Pakistan 7. Bangladesh 8. Nigeria 9. Russia 10. Japan.

    5. Which city is NOT among the top ten most expensive cities in the world for expats?

    O Tokyo, Japan

    O Moscow, Russia

    O N’Djamena, Chad

    O New York, U.S.A. (Right answer)

    O São Paulo, Brazil

    The top 10 are: 1. Luanda, Angola 2. Tokyo, Japan 3. N’Djamena, Chad 4. Moscow, Russia 5. Geneva, Switzerland 6. Osaka, Japan Zürich, Switzerland Singapore 9. Hong Kong 10. São Paulo, Brazil.

    II. True or False:

    1. Brazil is the 6th largest economy in the world, having surpassed the U.K. at the end of 2011 in terms of GDP.  True

    2. The Amazon basin covers some 60% of Brazil’s surface.  True

    3. São Paulo is the second most populous city in the world. Depending on how you count, it could either be True or False.

    4. 5% of the population in Brazil owns 85% of the country’s wealth.  True

    5. Outside of the G-8, more scientific papers from Brazil are quoted than from any other county.  True

    6. Brazil’s land area is bigger than that of Continental United States.  True, by 3.2 square miles.

    7. The Amazon represents over half of the world’s remaining rainforest.  True. 8.5 million square kilometers. Brazil has the largest reserves of tropical forest, freshwater, and bio-diversity in the world. 

    8. There are 200 nations within the country we call “Brazil.”  True

    9. The Amazon River is the longest river in the world.  False, according to most experts. The Nile is the longest. The Amazon is bigger in the volume of water and it is the widest — 5 miles in dry season, 15 miles during the flooded season. 

    10. The Amazon River is the largest river in the world in volume of water with an average discharge greater than the next seven rivers combined.  True. 60 million gallons poured into the Amazon every one second. Enough water flows out of the Amazon each day to keep NYC going for 12 years!

    11. More than one-third of all species in the world live in the Amazon rainforest.  True

    12. The current President of Brazil is the daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant.  True

    13. Cocoa, beef, sugar cane, coffee, orange juice are just a few examples of commodities that Brazil is the #1 producer in the world.  True. Brazil is also the main producer of iron ore, biofuels (bio-ethanol in particular). 

    14. Through Embraer, Brazil is the third largest aircraft manufacturer in the world.  True

    15. In spite of its great economic progress, Brazil is still ruled by a military dictatorship.  False

    And more: At least 80% of the developed world’s diet originated in the tropical forest. Examples: avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, pineapples, mangos, tomatoes; vegetables, including potatoes, rice, corn, winter squash and yams; spices like black pepper, cayenne, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, turmeric, coffee and vanilla; nuts, including Brazil nuts and cashews. 

    “Vincristine,” extracted from the rainforest plant Periwinkle, is one of the word’s most powerful anticancer drugs. 25% of active ingredients in today’s cancer-fighting drugs come from organisms only found in the rainforest.

    Winners will be announced tomorrow. Stay tuned!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade 

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  • ivanildotrindade 10:35 pm on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cecelia webber, making something beautiful, Malek Hammoud Tuwaijri, naked body flowers,   

    “Stay Beautiful, My Friend” 

    I give a “favored nation’s status” in my mind for artists who take what nature offers us and through manipulation, whether through playful acts or technology, turned their subject into something uniquely creatively, beautiful, without intruding or messing with nature itself

    This week I came across two such artists. One is a 23 year old photographer, Malek Hammoud Tuwaijri, who in a sense went playing with the sun through his pictures showing people “manipulating” the brightest star, producing a truly fun effect that makes you feel powerful and playful. The pictures were taken on a deserted beach in Qassim, Saudi Arabia. The  artist said, “We have a beautiful sunrise here, but I wanted to show the sun from a different viewpoint. I like to show things from a different perspective.” Here are some examples of his art:

    The second artist lives in Los Angeles. Cecilia Webber‘s working is even more daring and original. She creates flowers utilizing only images of naked models. The secret of the stunning results is how she uses Photoshop to manipulate her pictures. When asked about how she started doing this, she does not hide the fact that it happened accidentally, “One day it happened,” she said, “I juxtaposed a naked image against a black background and it looked like a petal.” Once I “deciphered” her work, though, I have to say that though beautiful, it does look a little raw (no pun intended) and I had to make a mental adjustment not to be distracted by the body forms. Judge for yourself:

    I don’t know about you, but I am amazed at this kind of creativity. Taking stuff that is already there and making it into something extremely beautiful. That is not only the business of brilliant artists, it is also the business of the master creator, God Himself, who through his powerful strokes, the rawness of self, and the crucible of circumstances, is able to fashion us into something beautiful — if we would just let Him.

    Stay beautiful, my friend.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 10:51 pm on May 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anti-gay preaching, Baptist, bible and homosexuality, fence against gays, fence the gays, gay bashing, gay sermon, , homosexual lifestyle, , jesus and homosexuality   

    "Pastors" Who Hate 

    I have little patience for people who promote hate. I don’t care whether it’s in the name of religion or politics. I don’t care if they claim to be speaking for God or for Satan. But when they pretend to be ministers of the Gospel, that tends to put me over the edge.

    Case in point: Pastor Charles Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, N.C. , who preached a sermon on May 13 calling for gays, lesbians and transvestites to be gathered and dropped off in an area 50-100 miles long, fenced in, and left there to die — by natural causes, of course, since he did advocate that food be delivered to them by a plane from time to time (how nice of him!). The video is a big hit on YouTube and once more evangelicals end up with more than a black eye over the issue of homosexuality.

    I think this sort of outrageous preaching is an affront for the Gospel. Somehow, when I look at the New Testament, I don’t see Jesus making these kinds of pronouncements. Yes, Jesus did speak harsh words at times against those who had abused the power given them by way of their ecclesiastical position. Jesus did speak against sin and he was not afraid to confront merchants who had transformed God’s house into a “den of thieves.” He even picked up a whip and scared them away!

    But some preachers take that too far. They seem to live by the philosophy of the “word of the day,” only in their case it is the “hate of the day.” Whether they have an actual “hate list” or not, judging by the explosive nature of what comes out of their mouths, you would think they have put some thought into it or maybe they are just naturally stupid.

    Had Jesus heard the sermon by Rev. Worley, he would more than likely walk out in disgust. He would then draw a crowd and explain why he left. He would say that he didn’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle but he was more appalled at the way one who claims to speak for God handled the issue. Then he would more than likely seek to dialogue with those who held a different view from His own.

    He would be firm in his position but he would not raise his voice. And for those who would ridicule his views, he would plead with them to come to God on His terms. He wouldn’t compromise on what He believed His Father wanted, but He would never make anyone feel inferior or unworthy of His grace. He would remind all of us that everyone was made in the image of God and as such deserve love and respect. And love is what Jesus did best, even love to the ones who hated Him — a high calling He passed on to all His followers.

    Just about the only ones Jesus had no patience with were the religious leaders who acted like they had it all together but were only putting on a show. Those, he called “hypocrites,” “oppressors of widowers,” “brood of vipers,” “like a cup and dish clean on the outside, full of greed and self-indulgence on the inside, “white washed tombs — beautiful on the outside and rotten on the inside,” etc., etc., etc.

    On behalf of all the evangelicals who despise this kind of misguided, misconstrued, pseudo-Christian sermon, I would like to express my utter embarrassment and say sorry to all those who may have been offended by Mr. Worley’s remarks. I may not agree with your lifestyle, but I don’t hate you. Jesus would never give me that option.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Julie 8:13 am on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for sharing these thoughts. It amazes me the license too many pastors take in promoting and spreading hate. I think that the number one reason that people stay away from church is hateful, judgmental, self-righteous pastors and church-goers. I believe that Jesus’ principles of love contrasted with hate in the Christian community, especially in leadership, is what keeps so many people away from church. Jesus preached love and too many churches sow or passively accept hate and condemnation. It’s so incredibly sad to me how many people I’ve spoken with who, at the mention of God, get a horribly hurt face and begin to comment on their experience of church. Then they just get mad. They equate God with church and because they have had such disappointing, non-loving experiences with church and church leaders and church attenders, they don’t want anything to do with God. And that means they reject everything that is Bible too. I often feel that one of Satan’s greatest allies is the dysfunctional Christian church and it makes me very sad.

      • ivanildotrindade 11:48 am on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Jesus was tough on sin, no question about it, but he always was gentle with people who sinned, except the religious leaders — he was more than rough with them! he confronted people for focusing on the outside only while the inside was rotten. He was willing to challenge the status quo — like healing on the Sabbath, because he cared about people’s needs first. of course, this didn’t mean that he was an “anything goes” person, as He always sought to obey His heavenly Father. But some Christians have missed the point — they want to focus on cultural wars and forget that the real war is the one being waged inside the person — fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, fear of loneliness, and ultimately, fear of death. Jesus offered Himself as the solution to all of this, but when many Christian offer Jesus to the world today he has little resemblance with the Jesus of the New Testament.And that is sad. Thanks for your words, julie!

  • ivanildotrindade 6:28 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christian, , church challenges, , , Holy Land, reconnecting to church,   

    No Easy Trip to Church 

    Walking through the hallways of the church this morning reminded me of how difficult it is for a person who is attending a church for the first time. I met a couple with three children, one of which was on a wheel chair and severely handicapped. They didn’t know where the services were. Since they had kids in different age groups, they had to go to different rooms where their classes were.

    The girl on the wheel chair was too old for the nursery, but they asked to leave her there. “She will just sit that and play with the toys. She may roll on the carpet but she will be okay.” The volunteers at the nursery didn’t know what to do, but they reluctantly agreed. The girl was fine, but since she made loud noises, they had to separate her from the other kids. We have a class for children with severe handicaps called “Special Friends,” but they don’t meet until 9:45. The girl came back for the special class, but this time it was the other kid in the class, much older than her, who was making too much noise and scared her!

    The couple had looked online and were interested in a class that was going through a DVD series on the Holy Land. I took them to the right room (our campus is huge and not well marked!). I dropped them there and left, but as soon as I left, I knew something was not quite right. I came back and they were still standing there — the class was for people a lot older than them. They were reluctant to join in. They suggested another class but I knew that one would not be a good fit for them either. I told them about a class that was their age group but they met during second hour at 9:45. So they decided to go to the service and then come to the class afterwards. But they wanted to go to a contemporary service and at 8:30 we only have a traditional service.

    In the end, they did go to the traditional service and later attended the class I had recommended, but I felt bad that everything was so complicated. When I found them at the end of the class, the lady said, “Sorry we were so difficult,” and I said, “No, sorry we weren’t ready for you.”

    That experience reminded me that coming to church can be a hair-raising experience. This was a couple that was motivated — they did their research online, they came in early, they were asking the right questions. Still, it was not an easy experience for them. Now, granted, not everyone will have a child with severe handicaps, but whether it is a child or not, every one who comes to a church for the first time or is re-connecting to church after a long time, is dealing with unique challenges: What should I wear? How can I walk in and out of there without being bothered by anyone? What if they put me on the spot and ask me to stand up? Will they ask me to give money? What if I run into my ex there?

    The questions are interminable but we dare not minimize them. In this case, I think those two were Christians; what about people who don’t even claim to believe anything? The fact that someone even makes the decision to come to church is incredible by itself. We have no control over that. But the moment they drive into our parking lots, we should be in control, and we should strive to make sure that they have the best experience ever.

    I was glad when that couple told me they would be back next week.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Julie 8:30 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      You treated them beautifully. What an excellent example and reminder of how to treat people. I think you hit the nail on the head in expressing the complication that going to church can be. All the anxiety and nervousness. All the unknowingness and wondering if one will be appropriate and accepted or embarrass oneself. I think that when we visit a local church, we’re often looking for a place to belong and be loved. Today is Mother’s Day in Bolivia. A particularly rough day for me. Two things in particular stood out for me after church. I got an amazing hug from Robert, the Canadian, and Yoshi spontaneously took me to lunch and we talked for hours. I think that even when church is tough, God often provides gentle surprises to pull us up and out. It sounds like you were one of those surprises for your new guests.

      • ivanildotrindade 9:21 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        i think it is imperative that people who r “veterans” in church things should try 2 get into the shoes of those who r on the outside. after a while, i am afraid, most christians only know other christians. they have no clue what the life of a non-christian looks like. they would join the ranks of those who complained that Jesus of being friends with tax collectors and “sinners.” Jesus was accused of being a glutton and a lover of wine. how many of us would have a chance of being even falsely accused of that? i am always fascinated that those who were considered “the least of the least” flocked to Jesus like you run to a magnet. they couldn’t have enough of him. many people who go to church regular only scare and humiliate the poor today. and that is a tragedy, but that is another subject. we all have so much 2 learn. i know i do.

  • ivanildotrindade 12:10 am on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: discarded newspapers, ethics of newspapers, New York Times, Newspaper, newspapers ethics, Paper, , stealing newspapers, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, what's stealing   

    The Ethics of Discarded Newspapers At Starbucks 

    I have an ethical dilemma that has bothered me so much I had to consult my “resident ethics adviser,” namely my son.

    I gave him the scenario: a man walks into Starbucks, buys his latte and a copy of the USA Today. He sips his coffee while reading the paper, and as he finishes each section, he throws the crumpled pages on the table until he reads the final section, the sports pages, at which time he tosses the entire newspaper on the table and leaves. The question is: is it wrong for me to take that newspaper with me when I leave?

    We had quite a back-and-forth in which several questions were posed: Did the man give the newspaper to the store? I said I didn’t think so. Does the fact that he throws it on the table make it automatically a property of the store? I doubt it. Would the act of taking the paper rob the man of any privilege he had earned from buying the paper? Obviously not — he was the one who threw the paper there and he got all his money’s worth, including laughing out loud when he got to the comics page.

    So we came to the conclusion that I was not “stealing” from the man or the store if I took the paper, but that I could be violating the man’s intentions when he left the paper there — that other customers would benefit from reading the paper.

    Well, I felt better because If I am there and that happens, I am inclined to take the paper. I know, awkward. But if our analysis is correct I am not guilty of larceny but of bad etiquette. But if only things were only that simple…

    There is another person, a lady, who also reads the paper at Starbucks. She likes The Wall Street Journal, which she buys it somewhere else because Starbucks in Wooster doesn’t carry it. She also tosses the paper on the table after she reads it. So last Sunday I came into the store and saw “her” newspaper sitting there. I knew she had been there but I couldn’t see her. I debated whether to take the paper but since I couldn’t establish for sure who the legitimate owner was, I left it there. It would probably wrong to take it.

    But there is more. Remember the guy who likes the USA Today? Well, he has a brother and he likes the New York Times. He also tosses the paper on the table. He came in today and did his usual routine. We were sitting next to each other until he decided it was getting too cold inside. He moved outside but he had not finished reading the paper. So he tossed the main section on the table and went in search of warmer seats.

    I lost track of him and when I remembered to look outside, he was gone. “Oh no,” I thought. “I only have half of the Saturday edition of the New York Times!” I went outside and looked for the rest of the paper. It was nowhere to be found. Then it hit me — “He had to have tossed it in the trash can.” He did. And how did I find out? I fished it out of there! Talk about bad etiquette…

    I came home and described what happened to my son. I told him that I had solved the puzzle of whether I was violating the wishes of the paper’s original owner, at least as far as my New York Times “supplier” was concerned. If he had intended for people to enjoy the paper that he had bought, he would have made an effort to come back into the store and put the secondary pages there together with the rest of the paper. He couldn’t possibly be wanting people to enjoy the first pages and skip the sports and cultural & arts pages, could he? That wouldn’t make sense!

    What he was doing was simply what was most convenient to him. The table inside and the trash can outside required the least amount of effort. After he got what he wanted from the paper, he just wanted to discard it the easiest way possible. So now I don’t feel I am violating his wishes anymore.

    I know, you are thinking there is something fundamentally wrong with people like my son and I who think about this stuff. But I had to find answers and there are no manuals on proprietary rights of discarded newspapers at Starbucks. I am actually more concerned about someone going for the trash can in search of discarded papers than I am about people who think about this stuff. But how could I go without my free copy of the cultural & arts section of the New York Times?

    So now I’m wondering: When will a new customer start coming who likes Times Magazine? Or better yet: Does the fact that I make sure no one is looking when I take the newspaper mean that what I am doing is not right? I guess I have to think a little more on that!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
    • Julie 4:53 am on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hmmm. I’m thinking that if you feel guilt about it or are careful that no one is looking, the jury may still be out on the personal ethics side. My thoughts (unsolicited, but I obviously couldn’t resist) are that regardless of a person’s intent, they did a good thing in leaving their paper. They are contributing to the economy of others and to recycling while potentially enhancing others’ lives. Perhaps the question would be, “If you were the person coming in after you and not being able to access one of these coveted gems (i.e. newspaper sections), how would you feel?” Another question: “After you use the paper, what do you do with it?” Do you throw it away? What I would be tempted to do is use the paper in the moment and take notes on anything that might be useful. If it’s something where note taking would be too rough, I would not have a big problem with tearing that piece out. I’d feel a bit guilty, but I would reassure myself that at least others who followed me would have the bulk of the paper. Interesting ponderings.

      • ivanildotrindade 5:17 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        you conclusion is sound. feeling embarrassed or shamed about something u r doing is always a bad sign. as to your questions, a) the person coming after me does not have the notion of deprivation because s/he didn’t know that they could have been blessed by those “coveted gems.” b) yes, i throw it away. but i recycle it. does that help? what else do u do with do w/ old newspapers? your note-taking suggestion is good. i will do my best 2 read the paper there and leave it there, preferably without any tear… i have a friend who is head of security at a chain of malls in los angeles. he told me abt the time a teenage girl was going around one of the stores and while nobody was looking, she stuffing things in her jacket. when she was leaving, the security guys stopped her and brought her to an office on the back where my friend was ready waiting 4 her. he said he wanted 2 show her something. he showed her a video of her looking back and front, left and right, before she put stuff inside her jacket. then he told her, “u forgot 2 look up, didn’t u?” that’s where the cameras were! so i’m wondering: how the guy upstairs looks at my little newspaper indiscretions? ultimately his opinion is the one that matters, right? i will write him a letter… 🙂

    • ivanildotrindade 5:29 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      but on the other hand, maybe i should just let go of my guilty conscience and not worry abt people seeing me take the papers… ha!

    • Julie 8:37 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      OK, I admit I have also wondered about Starbuck’s on-the-table newspaper etiquette. You’ve got me laughing out loud. I particularly liked the part about you digging the paper out of the trashcan. The looking side to side that you described with the girl reminds me of people here who metodically drop their trash as they walk. They try to do it “discreetly”, so they know they’re doing wrong. And they’ll pass right by a trashcan and a few steps later throw the trash on the ground. Now here comes my moral dilemma? Should I NOT feel like strangling them? OK, that’s not a moral dilemma, just a strong urge. …Or you could take ALL the papers and return them to the tables later on when you’ve finished with them… or maybe the next week so that you can really mess with people. 🙂

      • ivanildotrindade 9:10 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        your feeling is normal. i remember dealing with that in brazil. a friend who owned a car wash in a resort city told me that he used to think it was a problem with only the “C” and “D” economic class, but then he realized he was wrong. he had doctors, lawyers, etc. who would throw stuff on the floor (including dirty diapers) even though the trash can was right next to them. i had a hard time believing that. things have improved significantly in my beloved part of brazil in the last 10 years. but u r dealing with generations of people who didn’t know how to take care of the environment and the resources we have. i used to write notes on the beach and hand to people, after i saw them throwing stuff on the dunes. they were nice notes, but i tried to shame them too… 🙂

    • Duane 8:01 am on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I’m thinking that if you went to McDonalds for coffee instead of Starbucks, you could afford to buy coffee, your own paper, AND a cup of coffee for a senior citizen or veteran. With this scenario you wouldn’t feel guilty for taking the paper OR paying too much for a cup of coffee, and feel good for helping another person.

      • ivanildotrindade 11:31 am on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        that’s good, duane. actually i go there often enough and the coffee is good. but for me the “solution” is not as simple as that. i’ve decided i don’t go to starbucks strictly for the coffee. i go for the way they treat me there. i feel like i am part of a family, and the environment is rich and exactly the type of surroundings i need to think and write. i have meetings with my staff there often, and i meet with another group there every thursday morning. the staff there is so nice and accommodating. on my days off, i can spend hours there reading, thinking, praying. and i know several of the other patrons. we talk, we keep tabs on the elderly lady and her two friends, we talk about the guy who comes in and orders a tall americano in a venti cup so he can fill the rest of it with milk. we are a sort of community. and on top of all that, if i stay long enough there, sitting on the comfortable chairs (which just recently got upgraded to leather!), i can listen to some wonderful brazilian music, not for five minutes only but for a whole long segment. so i have decided that my $3.15 cup of coffee, whenever i can afford it, is worth it. but u r right, your suggestion would go a long way 2 help me with my dilemma. thanks 4 commenting. and this is not a commercial 4 starbucks in general. only 4 the one in wooster. 🙂

  • ivanildotrindade 11:03 pm on May 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , father knows best, leaving college, norther brazil, satere people, SIL International, Wycliffe   

    Dad Knew More Then… And Now! 

    When I was in my sophomore year of college, I met some Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) missionaries who simply managed to turned my world upside down. Through their influence, I became passionate about going to Africa, but God had other plans. Now, I am not one of those people who say, “The last place I wanted to go to was Africa and guess where God sent me as a missionary?” I don’t particularly like that because it almost sounds like a punishment.

    In my case it would be: “I wanted to go to Africa but God sent me to America instead!” And that is definitely not a punishment either. My God is not a cosmic-kill-joy-sadistic-old-tyrant wringing his hands as He anticipates delivering bad news to unsuspecting believers! James said that “He gives us good and perfect gifts” and Matthew went even further: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Coming to the U.S. was a gift for me and despite all of its shortcomings, I have learned to love my adopted country.

    How I ended up coming to the U.S. is quite a story, but how I ended up not going to Africa is even more interesting. One of those missionaries was a man by the name of Al Graham, whom I met for the first time on a side street of Belém — he gave me a free loaf of bread the first time I ever met him! A little later I saw him walking on his hands — on the street! This man was the first grown man I met who cried openly without shame. He cried every time he talked about the people of the Satere tribe in northern Brazil – with whom he was working to translate the Bible in their language. He was always moved by how far removed from God they seemed to be.

    Mr. Graham’s attitude touched me so deeply. I wanted to understand where that kind of love for people without God came from. So with his other other people’s help, I went to the Capital city of Brazil three summers in a roll to get training in Linguistics, Anthropology, and jungle survival so I could become a Bible translator. And in my mind, I was already in  Africa.

    That is, until I went back home on a summer break and had a talk with my dad. I said, “Dad, I believe God is wanting me to go to Africa. I want to quit college and become a Bible translator.” My dad said, “That’s great, son, but if you want to do that, you will have to finish college first.”

    End of conversation. In the Trindade family the children never acquired any skills in the area of contradicting their parents. Fifteen years later, when I had already completed my Masters Degree and found myself without financial support from my church job, I had to thank my dad for telling me to go back to school and finish college. I was able to get a job teaching at my alma mater because I had completed my education.

    So a warning to kids: Sometimes moms and dads do actually know what they are talking about!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 11:36 pm on May 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: being nosy, , king solomon, North Region Brazil, Proverbs and Sayings, proverbs of solomon, Short-term mission   

    A Modern Version for the Origin of “Being Nosey” 

    Have you ever wondered where the expression “being nosey” came from? I know that we use it to refer to people who have the habit of getting into other people’s business. But it is curious that we say someone is “nosy” but we don’t say she is “eyey” or “eary,” even though it is obvious that some get into other people’s business by means of eyes and ears as well.have my own modern version for its origins.

    Well, I don’t have time to Google “nosey” tonight but I have my own modern story that may illustrate how it came to be and it happened one lazy afternoon in Macapá, the city in northern Brazil where I spent 12 years of my life. I was taking my morning walk on one of my summer trips there leading a short-term mission trip. Suddenly, I heard some noise coming from across the street. It turned out it a fight was starting inside a house. People were screaming and bodies were being thrown around. I stood up and watched from a distance. The house was built on a little mound and there was a big window that opened to the street.

    Now, before I tell you what happened, you have to know that people in northern Brazil love to watch a fight. In fact, it is so irresistibly attractive that there were a couple of time when I was riding the city bus when the bus driver stopped the bus on the side of the road, people got out and walked right up to watch whatever fight was going on in the streets. Free entertainment. Except it was not totally free — a friend of mine was hit by a stray bulletin once when he tried to separate two guys who were fighting. As a result, he became a paraplegic and a bitter man to this day.

    So some people naturally joined me on the up other side of the road, trying to get a front row view of the fight. Some were even jumping and down to try to see the action a little better, since the house sat a little higher from the road. But there are those who always want more. One guy was just strolling down the road on his bike when he noticed the commotion. Quickly, he dismounted, launching his bike onto the ground and taking a little sprint toward the house. He climbed the little mound and stuck his face right in the middle of the big open window.

    Then it happened — baaam! Somebody threw a hard punch, right down the middle of the guy’s nose. Having nothing to hold on to, he rolled back down to the bottom of the mound. He put his hand on his nose, looked around as if checking to see if anybody noticed, quickly picked up his bike and rode away a little discombobulated but get out of there with a little bigger nose but a lot less noisy (you would hope).

    So now you understand the modern origin of the expression “being nosey.”

    And now comes the shocker: About 3,000 years ago a wise king had already warned against “being nosy.” Here is what he said, “Like one who takes a dog by the ears is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.” (Proverbs 26:17). 

    Question: Doesn’t the way he writes sound like it was he and not me who was standing across the street when that “free punch” was being thrown across the window? It is amazing to me how the Bible is still applicable to today. And that is one of the reasons I read of chapter of Proverbs every day. It helps me to keep my nose to myself. A proverb a day will keep stupid away…

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    “… he who hurries his footsteps errs.” (Proverbs 19:2b).

     
  • ivanildotrindade 12:51 am on May 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: brazil soccer apparel, Cleveland Clinic, international friends, , , Skype   

    Kuwait via Lodi, OH 

    Not too long ago my wife and I were shopping at a mall not too far from our home. While there, we spotted a young man wearing full Brazilian soccer apparel. We both thought he was from Brazil but it turned out he was from Kuwait. He just loved Brazilian soccer that much!

    Well, we connected well with him and I invited him to come to our house and share a meal with us. Instead, he surprised me and invited me to come to his house in Cleveland. After getting lost, I found the apartment where my new friend, Ahmed, lived. I was ushered into the multi-apartment complex where he lived (400 apartments!) and was brought inside a unit that looked like it was empty.

    Soon, his friends began to arrive. They were family members, acquaintances, even a rental car agent who came to do business as we were talking. Turned out the entire apartment complex was filled primarily with people from the Middle East, whose relatives were being treated for various conditions at the Cleveland Clinic. In Ahmed’s case, he had a younger brother who was treated for a brain tumor, and he also had an uncle, whom I got to meet that evening, who was back in the U.S. for a follow up visit one year after his heart surgery there.

    I found out that the Kuwait government-funded the entire trip for Ahmed and several of his siblings, including two of his sisters and his mom to accompany his brother. And all their expenses were paid, including the apartment they were living in and the one where I found myself, which was used only “to receive friends”!

    We sat on the floor, all the men were smoking and speaking in Arabic, and I was being introduced to everyone who came in. I tried to sit cross-legged, and finally gave up, asking politely if I could spread my legs away from everyone’s view, which they allowed me to do, not without laughing at my feeble attempts to feel comfortable in that position.

    The only time I saw the women was when they came into the room to bring the food – freshly made lamb, salads, breads, tea, rice, etc. – a veritable feast. I sat there with my new friends, taking in the sight, enjoying the food, which I ate with my hands like everybody else, and then stayed a long time afterwards until my wife called me to see if everything was okay.

    I came home, not expecting to see Ahmed again, but soon before he returned to Kuwait, he invited me to another feast. Months later, as I was checking my messages on Skype, I got a live connection via video with Ahmed, all the way from Kuwait. I still think and pray for my friend Ahmed and his family on a regular basis. Maybe one of these days I will go see him in Kuwait. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 10:04 pm on May 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , amazon adventure, , brazil quiz, brazil world power, history of brazil,   

    TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF BRAZIL 

    I am leading a short-term mission trip to northern Brazil July 4-18. We will be on the Amazon,  baby! In preparation for this trip, I’ve put together this quiz for my team. I am giving you a chance to take this quiz and win a free copy of Jay Milbrandt’s new book Go and Do. Okay, here are the rules:1. Submit your answers via e-mail to me by Friday, 5:00 p.m. EST. itrindade@woostergrace.org.

    2. If you have already taken this test, don’t bother to take it again. :). “Amazon Adventure’s” team members!

    3. If your last name is Trindade, or was formerly Trindade, you’re automatically disqualified from taking the quiz. Lucas!

    4. You are not allowed to Google, Wiki, Bing or otherwise use the Internet to answer any of these questions, unless you use a Commodore 64 to surf the net.

    5. Include your mailing address with your answer. We will mail anywhere with an address written in Roman characters.

    Good luck!

    TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF BRAZIL

    I. Multiple-choice:

    1. Brazil produces more cars than the following country:

    O U.S.

    O Great Britain

    O Mexico

    O Germany

    O China

    2. The currency of Brazil is called:

    O Real

    O Cruzeiro

    O Cruzado

    O Riel

    O Pataca

    3. The following is something Brazil is NOT famous for:

    O Bypassing the giant drug companies to produce cheaper, generic AIDS medicine.

    O Giving to the world the classical composer Heitor Vila-Lobos.

    O Revolutionizing the music world by creating a new sound, “bossa nova.”

    O Producing famous soap operas, known as “telenovelas,” which are broadcast around the world.

    O Being the first country in South America to elect a female president.

    4. Which country is NOT among the top 10 most populous in the world

    O China

    O Russia

    O Japan

    O India

    O Brazil

    5. Which city is NOT among the top ten most expensive cities in the world for expats?

    O Tokyo, Japan

    O Moscow, Russia

    O N’Djamena, Chad

    O New York, U.S.A.

    O Sao Paulo, Brazil

    II. True or False:

    1. Brazil is the 6th largest economy in the world, having surpassed the U.K. at the end of 2011 in terms of GDP.  T       F

    2. The Amazon basin covers some 60% of Brazil’s surface.  T       F

    3. Sao Paulo is the second most populous city in the world.  T       F

    4. 5% of the population in Brazil owns 85% of the country’s wealth.  T       F

    5. Outside of the G-8, more scientific papers from Brazil are quoted than from any other county.  T       F

    6. Brazil’s land area is bigger than that of Continental United States.  T       F

    7. The Amazon represents over half of the world’s remaining rainforest.  T       F

    8. There are 200 nations within the country we call “Brazil.”  T       F

    9. The Amazon River is the longest river in the world.  T       F

    10. The Amazon River is the largest river in the world in volume of water with an average discharge greater than the next seven rivers combined.  T       F

    11. More than one-third of all species in the world live in the Amazon rainforest.  T       F

    12. The current President of Brazil is the daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant.  T       F

    13. Cocoa, beef, sugar cane, coffee, orange juice are just a few examples of commodities that Brazil is the #1 producer in the world.  T       F

    14. Through Embraer, Brazil is the third largest aircraft manufacturer in the world.  T       F

    15. In spite of its great economic progress, Brazil is still ruled by a military dictatorship.  T       F

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 10:50 pm on May 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bridge making, ethnic dialogue, ethnic politics, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine Le Pen, minority babies, multicultural cities, tear down walls, white babies   

    Make Bridges, Tear Down Walls 

    Few people paid attention to a little piece of news last week in the U.S. newspapers. It turns out that minority babies are no longer in the minority in the U.S. So it’s official now — white babies are being born at a slower rate than non-whites.

    Maybe people didn’t bother that much because the news is not surprising. Maybe they are resigned to the reality of a multi-cultural world, but I doubt it. In fact, there is a chance that one day there will be a party in the U.S. like the one founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen in France. The angst of people against immigrants will rise to the surface. And don’t be surprised if the ones leading the charge end up being the non-white babies being born today, who by then will be fully integrated into the minority culture.

    This reminds me of the time I lived in Southern California and voters in one district managed to pass an open air initiative which basically barred farming families from selling their land to developers without the express consent of voters. The irony of that initiative, though, was a lot of the people who voted for it would have not even been there if the initiative had been passed ten years earlier. Most of them now were living in sprawling suburbs built on former farm land — the very land they now wanted to keep from being developed!

    I think the reason people didn’t pay attention to the baby story is that they are distracted by an election and a sluggish economy. But that story may still enter the fray in this volatile year of Presidential politics, especially in a year when there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the presumed opponents.

    Now I know that many people in the U.S. don’t necessarily think of England as a model to follow and I would not be surprised if racial tensions in there might still result in some version of a civil war some day. But I am somewhat optimistic that they may still avoid it. And what gives me some hope is a place like the district of Dalston in East London.

    I haven’t been there but I read about it recently and saw some cool pictures. One street illustrates the possibility of peaceful diversity at work. On one side of the street a sign in vibrant orange advertises Indian and Caribbean cuisine. On the other side, an Arabic sign advertises halal food, which indicates foods that have been prepared according to the Islamic customs. And what is even more interesting is that this neighborhood was for the longest time traditionally Jewish. But they started attracting immigrants from the world over, thus becoming a truly multicultural place.

    So my question is: is this the future of us all or should we expect more rough waters? Chances are it will be a mix of both.

    I don’t know whether you think this is important or not, but as a follower of Christ one of my favorite expressions is “at the foot of the cross we are equal.” The apostle Paul, speaking of the work that Christ did on the cross, put it this way: “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups (referring to Jews and gentiles) one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” 

    And I hope I can reach the end of my life and be remembered as one who built more bridges than walls.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
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