Those Lutheran Missionaries/Aqueles Misionarios Luteranos

Someone is going to have to help with the names. I recognize Louie Becker, Jim Peterson, Uncle Don, Dad (of course), Gaylord Grant, Bob Fedde and I'm not sure about the rest. This must have been very early in the 1960's. Maybe even Campinas?

Alguem vai ter que me ajudar com os nomes. Reconheco alguns, mas nao outros. Deve ter sido bem logo depois que os meus pais chegaram em 1962. Talvez Campinas?

The tall and short of it all. Dad on the left, Otto in the middle, and not sure who that is at the right. My family was known as the "Giraffes" at our missionary meetings...
Os altos e baixos de tudo. O Pai na esquerda, Otto Tollefson no meio e nao sei o nome do que esta na direita. A minha familia era conhecida como os "girafas" nas reunioes dos missionarios...

When I look at these old photos, I am often amazed at how young all of these missionaries were when they took off to some unknown country in the time that they did. Most of them were in their 20's and 30's. Mom and Dad were younger than I am now when they left Brazil in 1980. I kind of like to think of them as having the cowboy spirit of adventure, except that instead of carrying a gun, they waved a Bible.

Quando olho estas fotos velhas, fico admirada de como estes misionarios eram tao jovens quando foram para um pais desconhecido na epoca em que eles foram. A maioria tinha 20 e poucos anos. Os meus pais eram mais novos do que eu sou agora quando eles sairam do Brasil em 1980. Eu gosto de imaginar estes misionarios como cowboys, tendo o mesmo espirito de aventura, so que em vez de um revolver, carregavam uma Biblia.

Mom was only 24 years old when she found herself in Loanda, in the middle of nowhere. Dad was often gone for days at various distant preaching points or church activities. She had a small baby (me), the streets were not paved and she didn't yet command Portuguese. What courage! They both talk about how that whole region in Parana was being burned and prepped for farmland. Xuxu, which I detest, was often the only vegetable Mom could get. The sky would be covered with smoke for days on end. Dad remembered driving through roads with flames of fire leaping up on both sides. I'm a chicken compared to them!

A minha mae tinha so 24 anos quando ela se achou em Loanda, no fim do mundo. O meu pai viajava bastante pregando em varios lugares distantes. Ela tinha um nene pequeno (eu), as ruas nao tinham pavimento, e ela ainda nao tinha comando do portugues. Que coragem! Os dois contam como aquela regiao toda do Parana estava sendo desmatado e queimado em preparacao para a agricultura. Muitas vezes ela so conseguia xuxu, que eu detesto, como a unica verdura. O ceu escurecia com cinzas por dias e dias. O Pai lembra passagens que ele dirigia aonde o fogo pulava pelos dois lados da estrada. Eu sou uma medronha comparada a eles!


Ruth said...

Rachel, this is a great idea for a blog! I think you and I have a lot in common. My dad was a Baptist minister (Mom and Dad wanted to be missionaries to Bolivia, but the mission wouldn't take them, having 8 kids, they didn't think my mom could learn the language, etc. They didn't know my mom), and my husband and I - in another life - worked with a mission organization, and we lived in Istanbul a few years with our kids. Anyway, thank you for coming over from Morna's! Your quilt blog is gorgeous, wow. I used to make quilts, but nothing like what you do/did. Glad you saw about Barefoot College! Yeah, it was just that 9-minute piece on the Lehrer news.

Jules said...

Rachel -- in your group photos -- in the one with the three men and Otto in the middle -- the guy on the right looks to me like Bob Roiko. Also in the larger group picture, he looks like he's in the bottom right kneeling. We spent a lot of time around the Roikos after we got back to the States since we lived in NW Washington about 30 minutes from them, so I'm reasonably certain.

Great idea for a blog!

Jules (Julie Peterson)

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