01 September 2016

Helping Bring Brazil to St. Louis

Last Friday morning (26 August)--as usual on payday Fridays--I bought some doughnuts for my colleagues at the car rental branch. They appreciate my gesture, helping brighten their mornings. Work went well and we were kept busy late in the day.

Late Saturday morning, I headed to Tower Grove Park (http://www.towergrovepark.org/) for the International Institute's Festival of Nations (http://www.festivalofnationsstl.org/), an annual multicultural festival. I browsed among the various craft, information, and food booths, before getting lunch from the Brazilian food booth from Brasilia Restaurant. I chose Vatapa de Frango, a grilled chicken breast in a cashew nut gravy, served with rice and collard greens. Additionally, I had a vanilla flan desert and drank mango juice. Very tasty. I also chatted with my friend Dayna O'Brien, who was volunteering at the St. Louis Sister Cities booth.

After lunch, I made my way to the Viva Brasil Association in St. Louis (http://www.e.vivabrasilstl.org/home) information booth at the Festival. I spent about two hours in the booth, talking with visitors about our group and Brazil in general. It was great helping out the group, and others in the group--including Mauricio Gobbo, his wife Susan, and Sandra Schulte--were very happy that I helped them out. Priscila Borba, my instructor in the Portuguese course I'm taking, also stopped by the booth.

After my volunteer shift, I headed back home to get ready for Saint Louis FC's (http://saintlouisfc.com/landing/index) match against San Antonio FC. After taking the Pub2Park shuttle bus from Smugala's Pizza Pub in Sunset Hills (http://smugalas.com/smugalassunsethills), I walked over to the St. Louligans (http://stlouligans.com/) tailgate for a while before walking into Marshall Wireless Stadium. Unfortunately, two first-half goals for the visitors were the difference as San Antonio FC won 2-nil, dimming Saint Louis FC's post-season hopes.

I spent Sunday morning (28 August) editing some articles for the Fall 2016 issue of Naturally Autistic magazine (http://www.naturallyautistic.com/). I also edited a few items late last week. Then, I headed back to the Festival of Nations, where I hung out with the Viva Brasil booth and chatted with others from the group who were staffing the booth, and with visitors. We had many visitors at the booth that weekend, which was great. I then reported for a volunteer shift helping staff one of the Festival's drinks booths. I was originally to help out at the beer tasting booth on the west end of the Festival grounds, but it had just ran out of beer and was closing up early. I was then reassigned to a drinks booth in the eastern end of the grounds. I helped with beverage sales for the last hour before the festival closed, then helped to tear down the booth. It was great to help out this Festival for the third year.

Back to work Monday, it was a rather busy first part of the week at the branch. I edited a couple more pieces for Naturally Autistic magazine after work on Monday. I flexed out Tuesday afternoon (30 August), as I am working this Saturday morning. Early Tuesday night, I drove to Three Kings Public House in Des Peres (http://threekingspub.com/) for a Happy Hour with my branch colleagues. Hannah, our former branch colleague now at the Brentwood branch, also came and we enjoyed appetizers and beers while talking about this and that. I was able to take some leftover appetizers home with me.

After work Wednesday, I was off to St. Louis Community College at Meramec (http://www.stlcc.edu/MC/) for the second night of Portuguese Language: Beginning I. Instructor Priscila Borba led us in more instruction on the language, including how to use the proper prepositions and correct pronunciations. The class is coming along very nicely.

My off day today started with getting blood withdrawn at a lab for routine tests my doctor ordered for me, followed by breakfast at St. Louis Bread Co. (https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/home.html). Late today, I got a call from Weiss Toyota telling me they had the replacement part for the recalled airbag on my Corolla, and we scheduled a service appointment on Thursday of next week. It will be free of charge, due to this being a recall.

Back to work tomorrow and Saturday morning, then I can enjoy the Labor Day Weekend.