Brasil 2022-23 Diary/Photo Journal

Weeks 008-012 of September 18 - November 05, 2022

We started the week with damp days due to rain and Cindy having a few more issues to resolve.  Unfortunately, Brasil does not have a lot of RVs running around and thus, not many people can repair the 'house' nor are there parts available.  So, we have been McGyvering a lot of the repairs and when we have to depend on a mechanic for the van repairs, that takes even more time. 

With Cindy's delay and some things starting to percolate at home, I decided to return to the U.S. for 10 days and tie up some loosening ends.  I arrived home on September 24th, and immediately went to work on a rental home that was turning over as I wanted to make sure it was ready for the new tenants.  That was accomplished within the first week and made time for me to enjoy a bit of the Huntington Beach - Pacific Air Show which was happening September 30th - October 2nd. 

Gerson accused me of pre-planning my trip back to the U.S. but the story I am sticking to is that I did not know the Pacific Airshow was that weekend ;-).  It worked out wonderfully and I even extended an invitation to my friends, David and Laurie, to watch the air show with me (David being an airplane and air show fanatic). 

Having a nice lunch at our friend Kiko's restaurant
and got to meet Kiko's mother, someone Gerson had not
seen in many years.

Gerson obviously not missing me. Lunch on
Ilha do Mel: Cassio, Dudo, Lu, Kike and Gerson.

Whilst Gerson was frollicking around Ilha do Mel, I was at home, toiling away. Well, maybe not all the time.  With the Pacific Airshow flying overhead, I took a day to enjoy the show with friends, Dave and Laurie, and what a show it was

Laurie and Dave
ready for the Pacific Airshow

Dave was a kid in a candy store

So many cool airplanes and even a large drone

Navy parachutist

Having had a fun Friday with Laurie and Dave and the Pacific Airshow, Saturday, October 1st was to be spent readying the rental home for the turnover and taking care of some household chores while Dave and Laurie ventured in and around Laguna.  Little did I know, my choices of chores would change my life.

As our backyard bougainvillea was quite overgrown, I decided to trim the aggressive plant away from the roof and from overhanging the fence.  I was successful with the roof trim; however, not so much with the fence trim.  With my being very comfortable with heights and ladders, I was a tad lax in my positioning and movement on the device.  I was approximately 7' off the ground when with a snip of the shears and a misstep on the ladder, I lost my balance and was heading for a fall to the side.  Knowing that falling sideways off a ladder is the worst way to fall, I launched myself straight back and proceeded to land directly on my feet and immediately rolling out of the fall.

I laid there for a few moments, checking my various extremities and realizing that all was good, but for a little pain in my feet.  It was not until I tried to stand on my feet did I realize that something was quite amiss and I knew a trip to the urgent care facility was in my immediate future.  I figured I had about one hour before the endorphins and adrenaline would wear off and I would really feel the pain, so I iced and elevated both my feet.  With the pain somewhat dulled, I wrapped my feet and grabbed my walking poles, hobbling to the car and driving to a nearby urgent care facility.  X-rays were taken and my fear confirmed, I broke both my feet.  Final diagnosis:  Right - fractured calcaneus (heel) and Left - fractured 5th metatarsal.  My right foot was encased in a temporary splint and I was told to see an orthopedist as soon as possible.

As I was unable to drive home from the urgent care, I reached out to my angels, Dave and Laurie, as they had returned from their day in Laguna.  Both of them having worked in my similar profession for decades, recognized the 'clues' I had left behind at home and knew something was 'off' and that I probably hurt myself while on the ladder.  Their assumption was spot on (as they are/were very good in their profession) and they were ready for my call to come so they could drive me home.  I cannot thank them enough for not only rescuing me but also for tolerating my adrenaline-rambling that evening and making me a wonderful breakfast on Sunday morning. 

X-rays show the right fractured calcaneus (heel)
and the left fractured 5th metatarsal

My temporary hardware

and my left and right foot before
I got my cast on

On Monday, October 3rd, after quite a few phone calls to various orthopedists and podiatrists, I found Pacifica Orthopedics that would see me the same day.  Fortunately, I am very comfortable using crutches due to all the time I have spent on them between knee surgeries so getting around was more annoyance than difficult.  The Doctor was pleased that the feet were not terribly swollen (as I had been icing and elevating many times since the fall) and I received parting gifts of a cast on my right foot and a walking shoe for my left foot.

Not one to dwell on the negative, I did have some fun with the different mobility gadgets available and found my CT scan of my foot very cool indeed.  I was to spend one month in my cast and then probably another month in a walking boot so Gerson and I decided I would return to Brasil once my cast was removed.

Cast on
and liked using my hands-free crutch - very easy
to get around
My 3-D CT scan image - cool
Cast being sawn off
My legs and foot look ok - no too much atrophy
My new walking boot

While I kept busy at home, Gerson continued to work on Cindy.  He completed some repairs and we decided to make some improvements as well.  We installed an additional house battery, a solar panel, upgraded the alternator, etc. so Cindy will be in good form when I return to Brasil.  Although our plans with Cindy have changed a bit, we will still have at least a month to travel with her.

Gerson with friend Lufe
enjoying stuffed blue crab

Gerson out with Cassio, Mauricio and Neto

Working on Cindy's lights while being
supervised by Alaska and Bera (on balcony)

Gerson took Cindy on a trial run to Pontal, about two hours away, and all seemed to go well.  He had a few things done while there; however, on the way back to Curitiba, an electrical glitch left him without power and on the side of a road that really does not have any side of the road to stop on.  Fortunately, the mechanic we have used in Curitiba has a flatbed two truck (as the mechanic works almost exclusively on American classic/muscle cars) and towed Cindy back to his shop.  A few tweaks and Cindy was road ready once again.

Gerson took a test trip with Cindy to Pontal
Cindy had a little electrical issue
and had to be helped back to the mechanic

It is at this point in the week that we realize how life is not always easy.  On October 27th, I was ecstatic to have my cast removed and my X-rays showing bone growth already and my foot had minimal swelling. Having already booked my return flight to Brasil for departure Sunday, October 30th, I was relieved my foot was healing better than expected and I was cleared for take off. 

On October 28th, Life and Time collided and Gerson received the news that his beloved uncle, Tio Sebastiao, had passed away (as he was in the hospital for a few days and his death was not wholly unexpected).  Tio Sebastiao was a significant influence on Gerson as Tio Sebastiao and Tia Marilda were his parental mentors when his father had left the family and after his mother died (Gerson was aged 6 and 11 respectively).  Tio Sebastiao was a true Patriarch of the family and I personally respected him and especially enjoyed his sharp personality and his cheeky side. 

We were fortunate to have had that wonderful lunch with
Tio Sebastiao, Tia Marilda and cousins Celso, Cleide and Bruno.


Gerson attended Tio Sebastiao's funeral and service and enjoyed some time with his Tia Marilda and family.  As what happens with a beloved family member dies, old photos surface and Gerson received quite a few photos he had not seen before.

Tia Marilda and Tio Sebastiao wedding

Gerson's paternal grandparents, Maria Amelia
and Nuno, with sister Marjorie

Gerson - rare baby photo of him with grandmother

Gerson - still gives that look today *lol*

Gerson - first day of school - so cute!

One thing about seeing photos that you did not know existed, many unfiltered memories surface and Gerson was not immune.  However, even though his Father abandoned the family, Gerson looks to the bright side and that he would not be where he is now if his Father did not do what he did.  Of course, I remind him that he would not have met me if his childhood was different...Gerson still on the fence about that ;-).

Gerson and siblings, Lincoln and Marjorie
with a family maid, Wanda

Gerson with his mother, Delavair and sister, Marjorie

Gerson's father, Luiz


Gerson's family: Carlos (Bro-in-law), Lincoln (brother),
Marjorie (sister), Vanessa (cousin) and Gerson (and still
trying to find out who he is holding hands with)

Marjorie, Vanessa and Carlos (that look!)

Gerson, Marjorie and Lincoln

Time for me to return to Brasil and I treated myself to 1st class (thank goodness for lots of miles left in my account).  I was happy to be able to stretch my legs out and keep my foot elevated for most of the flight.  Not to mention my having fun being wheeled to every flight, having a 'helper' with getting my luggage and cruising through customs and immigration, all because I was "mobility challenged". 

1st class food was not bad at all
Lots of legroom
Terminal transportation - strapped wheelchairs
into a box truck

Meanwhile, Gerson working on Cindy's awning

And once again, Life and Time collide and Gerson received a call from a childhood friend, Marcio, that his Father, Ico, passed away on October 31st .  Again, we were very fortunate to have been able to recently visit him and like Tio Sebastiao, Ico was a significant influence on Gerson's childhood.

A throwback photo of Ico in 2005
and our recent visit with Ico


As this journal is more about our travels and the people we meet (and a bit about the food we eat), I don't want to get on a political soapbox; however, a great sadness hangs over Brasil after their recent Presidential election.  Brasil deserves better.



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