I´m managing to settle in quite the thing now, its funny that things are so familiar after such a long time.

I drove Dora and I over to Casa Elohim on Wednesday for the ABBA weekly meeting, the route is firmly etched in my mind as we drove it at least twice every day with the group when we stayed on that side of town and drove to casa Semear everyday. The main points in addition to the routine speed bumps and rain trenches, were a very steep hill that used to cause me nightmares and a section of road at a bus interchange where you took your life in your hands to try and cross about four lanes of non stop traffic. Not sure whether it was the time spent driving in the middle east but neither of these things seemed nearly as scary now as they did before. In saying that the combi wasn´t full of people this time.

The ABBA meeting is a chance in the week for all the volunteers, missionaries and coordinators to meet and be lead by Celio the superintendant of ABBA. Also its a chance to introduce new people who have just arrived, officially welcome them and make them introduce themselves by explaining how they are connected and how they come to be in Sao Paulo. Each week throughtout the month has a different focus, for example it might be a bible study or an external speaker, but the main reason is the social and spiritual connection of all those involved and the chance to catch up with the work being done in each of the houses or areas of work within ABBA.

There are a number of changes to the organisation and structure but of course all for the good, and basically as a result of a new need or demand to service the people at risk in the favelas of Sao Paulo.

Missionaries Gavin and Esther for exampple will be new to most and are currently working with Tim and Beckie in Sao Paulo in the largest favela in the city called `Indianopolis´. Lots of new developments there which i will fill you in on as they happen.

I also met Heidi (or AJ as I know her) who had just returned from a sebatical and was looking great. She sends her love to all who know her and to the team who stayed with her at Casa Esperanza.

Also caught up with Delton and Fernie and family who are all doing well and met the new baby Sara of Mike and Heidi.

Later that same night i returned back to Casa Elohim to attend a new comers meeting. This has just started recently i believe, as a means to have all the `new comers´ get to know and support each other. In saying new comers there were a few who had been at ABBA for months as opposed to my couple of days. The group consisted of Myself (Scottish), Gavin (South African), Esther (Swiss), Jessica (American), McKenzie (American) and Adrian (Swiss). Im looking forward to the next meeting already.

On the way back at night, through the pretty busy traffic, i decided to pay a visit to Leroy Merlin. No this isnt some guy i met before, but a large DIY superstore you pass on the back road to the Interlagos shopping mall. Believe me we have spent some considerable time and money in this place over the years. After buying some supplies for the next days work it was a quick trip to the Carrefour supermarket for a few essentials before heading home.

Thursday was a day at Casa Semear, with the kids club in the afternoon which is usually the arts and craft day, for the older kids this is where the bead keyrings get made. In the morning i started on one item on our list that didnt need a lot of thought. the cleaning, sanding and ultimatly painting of the rear security gates inside Casa Semear at the basement level. As is the way with everything here it didnt take me long after cleaning it up to realise the state of the rusted and rotten steel both on the gates and down one side where basically the whole support was gone. Forget the painting for now we need to fix this first and these are seriously heavy steel gates. Bit of thought needed on this one.

When i was looking for some tools for the gates, i was shown a room at the basement level where everything like that was stored. As i opened the door i realised where my next job would be, sorting this lot out. Maybe that´s Saturday taken care of.

Friday was a kids club day but with the kids coming in the morning. Fridays are always easy days as its basically games day. Not quite sure how i got picked but i was sent out the back to look after 5 boys playing football. Of course with only 5 they needed me to play. It didnt take long before i realised that to these 5 boys this was a serious event and not to be taken lightly. Of course they are all playing on the concrete with their bare feet. While i thought i knew the rules of football, obviously these guys had made up a whole other set that they only made me aware of as and when required.

Friday night was of course the Brazil match in the world cup. As you can imagine its a big deal here. In fact it might actually be illegal here to do anything while a match is on. We streamed the match throught the internet and managed to watch it that way. However there was no mistaking when Brazil scored as the whole neighbourhood erupted with tooting horns and fireworks it even just for a few moments, drowned out the sounds of the dogs barking. All i can say is its just as well they won. Roll on the next match and the next level of histeria.