Sunday, May 27th
I could sing songs and write books about my love for blueberries, but have had to put these dreams aside as they are not very easy to find for an affordable price here. I ate them just about every day with yogurt while I lived in Atlanta, and always had a package frozen for a spontaneous blueberry cobbler, should the need for one arise. It may be easy for you to believe, then, that when I saw three teeny tiny packs of these for 1€ each at my favorite little supermarket Lidl the other day, I snatched them up immediately!
Monday, May 28th
If you have read these daily posts from a few weeks back, you may remember me mentioning a monthly event we host for volunteers at our Rehabilitation Center called "Chá das Seis", or "Tea at 6". The Portuguese eat dinner late, so they usually have some sort of small sandwich or snack around 5 or 6, so we created an event at this time so we could eat and drink as well! We usually have lots of natural teas, along with cookies and juice, and after seeing this cookie recipe on Pinterest, I couldn't help but make my own cookies that look like tea bags!
Tuesday, May 29th
Did someone just say "festa tematica"??? As most who know me personally know I love me a themed party, you can imagine how excited I was to hear that one of our volunteers suggested a themed party, "Pink & Blue", where all of our clients and volunteers that are at our disabled residence here Coimbra have to dress in one of the colors! We also had pink and blue desserts, food coloring in our Sprite, and blue raspberry Kool Aid that my sweet American friend Cristi donated to our cause. :) I wish I was in America, because you know I would have rocked some giant, hot pink fake eyelashes, but I settled for painting my nails pink and blue and wearing a wig for part of the time. Here's my dear friend Paulo getting away with not wearing the wig for the 1 hour I let him go without it! :)
Wednesday, May 30th
One of the things I love about working in the disabled community is that I am consistently surrounded by people with positive attitudes. You may not believe it, but I have known many more disabled people that are joyful, positive, and generally pretty content with life than their able-bodied counterparts! Dona Ermazinda is one of those people. She is in a wheelchair and has lost a bit of extension in the reach of her arms and the flex of her hands, but she wheels her manual wheelchair on her own most of the time, and she is one of the most cheerful and inquisitive 78-year-olds that I know! She is a resident of the elderly care center that is on the upper level of the part-time clinic where Luis works, so sometimes I go with him and sit and chat with her while he sees other clients. And I love her. :) As I was making the aforementioned tea bag-shaped cookies, I had a bit of dough left over, so I broke out the heart cookie cutters and made some pink sugar frosting to surprise her with cookies for her birthday! I was also pretty tickled that the aforementioned blueberry container was pretty cute (recycle in the name of crafting!), and with some tissue paper as a decorative cushion, they fit perfectly! And I can't lie... after we took one out and gave it to her to taste, she definitely asked for another. While on her way to dinner. Rebel. ;)
Thursday, May 31st
Who likes helping others with handmade wedding projects, thus saving money and making things beautiful at the same time...? I do, I do! One of our colleagues, Mariana, is getting married this weekend, and during our lunch hour, a few of us girls got together to help her make cones by gluing paper doilies together, which would hold petals for people to throw after the ceremony . That's my idea of a fun way to spend a lunch hour!
Friday, June 1st
Last week, while running through the mall to pick up something quickly, I saw a new frozen yogurt (i.e. FroYo) place had opened up in the mall, and since I left the US shortly after the huge froyo trend took off, I was thrilled to see one in Portugal! I was eagerly anticipating lunch with my friend Cristi today, and we had planned to pick up froyo as a dessert! We arrived and saw that it looked very American... 3 different sized bowls, various toppings, with soft-serve-looking frozen yogurt that was making my mouth water. Cristi was very disappointed that they only had vanilla as a base, and as the girl working there emphasized that is was a natural yogurt base, we decided it was best to ask for a sample first, which was served in the classic little white cups. Let's just say we are very thankful we didn't pay for a whole bowl! It had the sour tang of real yogurt with a bit of sugar trying to even it out a bit, but it was a major fail. I desperately wanted to warn everyone behind me in line, but Cristi convinced me they probably didn't know what real froyo should even taste like. Needless to say, I was so, so very disappointed.
Saturday, June 2nd
It's not every day you see a donkey-drawn wagon crossing the street in front of you... unless you are from Pinhel, that is! We visited Luis Miguel's hometown this weekend and I couldn't whip my camera out fast enough to see them actually cross in front of us, but if you look closely, you can see some hooves under the wagon and if you look closely between the [adorable] man and woman, I do believe you can see the donkey's ear! Three cheers for small towns? Anyone? Anyone?