Dear cousins,

Aaron, Joshua, and Isaiah,

I saw some pictures of you guys recently (I hardly recognized you all) and started thinking about you and decided to write a letter to you telling what I did this past summer while on vacation. Though I’m always up to something
this summer was unusually busy.

On my first two weeks I took a trip to a town near the Amazon Rainforest. Though I have been there as a tourist, this time I went as a worker. I went with my Papa to help my Granny fix the pastor’s house at the church where Granny and my Grandpa used to work as missionaries. It is very different from here at home. Where I live is called a thornbush savanna and gets no rain 6-8 months out of a year. Big trees do not grow naturally, they have to be started with watering. Where we were working at there are trees that have trunks as thick as cars and every thing is very green. There are lots of mosquitoes at night and it rains a lot. Where we were used to be rain forest but now it is mostly pasture with thousands of cattle and only some patches of forest in some places. There are hundreds of buzzards and every morning they sit out on top of light poles walls and fence posts with there wings spread out wide to dry out from the rain so that they can fly. Occasionally they can get aggressive and I’ve seen them attacking people.

After that I spent two weeks at home before traveling again. During these weeks I finished a bike that I made myself with Uncle Tim Reiner. I also rode in our sandrail (a type of dune buggy) (car) a lot.

Then I went to spend a week helping with a missions trip in a city called Crato. A group of Americans were there and we did a lot of things like a special English camp where English students came and we did a whole camp in English with verses songs, testimonies and activities all in English. We also did a special VBS with children from the worst and poorest part of time.

Then I was home for another week and during that time I formed a backyard band with my friends. I and my friends play the guitar.

And once again I headed out. This time to a seminary for something called Semana de Musica (Week of Music). During this week, 150 people and I studied and played music together. I woke every day at 5:30 am to practice on my guitar and to do my homework. We ate breakfast at 6:30 am and only finished classes at midnight! On the last day we played at three different places. There wasn’t much space for an orchestra and choral of 150, so things were very tight. The violinists were constantly poking each other with their bows. My guitar was just centimeters away from the other musicians. Altogether close to 1,500 people saw us playing.

When I got home once again I still did a lot of things, like go to Treasure Island Camp, ride trails on my bike and car, and do things with friends from church, but now I’m back in school!

Your MK cousin in Brazil,
William Atha