Canada was a tad neglected in our national night recaps…so here’s some love just for them (in photos)!





The last part of our national night came a few days later.  We were waiting for a clear night with no rain so we could have a campfire and roast s’mores!  However, Mother Nature had other ideas.

So we did the next best thing and made our own campfire!  S’mores melted in the oven, songs around some candles.  And if you ever run into some Footprinters out in the real world, offer them some s’mores and they will be your best friends!  (S’mores were very popular).





That evening, Canada and the USA both showed presentations about our countries, cities, and families.  Then, it was time for the whole camp to break it down!

A little “Crank Dat” from Soulja Boy…


And a little line dancing to “Wild, Wild West” from Escape Club.


There were also appearances by Abe Lincoln (who looked a little bit like Will), Indiana Jones (very Thomas-like), and two members of the US gymnastic team, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin (who are almost as talented as Darci and Delaney).

Abe and Indy

Abe and Indy


Gold medalists

Gold medalists

And a special screening of “Steamboat Willie”, the first Disney film with Mickey Mouse!

We had one more surprise up our sleeve, but it had to wait…due to some inclement weather…

Any guesses what it was?  Stay tuned for part 3!

And thank you beaucoup (getting their official languages of English AND French in there) to Canada for being such a great partner for our national nights!


No, this is not a post about Springsteen.  (Although we were back to watch him play the Super Bowl halftime show).  It’s a long-awaited post about OUR national night!

We shared the day with our North American neighbors, Canada!  It was a really fun day.

In the afternoon, we shared an activity period.  Canada had a rotation of three activities – basketball (which was invented by a Canadian), hockey, and making dream catchers. 

Then we created an obstacle course for the camp to go through.  There were four teams – the white, the red, the blue and the green.  Unbeknownst to the teams, the white and red teams had much easier obstacles to go through than the blue and green teams did.  But those differences soon became obvious…

This is easy...

This is easy...

This is harder...

This is harder...


This is easy...

This is easy...


Blindfolds make it harder!

Blindfolds make it harder!

So why did some teams have an easier time than others?  Well, the United States, in it’s short history, has sometimes discriminated against groups of people.  And not that long ago, African Americans were forced to use separate water fountains, separate bathrooms, and even sit at the back of the bus.  They had a much harder time doing daily activities, simply because of the color of their skin.  And while there is still racism in the US today, we have come a long way.

There are two big reasons why we chose to talk about civil rights as a part of our national night.  Number 1, in January, we celebrate the birthday of one of the greatest civil rights activists, Martin Luther King, Jr.  And Number 2, we were less than one week away from the inauguration of Barack Obama.  We were so happy with the discussion that we had – all the Footprinters contributed great thoughts!

After such a busy afternoon, we headed to snack.  Pancakes with maple syrup (Canada) and ants on a log and Gatorade (USA)!


Stay tuned for part 2…what happened that evening!

We’ve been home for 2 weeks (give or take a few hours), and are settling in quite nicely.  We miss Brazil, our friends, and the summer weather.  And we are trying to share what we learned, what we did, and what we experienced.  We only have approximately 4,000 photos to help us!  Part of that sharing is going to be continuing to update the blog, so look for more posts – starting today!

Arriving at JIA!

Arriving at JIA!

As of this post, we have approximately 56 hours of camp left.  56.  Not very much at all.

We have a mix of emotions…I think we are all ready to see our families and sleep in our beds.  But leaving here will be very difficult.  We have lifelong friends, a schedule that does not include school or work, and summertime in Brazil.

The friends we have made and the experiences we have had here have challenged us and changed us.

I´m not sure how much time to post I will have in  the next 56 hours.  But expect some more posts after we return home.  We have lots more stories to tell!

And please remember to be patient with us when we do get home.  We love you all, but will probably be missing our new soulmates at the same time.

See you soon!

One of the many great things about our village is how much energy the staff puts into showing us Brazilian culture.  This week, we had a capoeira group come to the camp and perform.

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian dance performed by slaves as a way to practice martial arts without their owners knowing.  It´s a mixture of dance moves and fighting moves.  The group that came to meet the Footprint Village consists of children who are very poor.  This group teaches them skills – capoeira and percussion instruments – to help them get out of severe poverty.



Even Thomas tried it!


After the demonstration of capoeira, music, acrobatics and folk tales, we ate lunch together.  And then it was the Footprinters´turns to share our culture!  Each delegation gave a short presentation from their own country and showed where we came from on a map.

It was an amazing opportunity and a very fun day!

Just wanted to let all of our loyal readers know that I´ve been having trouble getting pictures uploaded, hence the slow down in postings.  That, combined with a very busy schedule, makes updating difficult.

Tomorrow is Shopping Day, and Sunday is Open Day for the Sao Paulo chapter.  We are less than one week from the end of camp!  And we had a VERY successful national night on Wednesday – I hope to post pictures and details soon.

Boa noite!

Our latest national night was a fun event from Peru and Costa Rica!

We started with the Perutica Fair (Tica is a word for a Costa Rican person).  We played musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey, jump rope, and a game with a very large elastic band that you jump through.


Peru shared a delicious dish at lunch today – pastel de papas – made from potatoes and cheese.  We also got to see two dances.  One is traditionally done before a marriage or wedding proposal and the other is a harvest dance.


Peru Delegation and the Staff

Costa Rica shared snacks – a sweet snack made from guava and condensed milk – and their national dance as well.


We ended with a small dance party!

Muchas gracias, Peru and Costa Rica.

So…you may be wondering…are we really making new friends?

Here´s some evidence for you!

We trust them to lead us blindfolded.


We put our heads together to work as a team.


We plan and make decisions about our camp.