Where do I start talking about my good friend Stephanie (Satcher) de Oliveira? I met Steph when I arrived in Portugal. I have no idea when or how we became friends … I just know we did. Somehow we hit it off big time … and I’m so grateful.
Stephanie made me laugh so hard … so often. When you’re in another country without anything familiar … laughter is priceless. We worked together in Rio de Mouro and had a daily goal of trying to con a ride out of Joao Miguel so we didn’t have to walk, take the train, and then take the two buses back to our house.
The daycare at Rio was so fun. Pedro, Angela, and Ishmael were the best. Remember Pedro … the slow eater? One day he was supposed to eat earlier than the other kids b/c he had an appointment with a doctor. His mom wanted to bathe him before he went and he couldn’t bathe if he had eaten (kind-of like the swimming thing). Well … we failed to heed that request … and when he didn’t show up the next day we thought we had killed him. Angela had so much hair. After nap time … she had a Tina Turner thing going on. Then there was Ishmael who really only liked to eat Kiwi. Have you ever changed a Kiwi diaper? Impossible unless you can tag team it … which we did. Gagging the entire time.
One night we made enchiladas for everyone … that was one of my favorite nights. I won’t go into details (because you know… right Steph?) but I figured out how to make the moistest cake you will ever eat.
I don’t know how many coffees we drank, pao de deus’ and pasteis de natas’ we ate. I don’t know how many toys we collected out of those little chocolate Kinder eggs. I don’t know how many times we laughed until we almost wet our pants. But I know I had a wonderful, wonderful time hanging out with Stephanie in Portugal.
We taught a women’s study in Rio. Actually … Steph taught it, I prayed (reading my little Portuguese prayer I wrote down beforehand) and then Steph and I sang, “Unidos au Universo”. I know those women were amazing women of faith and courage … Stephanie taught them about her friend Jesus and they fell in love with Him.
And who could forget Fofa?
Steph I’m so grateful for the time we had. I hate how things change when we all move our different directions. But I live off of those Portugal memories sometimes … the ones with you are good ones.
Please send out some encouragement to Stephanie. She is an amazing woman of strength and faith. I appreciate her presence on this blog.
Steph … how many trips to the airport did we take? Too many, too many ….