For the first time in two weeks half of us had 24 hours free which was much-needed and also a lot of fun. I spent the day with three Brazilians here in the U.S. for the first time and who were absolutely ecstatic about being able to explore an American city and go shopping. Their excitement was very contagious and it was fun to be a tourist in my own country as well as be able to show them around a little bit. As with Andrew who was visiting from New Zealand, it was fascinating to see what they wanted to take pictures of and what they had questions about.
We made it about 5 minutes from camp before we had to stop and take pictures of some deer that we spotted on the side of the road. When we got to town, they wanted to take pictures of houses, campers, trailers and backyards because everything looks so different from Brazil. Our first stop was the laundromat which was a bit chaotic because laundromats don't exist in Brazil and they had never used dryers before. After the laundromat, we headed to Walmart which caused literally hours of exclamations of delight and disbelief at the amount of choice, variety and the low prices. Stores like Walmart don't exist in Brazil and most things are very expensive.
After hours in Walmart and Target we headed to Applebees for lunch for a feast of American food and some beers. After lunch, everyone wanted to do more shopping for presents for friends and family back home. My favorite quote of the day was, "Eu quero morar no Dollar Tree / I want to live in the Dollar Tree". By far, the favorite store of the day was TJMaxx because of all of the brand names famous in Brazil at ridiculously low prices. We were there until closing.
Packing everything and everyone into the car for the drive home was a bit of a puzzle and we got all of the doors closed just in time before it started down pouring. On the thirty minute drive back to camp we received a call from the dean that there was a tornado watch and to come directly to the basement where all campers and counselors were packed in like sardines and anxiously waiting for the weather to pass. It was a rather dramatic end to a crazy day.