Awoke at 7.30am to a chilly sunny day. Had a hot shower this time and went to the top floor restaurant for breakfast. The view from the restaurant stretched both ways as far as the eye could see, quite breathtaking. Drew remained in his room today to rest and I went off to explore Copacabana and the shops, I can hardly believe I am here!
There are really some very poor and lost souls here in Rio. Children, elderly, cripples and blind can be found begging on the corners. I went to the shops where the average community could be found, not the tourist or rich areas or shopping malls, I wanted to get a true feel of the place. Went to 4 banks to change some US$ into $Real, the queues are very, very long at all banks, usually around 40 people and not many tellers, this did not seem to bother any of the locals. You need to go through two armed security guards at the entrance, then through metal detectors. You remove all change and keys and put through a slot inside another set of doors, you then proceed past two more guards and then into the bank where more armed guards can be seen. Incredibly the banks are still the number one target for robberies. No-one spoke English, so I relied on my book of phrases I had taken with me to get me through. These banks would not buy $US and I eventually found an American travellers exchange bureau, who were happy to exchange my money for a very small fee. The hotel is not prepared to give cash advances or exchange funds.
The shops are great, lots of unusual clothing, cheap shoes and the place is just buzzing. I carried all documentation and money underneath my clothes for safety as tourists are a real target. I had a feeling of fear and excitement walking the streets. It is best to dress and act like the locals, just blend in and do not carry cameras and bags. On the main boulevard of Copacabana where the hotels are, there are lots of restaurants and cafe's. Where the shops are in the back streets behind the hotels, it is impossible to find somewhere to sit and rest over a cool drink or coffee. All the cafes are sidewalk where you stand literally of the footpath - most of Brazil is like this, even the small bars. I went back to the main road and found a restaurant to sit and rest. Even sitting in the cafe you stand out as a tourist, many locals approached me trying to sell T shirts, maps, number plates, all with Rio written on them. I bought a T shirt and then learned to say no. I ordered a club sandwich and coffee. The sandwich was huge, it was toasted, salad on the side, poached egg on top, ham and cheese in the centre and shredded chicken on the side, a meal in its self. The coffee was so strong I couldn't drink more than one sip, so I will stick to Agua (mineral water). Back to shopping!
I met Drew back at the hotel at 2pm for our bus tour of Rio and Corcovado. Drew was feeling much better after resting all day. We went by tour bus around the city of Rio, the favela's (slums), the Rio carnival venue and the huge soccer arena's. We then climbed by bus up Corcovado mountain - this climb can also be done by a public tram to the top. The mountain rises 2,329 feet above the city. At the top is the statue of Christ the Redeemer, standing 120 feet tall made of soapstone and concrete, weighing over 1,000 ton. I had a dream two weeks before that I had been at the statue and when we arrived it was the same as in the dream. The statue was everything I expected and more, an incredible force of energy, I literally felt that I was in the presence of Christ. The 360 degree view of the city was incredible, a perfectly clear day.
There were 200 steps to the top to climb to the statue, with cafe's and souvenir shops along the way. Drew rested up at the first cafe, after counting the steps, I went back down to tell him it was too far to climb but could not find him. After returning to the top for sometime, Drew arrived looking like "Death Warmed Up" - how he made it up I will never know. After a brief few minutes at the top, the heavens literally opened up and the view was gone and down came the rain.
We rested at the first level and when the rain did not pass and everyone was down below waiting in the bus, we made our way back. Drew took his weight with his arm around my neck and I put my arm around his waist and literally tried to lift him as we worked our way down step by step in the rain. When we reached the bus he was grey and could hardly breathe, and we returned to the hotel. On the trip to the hotel Drew was very cold, finding it hard to breathe and was in a trance like state, I spoke to him but he did not seem to hear anything, I was very frightened. Typical of Drew, he had forgotten his food and water to keep up his energy and did not have anything warm to put on after getting wet. He went straight to bed to get warm and rest.
That evening he had improved and we went across the road to a local restaurant for a meal. In the centre of the main road was a market until 1am where the locals set up tents and sell clothes, jewellery, crystals etc, this operates 6 nights per week. I was delighted at the prospect of being able to shop after dark. After looking at the market we were both very sore and went back to our hotel to sleep. I spent a long time sitting and looking out the window at the busy streets and beach, it appeared the night life here never stops.
I awoke early the next morning and once again spent a long time watching from the window as people were only just going home from the clubs etc and already the place was buzzing. We had a 9.30 am check in at the airport for our flight with Varig Airways to Brasilia. At 9am Drew decided he needs a new plug for his earphones and goes off to buy one. By the time he returns and we get to the airport it is 10.30am. Already late, Drew decided to have a shoe shine at the airport and we then discover we need to be at the far end of the airport for our flight. Drew is walking very slow and in pain through the long terminals, I am getting quite stressed we will miss the plane. Finally we find escalators in the terminal floor where he doesn't need to walk which was a great help as once again we cannot find any wheelchairs.
Unfortunately the esculator runs out briefly and rejoins 2 feet after in the middle for no apparent reason, I did not see this as I am talking to Drew, I go crashing to the floor, where he then runs the trolley over me. My arm, hip and pride are hurt and we only just make the flight. Varig Airways have top service, and top planes for the 1½ hour flight to Brasilia, including a meal.
We arrive in Brasilia on Tuesday to a temperature of 30 degrees, and this is their winter, and no humidity. The ground is burnt and dry, and the soil is deep red like clay. Brasilia is the capital of Brazil and was commissioned by the President to build a planned new city that would become the capital, all this within 3 years. Brasilia is a museum of architectural ideas, distances are enormous, it is built for automobiles and air conditioners, not people. Bureaucrats and politicians live in this "pilot plan" city but as soon as the weekend comes, everyone leaves for Rio or Sao Paulo. It is extremely dry and hot with little trees for shelter, with temperatures reaching 50 degrees in summer. It is one of the most expensive and sterile cities in the world. A day in Brasilia is all you need to see the sights.
We have a taxi driver Adolfo waiting for us as arranged with Martin in Abadiania. Adolfo is a lovely man, speaks no English and never stops smiling. I showed him a picture of the Temple of Goodwill and asked him to take us there, as I had been told it was well worthwhile to visit. The Temple was incredible and is a must to see. The Temple promotes ecumenism without restrictions, having as its supreme objective the "fraternization among terrestrial and heavenly beings of all races, philosophies, and religious beliefs". Its measurements and proportions are linked to the number of perfection 7, and also the number 1. A seven facet pyramid and at its pinnacle there is a pure 21 kilo crystal, the largest in the world.
Aldolfo took us for a short tour around Brasilia and then off we went for the 2 hour drive to Abadiania. We arrived at 6pm at Martin's pousada (guest house). The guest house was one of the nicest in Abadiania and Martin and his wife Fernanda were just lovely. We had asked for a room each, unfortunately he was quite booked so I had to take a room in his house for a few days until one became available. The rooms have 3 bunks, toilet and shower and are very basic and clean. You cannot put paper in the toilets in Abadiania so you have a little waste paper basket beside the toilet which you use, a little off putting. You keep the shower on low pressure if you want any heat so the element can heat the water as it comes through the shower head.
The pousada consists of 15 rooms plus a room in their house. There are 3 ladies who do the cleaning and cooking here, they cook lovely meals and we eat together at a long table in the dining room. We had no idea what we were eating at times, but it all tasted wonderful and most of it was vegetarian with a little chicken. The rooms cost $R20 per day including breakfast and R$5.00 each for lunch and R$5.00 for dinner. R$1 was worth approximately NZ$1, so our stay was very cheap. You buy mineral water by the bottles as you cannot drink the water here and they do your washing for $R1 per item, this included ironing. Abadiania is very dry, very poor and very old. It has been recorded as one of the oldest geological areas on earth. The locals live in very small cramped huts with outside toilets and very little of anything else. There are about 5 quite nice pousada's here, the rest are not as nice, and some are very very poor. I would recommend Martin's pousada because it was clean, great food, nice environment and most of all, he is the only one running a pousada who speaks English. He also works as a medium at the sanctuary and can answer everything you need to know and looks after you while you are at the sanctuary as your interpreter. We share the Pousada with guests from Greece, Italy, England, Spain, Germany, U.S.A., all here to see Joao.
We walk 10 minutes to the sanctuary, all dressed in white as requested, this is preferred but not essential. The walk down the road that leads to the sanctuary is part of the journey, as you look down the long road ahead you see large numbers of people in white walking, in wheelchairs, crutches and we all have the same questions, apprehensions and excitement. Those who are unable to walk can go by taxi for $R3. Drew walked when he could with two men from our Pousada with his arms around their shoulders for support. We gather in the main hall with many Brazilians who are more often than not dressed in non white clothing, as many have travelled 35 hours or more on buses and will return the same day, they are often unaware of the preference for white clothing. It is not unusual to have up to 1,000 people assembling at 8am here, we were lucky to have numbers of up to only 800 as the huge drop in the Real currency just before we arrived made the trip financially impossible for a lot of people living in South America.
About 8.30 am we are instructed through prayer and various speakers who have come to share their healing experiences and miracles they have been part of. Unfortunately we understood very little of the Portuguese language, so these sessions were often lost on us. Joao appears on stage and speaks with the crowd, often sharing life lessons. Sometimes he will give visible operations on stage for those who have requested this, and have been chosen, today he chose not to do any visible surgeries. We then line up in queues after being given cards relevant to what we were there for that day - 1st time before the Entity, 1st surgery, review with the Entity etc.
After waiting in line for 2 hours we finally file through the first current room and into the second room where Joao sits in the far corner. Everyone sees Joao, he will take your hand and will give you a surgery time, prescription or some other relevant instruction, all taking about 10 seconds. Whilst waiting in the line he looked up and our eyes met for a brief moment, this was a powerful moment where I felt him look beneath the exterior straight to my soul. I felt I was standing naked in front of a large crowd with my soul, my feelings and my past open for everyone to see. That brief moment, and that brief look made me feel like I had been knocked backwards into a wall, an incredible feeling, amazing and terrifying all at the same time. When I finally got to Joao, he took my hand and looked at me briefly taking a blueprint of my body and what was wrong with me, he looked into my soul and he scribbled a prescription on a piece of paper and uttered something in Portuguese, all this took a matter of a few seconds and it was over. I left the room with Martin who would interpret his words that I was to have an operation on Friday morning. I could not stop crying, and I did not know why. Invisible operations are also happening in the room.
When I left the room I was limping bad with a lot of pain in my left hip. We got a ride back to the Pousada for lunch and whilst I was eating I received a massive shot of pain that felt like a knife put in my hip and twisted. I left the table and went to my room to rest through the pain.
After lunch we returned to the sanctuary for the afternoon session at 2pm to sit in the first current room to mediate, contribute healing and contribute to the current. People are filing through on their way to the 2nd current room to see Joao, we keep our eyes closed sitting on wooden benches, concentrating, I found it very hard to meditate for long periods, as I am not used to this. We remained here until a medium said a prayer which everyone joined in who could speak Portuguese and we could leave, it was 4.50pm and I was in a lot of pain from sitting for so long. We went back to the Pousada for dinner and an early night.
Each evening in Abadiana consisted of a deep immediate sleep, dreaming of the past, issues I had not confronted and dealt with. I would be woken from my sleep about 2pm and would sit for 2 hours dealing with these issues and tossing them away, only then would my sleep resume.
I awoke this morning at 6am with swollen eyes and nose, this swelling went down very quickly. I phoned home, I felt very emotional talking to Craig and missed Craig and the girls terribly, I felt very alone and not in control.
Breakfast consists of lovely fresh pineapple, mango, and watermelon. The table is set with white bread rolls, cake, cheese, crackers and biscuits and coffee. We seemed to be the only ones who were used to cereal as a lot of the guests were used to this type of meal in their own country. After breakfast we gathered at the sanctuary at 8am for the morning welcome and then went to the first current room to mediate, this took 3 hours. Everyone then gathers around 11.30am for the free soup, this soup is delicious and has a special blessing and energy from Spirit. Having this soup daily contributes significantly to the healing process. We return to the pousada for lunch and back again at 2pm for the afternoon.
The people we have met here are wonderful, there is a great feeling of peace and love at the Casa. You feel warmth to your heart and soul the moment you arrive. Drew has been instructed to have his surgery today at 2pm. I wait in the main hall hoping to see some visible surgery today before going to the current room. This morning while we were in the current room, Joao entered onto the stage and performed some visible surgery. He put these long scissors up a man's nose right up to the handle, twisting and turning and removed a large piece of tissue. He operated through a woman's stomach and removed a tumour and scraped a man's eyeball with a knife. This afternoon he spoke to us all about his life, starting up the sanctuary and those who doubt the work and don't believe. I wish we could have understood all he said, we relied on segments from the interpreter. Whilst I was in the back of the current room, Joao passed through on his way to the stage, I opened my eyes to see him stop and place his hand briefly on a little girls who is 3 and cannot walk, talk or support her body, her mother was holding her on her shoulder while she mediated. As Joao briefly touched the girl there was a very loud whoosh sound and the child was asleep instantly, her mother told me later of the feeling as truly amazing.
The author of "The Miracle Man", Robert Pellegrino-Estrich arrived at the sanctuary whilst we were there. I had spoken with Robert on a few occasions before coming to Brazil and it was lovely to meet him and his wife Caterina. Robert was given a visible surgery this afternoon through the nose, I watched this procedure. Robert appeared to be in a trance like state as he was led onto the stage. Joao put the scissors up his nose and twisted and then held them there, the scissors were removed with a large lump of tissue of the end, he had his head pushed forward and some blood ran out onto the floor. He then collapsed back into a chair and was taken to the recovery room. When I later spoke with Robert he told me he was given another surgery in the last room where he felt like something had been clamped on his side and two bolts of pain shot through his side, it was very painful. Later he was very delirious, feverish and had a terrible night. He looked great the next day, although he was unable to leave with Caterina and their tour party due to the fact he had had visible surgery.
Drew had his operation this afternoon. Upon entering the current room, his emotions overflowed, tears streamed out and literally poured out in the operation room. He then experienced short heavy breathing and was told by Patricia (the interpreter) that this degree of pain was quite normal and that the operation had already started. He had only just sat down in the operation room when he felt a 5 inch cut inside his thigh, subtle and deep which only lasted a couple of seconds. Helpers then picked him up and led him to lay on the beds around the walls of the room to receive the rest of the operation. For nearly a minute his actual heart felt like it was being kneaded forcefully from every angle, as if to squeeze out negative feelings and hurts. There were a lot of silent tears for the next 10 minutes and then it was over. He was then led to the recovery room to be watched over by the lady they call "The Angel" who attends to any wounds, covers you in blankets and speaks and sings softly in the most beautiful voice, all in Portuguese. The pain in his groin and thigh from the lump had changed from a gross throbbing pain to only a thin sharp pain where the cut was felt. Drew was able to walk without a limp for the first time in 4 weeks. The swelling of the leg was also reduced immediately.
We arrived at the Casa for what was to be my operation this morning. I lined up in the 1st surgery line and filed through the first current room and then the second where I started to become very emotional the moment I entered, the cross I held in my hand became my strength. I entered with the others into the operation room and sat on the bench at the front, a medium in a wheelchair told me to close my eyes, my interpreter told me to concentrate on the areas that needed the healing. I started to focus of the degeneration of the hips, spine and the separated pubic bone and then my spine and the degeneration in my neck, suddenly I started to have an internal struggle with myself that my neck wasn't as bad as the rest of me so maybe I shouldn't include this area in case the entities ran out of time for the rest of me, as this was all very new and there are no rules, I wasn't sure what I was doing, although you can ask for a number of areas to be treated.
Suddenly I felt like two fists going into each of my hips, first the left and then the right, working and prodding and trying to realign my hips, then the pubic bone and a severe pain in the right groin remained, tears streamed and I felt the presence of God, very overwhelming. I clutched onto the bench sucking in the scream rather than letting it out, I don't know why it works this way. I felt I was still in the process of the surgery when the medium spoke and everyone started to leave, I must leave too. I went to stand but could not, emotions were high and I felt unwell, almost heavy. I was told to wait and then slowly got to my feet, which would not move. Immediately I felt like I was coming out of the spiritual anaesthesia, I felt light headed, nausea and severe groin pain. I was instructed to take 5 deep breaths, breathing in the positive and light and breathing out the negative and lower feelings. Still very shaky, I was taken to the recovery room. In the recovery room I lay on a bed covered over with a blanket and rested. After a while unable to sleep due to the pain but feeling a little better I left the room, once outside the door my head throbbed and the groin pain became to much, I felt like I was going to black out. I was led back to the bed until noon. The Angel lady spoke prayers in Portuguese, her soothing voice and presence made you feel you were truly in the presence of an angel. Whilst I was in the room, many people were brought in, all 14 beds were full as Joao had been doing visible surgery on stage, some were crying, some bleeding. One man had a plug up his nose to stop the bleeding, others had dressings over their wounds. One lady had gauze over both eyes where they had been scraped and the gauze was bloody, a bleeding cut on her side was also weeping. When she left 45 minutes later her eyes were fine and only slightly red.
We were brought some soup to have in bed, prayed and then left. I was driven back to the Pousada and was told not to even carry my backpack after surgery. I spent the afternoon in bed dozing, pain kept me awake. I felt weak, tired, disorientated and unwell. I was delirious, feverish and ill throughout the night. I later discovered a scar from the surgery that ran from my groin to my hip, about 4 inches long, the scar hurt and I was instructed to bathe it with the blessed water from the Casa. This scar was to fade 5 days later as the swelling and the bruising came out.
Mineral water is sold by bottles at the Casa, this water is blessed and many people spoke of minor problems being treated by just drinking the water. It is hard to explain, but I felt a warmth of love throughout my whole body, a peace, a serenity, a feeling of being engulfed by spirit. It was a truly wonderful experience even though I felt tired and in pain. I am truly blessed to have had this experience. I was given a prescription for 3 more bottles of herbs, 1 bottle at a time is taken 3 times per day until finished and then you move onto the next bottle.
I awoke with a sore and swollen groin area where the cut was felt, already the scar is fading. Feeling more normal today I went to Anapolis with Drew, we went by taxi which takes 30 minutes for R$25. We shared a taxi with Martin and Fernanda as she goes there on Saturday to learn English and Martin goes to the markets for supplies. Anapolis is a large town with many shops and very very busy. We had breakfast there consisting of mango juice and a crepe with tomato and cheese, everything else appears to be fried food like burgers and chips. We did a little shopping, found an amazing shop that sold ultra trendy clothes for children only, amazing imitation leather pants etc. Could not cash travellers cheques on the weekend at the Varig office, will need to come back. We went back to the Pousada for lunch and farewelled some of our new friends who were leaving today. When the rooms were cleaned I was finally able to have my own room and bathroom, this was wonderful as I now had a little privacy.
A new lady arrived today from Germany, she had been attacked and robbed of her bag on her way from Germany, lucky her passport and money was on her. She uses her pendulum for everything which was very interesting. Went to the Casa this afternoon to sit and mediate in the grounds, the seats are hard, I should have taken a cushion. The feeling in the Casa grounds is totally amazing, serenity, peace, upliftment and beauty, I think I could stay in that place and time forever.
We spoke a lot about Joao over dinner with Martin. Joao farms at his ranch and also has a farm in Abadiania. He gives his own money to help the Casa survive. Next week he will go to another area of Brazil to heal and then back to the Casa on Wednesday. He will heal up to 9000 people in three days.
Tonight when I slept I dreamt of my mother, I went through her death, planned the funeral with her, she was very happy and peaceful. I then awoke for 2 hours to analyse in depth my feelings and hopefully to learn from them. I left behind many of the issues I carried with me over her death and I am sure this will benefit my healing.