Today, Tom and the puppies and I volunteered at the annual field day at the Consulate, hosted by the American Society of Sao Paulo, a club which we have just joined. We volunteered as members of the Consulate, but worked with members of the ASSP. (We have also joined the International Newcomers Club.) This is one of the many activities that the American Society hosts throughout the year. Their big event is the Christmas Angel Party in November, at which they give large bags of gifts (clothes, shoes, books, toys, etc.) to the children who attend. I will definitely participate in that event.

The field day was a lark for children from eight of the ten agencies supported by the ASSP, children who find food, shelter, entertainment, and nurturing at the various agencies during the week. Among the children are orphans and children from favelas, who spend their days at school or at the community centers, until they go home to their parents at night.

There were volunteers from the Hyatt Hotel outreach program, men from a local futbol club, and men from a local American football team, as well as adults and children associated with the ASSP. Some 80 children attended, and all were very well behaved and polite. And beautiful! Gorgeous on the inside and the outside, with delightful smiles and quick laughter.

Because I only spoke a few words of Portuguese, a few of the children tried out their English with me. “My naaaaaammme is Bruno. You naaaammmmme is Ain.” “I would like a coke, please.” I, in return, would use my few words, much to their delight. They must think Americans are pretty dumb, not being able to speak Portuguese as well as they do.

I helped check in volunteers and then served drinks, while Tom roamed the campus with Cricket and Sydney as his canine ambassadors. As promised when it was suggested we bring the dogs, the children really enjoyed them, though the first thing each asked was, “Elles mordam?” “Do they bite?” One look at the wagging tails and doggy smiles assured them that it was okay to pet them, their only risk being wet puppy kisses.

I met adults from all different parts of the world and look forward to meeting everyone again, which is likely if we become active in both clubs. It was a fine day.