Friday, December 5, 2008

Amy Came to Visit (Thanksgiving)

This year was Amy and mines 6th Thanksgiving togehter. I use to pray that God would send me someone to take home for the holidays, thinking that that would surely result in a boyfriend if at least not a date! Well, God gave me Amy. Ironically I have had a boyfriend for two Thanksgivings and I still have spent Thanksgiving with Amy instead. However, this year was much different because we celebrated together here in Brazil. Amy got here on Saturday November 22 and left a week later on the 29th. We tried to pack as much as we could in 7 days.

Saturday = our version of Thanksgiving here in Itu since Brazil doesn't have Thanksgiving

Sunday = I took Amy on the walk to Church, basketball with the Youth group, and off to Rio via bus

Monday = stayed at a Hostile in Rio and sadly strolled down the beach in with clouds looming and rain coming, and we went to a ginormous mall with a small Statue of Liberty

Tuesday= We met Jesus in the clouds at the Cristo Redentor Statue and spent some time with Adrienne de Almeida (a missionary in Rio) and her husband Rodrigo, we had a tire blowout on a 1963 Fusca on the way to the bus station

Wednesday = We got to the São Paulo bus station at 5:30 A.M. and eventually went to the Cathedral de Sé and the Mercado Municipal where I had a ginormous bologna sandwich

Thursday = We had Portuguese Class, we visited Celia's salon, walked around downtown and all the "BIG" things in Itu, had Acai, and joined the youth group

Friday = We had Yuppie Lunch, went to the Chocolate Farm, had Acai again, and then went to Cafundo and heard a guy that actually covered English songs well

Saturday = We went to the Hippie Fair in Campinas via bus, returned late, and graciously Vitinho took us to the airprort!

Overall we had a great visit! I am so glad Amy got to come visit and see all the things I get to see here!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Pictures (October/November)

Hey, FINALLY, here are some more new photos:

You will find pictures of the salon remodel, the soccer game in São Paulo with the youth group, our trip to Rio with Ro Diaz, setting and art performances from Ro, Halloween, and various other great times!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Celia’s Salon (After)

Although we committed one weekend (October 11-13) to remodeling a nail/hair salon, it was a long and eventually rewarding process. For anyone who knows my background, after 7 years of education, this salon was my first REAL project. I was able to do pretty much every aspect on the job, including initial schematics, final design, project management, budget, buying, manual labor, and clean-up. There were multiple aspects to the project. This semester the youth group had watched the movie, Pay it Forward, where the young boy in the movie suggests that everyone do three BIG things for three other people. In return he only asks that they do something big for someone else, hence pay it forward. Well, doing something big for Celia, fit into this concept. Although I got to do a design and Carol and I used our funding to make this project happen, it is mostly about serving others in the name of Christ. The youth group made this project happen along with some really awesome people who gave up part of their weekend. Although the design was brewing for about 2 months, the actual execution of the project took place over about 2 weeks, and really just one weekend. We bought supplies in São Paulo the week before. Then the Thursday night youth group was used as a service night and we spray painted shelving and made vases to hang in the salon. Projects continued on to Saturday at 5 when the salon closed and we moved in. I like to call the project, “While you were out, Itu style.” We worked from 2 p.m. -10 p.m. on Saturday, 2 p.m.-10 p.m. on Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Monday. We cleaned, taped, PAINTED, painted, and painted some more, made flower arrangements, rearranged furniture, and turned a very industrial looking space into a girly salon, in the Victoria Secret, pink/black color scheme. Celia came back on Tuesday morning and seemed shocked that we had finished so much. There are a couple of impending projects, but for all intensive purposes we are DONE.

Graphics for Ro

One project I was asked to help with is the prep work for the art exhibition and live art shows that artist Rolando Diaz is doing as a fundraiser for the church construction here in Itu. I was able to make a pamphlet introducing the events we were proposing to the mall and certain people in the community. I also made a flyer for the events (front and back pictured above), of which they made 5,000 copies. I also turned the flyer into a poster that they sent to MANY, many more people. At this point, I just hope I spelled everything right!!!

Minha Casa

Dorcas, one of the women from church who teaches the children’s class, requested that I build her a house for use in illustrating family concepts to the children this year. She visited with me and told me the stipulations of the project. She needed a portable, fold out house that could be carried by one handle and had room for her other books for the class. Therefore, I took a cardboard box, cut off one end for the base, attached the sides of the house with paper hinges, and used recycled materials to decorate. My favorite touch is the “stained glass” window made out of the end of a plastic cup and markers. Dorcas was so proud of the house she showed it to the whole church one Sunday when they were thanking those who contribute to their weekly projects. It was a lot of fun, and now I know how to make a portable dollhouse for future reference.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Celia's Salon (Before)

One of the projects that I have the privilege to work on while I am here is a hair and nail salon for a woman from church, named Celia. She has been working at her current location for 3 ½ years. Currently there is poor organization and a color scheme of grey and white with black furnishings that adds up to a space that is lacking inspiration! My task is to re-design this space without major damage to the infrastructure since it is rented. Upon interviewing Celia I have found that she would love to have a space which serves the clientele, women. A space that celebrates a more feminine, romantic approach to life. Also, I am trying to implement a design which will function well for the tasks at hand (no pun intended). Yet, another consideration is fact that the underlying theme of the time Carol and I have spent in Itu has been trying to renew the old, recycle the used, and move toward an approach of more environmentally responsible way of living. Therefore with all of this in mind, I am posting pictures of Celia’s current situation and will reveal the final design after our “While you were out” service project weekend with the youth group on Ocober 11-13.

Also, we have been here for about 3 months and really have about 2 months, busy months, to go. October holds a variety of activities: Celia’s Salon, Art shows and display by Rolando Diaz, and Trick or Treat for Cans. November: Women’s missionary conference, Amy Leber is visiting me for Thanksgiving, and whatever else God brings my way. December: wrapping up and we leave December 9.

Thanks for your continued prayers and in case you ever want to know more, email me at, or Skype me (name: amanda.gene.scott) !

Love and God’s Blessings, Amanda Scott

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Random Really Cool Things

The interesting life of a blog includes the fact that any entry seems like it is going on the runway at a fashion show. It feels naked if it doesn’t have all the right pictures or the latest most up to date information, but I thought about all the blog posts that don’t make the “style” cut and realized that if I put them all together, someone find this information more interesting than all the pictures I could ever post!

AS OF TODAY, I just got back from my visa trip to Uruguay. A tourist visa has to be renewed every 90 days, so Carol and I took advantage of doing that before life here gets even crazier. I will save more about this trip for it’s own blog entry.

Every Thursday night Mark and Ali host the youth group at their house for a Bible Study that is on a rotating basis. The structure is in a 4-week set of “Scripture”, “Media Activity”, “Scripture”, and “Service Activity.” Lately we have been talking about slogans for your life. Using various scriptures from the book of Matthew, the youth breaks up into groups, summarizes the scripture, and then writes their “slogan” for the week on the garage wall. The last media activity was the movie “Pay it Forward” which has the concept of doing a big gesture for another person and simply paying it back by doing something big for someone else. The service project was a collection of used clothing that will benefit some other ministry projects including the Sito Shalom (see below), and the Lar (orphanage), and also as a way to promote a culture of re-use and recycling. We are planning on attending a soccer game at the end of the month and our next service activity involves a design project for a nail salon that I am working on. Overall, I adore the youth group. They are a lot of fun and bare with my lack of Portuguese. Carol and I even joined two of the youth (Kelly and Isaias) at and elderly home where they volunteer their time twice a week. Mark and Ali call the youth group, “The Kaiseres (their last name)”, but I like to refer to them as the Kaiserettes!

The Sito Shalom is a drug and alcohol rehab facility that was just started about 3 or 4 months ago in a nearby town called Indaiatuba. The facility was started by another church in the area and Mark and Ali were recently introduced to it by a young man that came up to them one day seeking their help. They were able to get this man help at the facility and in turn it has opened up a place with vast opportunities for service projects. A few weeks ago we took the youth group there and helped with gardening for a Saturday afternoon. The young man, Odair, it turn out love AutoCAD and has worked with it for seven years. So, me and my computer might be making our way out to the Sito Shalom and seeing if we can help this man get back on his feet and actually have a future. The ministry there is very similar to a facility Carol and I worked at last summer in Porto Alegre for a week.

That is actually the word for gym here in Brazil. I have been attending a local gym for the past month with Guto and Ivan, two of my friends from church. Sadly, Ivan will no longer be able to join, but Guto and I are trying to keep each other accountable. I have lost a few pounds, but have quite a ways to go. I am gaining more muscle and can definitely tell a difference in being able to get around this city by foot and bike a little easier. Guto and I usually use the time to talk about the church and God and what we think he is calling us to do so it is rather productive on many levels.

Carol has three or four Spanish students. I have one English student. David and I will meet for our third class tomorrow. It has been a little unstructured, but I hope we will soon iron out the best way for him to learn better and for me to teach better.

Carol and I are still taking 3 classes per week with Alini. While I was in Porto Alegre I actually spoke in a little Portuguese in front of a group at the Chacara and at House Church. So, I understand more and can say more, but it is still tedious and much studying ahead is needed.

That is a lot of random for now; I will add more as it comes. I hope you enjoyed it!

Love ya and God’s Blessings, Amanda

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Updated Address Info

Here is my updated address info:

Amanda Scott
Bairro Vila Nova
Rua Capitão Fleming, n. 135, APT 408
Centro Itu/SP
CEP: 13.309.010

For your information:
Regular mail takes 14 days and packages take 25 days

Any and all mail is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A.C. Camargo

Even in South America, connections and networking mean everything in healthcare. The sister of my Portuguese professor is a speech pathologist and PhD student at A.C. Camargo, the Cancer Hospital in São Paulo, and pretty much, Brazil. On Monday, Anete took Carol and I with her to visit the hospital. I had a blast and realized that I really enjoy being in places where people seek healing. (I think that might also be why I like churches as well.) You can definitely tell that I have just been through architecture school because I was asking questions like “How many additions have been made to the original structure?”, “How are the additions connected to each other?”, “How many patient rooms are dedicated to one nursing station?”, and “How are the patient rooms designed?”. The original “house like” hospital is still used for research purposes, but the majority of the patients are treated in two additions that are bridge together. The hospital is also adding a new 8 story laboratory building that is currently under construction. It is the first building in South America that I have seen using a crane for construction. Usually I have just seen the traditional brick and concrete only. Overall, my favorite features were the interior doors and use of exterior windows on the newest addition. In the U.S. we have to use doors according to fire codes to separate areas. Where there might be a heavy magnetized, automatic closing fire rated door in the U.S., here there are all glass automatic doors. You never really have to guess what is in the next hallway because you can see right into it. The family rooms and the elevator lobbies are designed to share an exterior wall so there is a floor to ceiling glass wall in each elevator lobby and in each family area. It is rather nice to be in those spaces. The cafeteria had a wall of windows that looked to a nice garden area and was also a very nice space to be in. The strangest thing in this hospital had to be the “chapel” which was a strange rock formation that held a Virgin Mary and a kneeling statue. Overall it was great to experience what is considered the best cancer hospital in Brazil, which is actually sister hospital to M.D. Anderson.
That was probably way too much talk about the building, but that is what I really see when I go to a hospital. I am hoping to see Anete in Houston one day. She has a dream of visiting M.D. Anderson with interests in Head and Neck oncology. It has been fun getting to know the extended family of some of our friends here in Itu.

For pictures, please go to:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Olympics _ Our Way!

Carol and I helped put together a combined social event for the youth group and yuppie group (basically ages 12-30). We had the get together at Mark and Ali’s house. We were originally going to center the social on watching an actual game, but later having been unable to acquire a T.V. with the Olympics, we switched to a themed party. There was an option to wear either Chinese costume or a sports outfit. We served chicken fried rice (Ali did a great job cooking) and noodle soup. We had fruit fondue for dessert (I am not quite sure I would classify this as Chinese, but it was good!) For games, we played an orange dancing game where two partners dance with an orange between their foreheads and have to dance without touching. Isaihas, one of the youth group members, was my partner and we got second place. We had a medal ceremony after each game. Isaihas proudly wore the silver medal. We also played “Name that flag” and we had a “Best of Origami” competition. Overall it was a really good get together with about 30-35 people. We must have spent three hours putting up balloons to form the Olympic rings and Carol made a great Olympic torch (it was a cold rainy night since it is winter here so Bruno tried to use the flame).

This is the first of the socials here in Itu. We are planning to do one each month for the rest of our time here (which is about 4 months now.) In September we want to go to a soccer game in São Paulo. Along with the social events each month we are planning to do a service day with the same group of people. This first service day coming up in August is planned to start helping a farm in a nearby town that helps men with drug and alcohol addictions. This place is very similar to the Chacara in Porto Alegre last summer. However, this place is three months old and we are hoping to gather supplies (like clothes and toiletries) that they could really use to get started. This service project will play in with the ideas Carol and I have for recycling. If we can get the church to start by “recycling” some of their old clothes, then we will be doing well.

I hope to share more with you soon! For pics of the Olympic Social, please go to:

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Carol and I just returned from a weekend in Brasilia. In case you did not know, it is the capital of Brazil and very centrally located within the country. About thirty years ago, the city was planned in the shape of an airplane and sectioned off into sectors for each component of the city. The hotels have their own sector, the commercial center is sectored off, and the main “fuselage” of the plan is the government offices and ministries. My favorite part was getting to see the National Congress (pictured above). If you have ever studied modern architecture, you always run across this building by Oscar Niemeyer. Brasilia is pretty much like Oscar Niemeyer’s playground. He seems to have at least one of everything designed and built there. From an architecture point of view, this was a great place to experience for its rich desire to be a Modern city in plan, form, and execution. One of the best highlights from the trip was visiting the Cathedral. I have always loved church design! Besides the great experiences in architecture, Carol and I got to stay with some friends of our friends here in Itu. We stayed with Luis and Dora Mack, the brother and sister-in-law of our friend Jorge. They are so nice. It was a neat extension of the church here to see the influence one of their members is having as he now worships in Brasilia. Luis and Dora are very spiritual people and I adore the fact that they are so hospitable, kind, and caring. They made us breakfast everyday, cooked dinner for us, introduced us to Dora’s brother and sister-in-law who also had us over for dinner, and drove us everywhere we needed to go. They don’t have a car, but they borrowed her brothers’car just for us! Carol and I joined a study abroad geography class from Texas A&M on their last stop in Brazil which was Brasilia. We got to meet with the minister of economics for Brazil and study some of the neighborhoods and surrounding satellite cities. On Sunday, we spend the day with Luis and Dora. They took us to a fabulous bridge, the waterfront on the lake, the T.V. tower which gives an overview of the city, and to visit their good friends who have a new 2 month old baby!

Here is where my favorite story begins! Carol holds the baby (Isaac) for about 10 minutes and then she gives the baby to me! His dad got really excited and took out the camera for Isaac’s FIRST picture with an American! Carol and I are both Americans of course! I just laughed because I asked what happened to his first picture with a Mexican American! Carol is great and she didn’t say anything, I think she thought it was pretty funny too! Oh, and the man asked me if I was famous in America. I should have said I was famous only to my friends, but I said no. We left on Sunday night at 8:30 and got to Itu around 11:30 on Monday afternoon! Yay for long bus trips!

Now, we are currently getting ready for our first activity as interns: A social event for the youth and yuppie group as a kick-off party for the Olympics!

For pics from Brasilia, go to:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Pictures!

Please go to the following link for more pictures! Carol and I had quite an eventful Tuesday this week, check it out.

God's Blessings, Amanda Scott

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sao Paulo

Carol and I were able to go into the BIG city of Sao Paulo (third largest city in the world) for the first time this past Friday. It is about an hour from Itu. We joined Mark, Ali, and our friend Vitinho for a fun filled day of lots of walking, people, and merchandise. Our first stop was a large market that is inside of an old train/bus station. The building itself is really neat with lots of natural light and stained glass windows. Much of Sao Paulo has a large European influence. They had EVERYTHING at the market. You could find really expensive olive oil. Olive oil is a really important ingredient in Brazilian food. They add it to potatoes, chicken, salad, and even pizza! We also tried garlic from a vat of olive oil and a large seed of which I cannot remember the name. They had fish and meat everywhere just out in the open covered in a lot of salt. They had the prettiest selection of fruits and vegetables I have seen. We tried some large blueberry-like fruit that grows on tree branches here. My big purchase was 250 grams of dried apricots. My favorite new food item has to be candied lemon and orange peels (so good). After finishing a large slice of pineapple, we went to Rua Veinte Cinco de Marzo (forgive spelling errors) which is known for the shopping. Ali was rug shopping but was unable to find one she liked. Vintiho bought a watch. They had the largest collection of knock-off designer watches I have ever seen! I was tempted to buy me a fake Swatch watch, but decided to keep my $6.25 for now. After our shopping phase, we toured the refurbished stock-market exchange. Since most of the stock market is done via computers, the trading floor has been redone as an homage to the past days. We watched a 3D movie on stock investing and trading. My favorite part was the interior design. They had these really neat round doorways and a exhibit in a series of “blue lit” glass rooms that housed museum type stock market paraphernalia. The last stop on our extravaganza was the Cathedral de Se. The Cathedral is at the heart of the city and is actually the starting point for all kilometer markers in the state of Sao Paulo (it is a state and a city, kind of like if there was a Texas, Texas). The Cathedral was reminiscent of a gothic cathedral one might find in Europe. It was HUGE! It was interesting getting into the cathedral because all of the Postal workers that are on strike here were staging the strike on the Cathedral steps. By the way, I will NEVER, EVER complain about Houston traffic again. Sao Paulo is much worse. Thank God I was not driving. After the Cathedral we went to our friend Pedro’s apartment and made the best grilled chicken on a George Forman grill. At 12:15 we went to see the new BATMAN. It was awesome, but really dark. Any of the healthcare architecture majors will appreciate the use of hand sanitizer in the hospital scene (that is all I will give away). After going to bed at 5:00 AM, we got up and made French toast on the George Forman grill! It is amazing how much you can do on one of those things! We rearrange Pedro’s furniture (for which he was thankful) and we headed back to Itu.
Saturday afternoons are filled with dance lessons! I will have to take picture next time. The dance classes mainly focus on a Brazilian dance called Forra (once again I don’t know how to spell this.) It reminds me of swing dancing mixed with two-stepping and a little salsa. The dance class is actually all members of the yuppie group from church which makes it a lot of fun.
On a great note, we started Portuguese lessons today at 7:00 A.M. It is hard to speak English at that hour! Hopefully I will be able to add to some Portuguese to this blog in the future. Well, you are probably tired of reading and I am tired of typing so until next time, have a beautiful day!

Love ya, Amanda

P.S. Please check out my Sao Paulo pictures at:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Chocolate Farm

Today Carol and I joined the youth group from Igreja de Cristo for a walk to a nearby chocolate farm. The 10 mile trek felt more like a hike for sure! I really like the fact that we get to do a lot more walking, due to the fact that we do not have a car, are centrally located to almost everything, and the people here actually like walking! I used my very broken Portuguese to at least exchange names with a few of the youth. However, my Portuguese has a VERY LONG way to go. Carol and I start Portuguese lessons on Monday at 7:30 in the morning (a little early!). I am excited to hopefully being able to say more that “my name is”, “how old are you”, or “do you have any brothers or sisters”. We have been able to spend the past couple of days brainstorming projects for our internship with the missionaries we are working with (Mark and Ali Kaiser). Everything is in the planning stages right now, but it seems like we are going to get to work with the youth group to plan service activities, hang out with the yuppie group (the 20-somethings), and pursue interests to our individual liking. I am going to start talking to a couple of businesses that need some design advice. I will let you know how it goes. Friday we are going into Sao Paulo to visit another camp and see the new Batman movie! Our apartment is coming along, we have almost got everything we think is essential to making it fully compatible with living conditions for the next few months. Please continue to pray for our time down here. I must admit that I am missing my family, boyfriend, and friends dearly; but completely excited to see what God has in store here.

Love ya and I hope God Blesses your day, Amanda

To see pictures of the chocolate farm, go to:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Our Apartment in Pictures!

So, here are a few pictures of our apartment! Enjoy! We live on the 6th floor of an apartment/hotel building that is near the church office. It is kind of like a dorm room, but much cooler by virtue that it is in Brazil. Thes images show one side of our room, the other side, and the view from the window!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Our Apartment

Carol and I moved into our apartment today! No pictures yet, but I will post some soon. We get a great view of the city from the 4th floor and the top floor of the building has windows all the way around so we can see a lot of Itu. Groceries, blankets, toilet paper, and a few other items will hopefully make it feel more like home, soon. Check out the other blog links I added to my blog, including Carol´s.

God´s Blessings, Amanda

Sunday, July 6, 2008


So, I have finally put up some pictures from Brazil, read the comments in the order of the pictures to kind of get what is happening in them!

Enjoy and I will write more soon!

Love ya, Amanda

Friday, July 4, 2008

Back from Camp

We made it back from camp and Friday we got to have fireworks for the 4th of July! I don´t think I have ever celebrated American Independence in a foreign country before! I will write more when I can put up some pictures from camp. The group from Highland is still in town and we will be going to a Praise Festival (four Christian rock bands) tomorrow night. We are moving into our apartment on Monday and I will write more soon!

Love ya and God´s Blessings, Amanda

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Here in Itu, spelled I-T-U, not E2!

Hello everyone, I just wanted to declare that after a 24 hour delay, realizing I am definitely lactose intolerant on a 8 hour flight, and losing Carols baggage for a while; we made it to Itu, met the 50 or so from Highland, and leave tomorrow afternoon for a camp and we will be gone through Thursday! Please continue to pray for us that God would bless the camp ahead and that I might pick up some Portuguese quickly!

Love ya, Amanda

Address you may reach me at for now:

Mark and Ali Kaiser
AV. Boa Vista n.25
Itu, Sao Paulo, 13301460

Antenor and Phyllis Goncalves
Al. Dos Jerivas n.19
Condo. Portal de Itu
Itu, Sao Paulo, 13301635

Phone if necessary:
11-40220064 (their house)
11-96499435 (their cell)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Brazil Fundraisng News

To this date, I have raised $2,985 of the $4,000 dollars I am needing to raise for my mission trip to Brazil. Thank you to all who have so graciously donated. If you would like to help me reach my goal, please contact me at
Carol and I are leaving on June 26th and returning on December 10th. The missionaries, Mark and Ali, we will be working with are in Texas this next week, so we hope to meet them while they are so close! We are in the process on applying for our visas. It actually takes quite a bit of information.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we have a lot of preparing to do and a lot of packing to do!

Have a blessed day, and thanks for taking the time to read this!
Love ya and God Bless ya, Amanda

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Graduation and Mexico

Life may finally settle down a little bit now. I graduated last Friday with my Masters in Architecture from Texas A&M University. I also received my certificate in Health Systems and Design. It was a really great day because I got to share it with my friends who have struggled through the degree with me, my family, and Luis, of course. I actually moved out of my house in College Station and jokingly comment that I left such a big impression, it is taking two new roommates to fill my old spot in the house. My personality is just that big! After graduation, I went to Mexico with Luis to see where he grew up. I had such a great time. He was right, as soon as we got there we started eating and I don't think we stopped until we left. I really liked his house, but was intrigued by the fact that they do not have grass. Mowing grass was practically my past time as a child! and they don't have any in their yard! We went to a local cathedral with an amazing stained glass window, the schools Luis went to from first grade through high school, hid dad's clinic, a hospital (for fun), and I got to meet his godfather. On the way back we even stopped in San Antonio and saw my favorite gazebo and ate on the river! It was one of the best vacations I have ever been on! Life after school is a concept I will have to delve more into! If you have any suggestions for what to do now, let me know!

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Site in Progress

If you are reading this blog, chances are that you recently received an informational letter about my upoming trip to Brazil. This site is in progress and will eventually have postings from my trip last summer to South America that will eventually lead into my time in Brazil. As I am concentrating on finishing up graduate school, the biggest blog updates will come after May 9! Thank you for checking my blog and I hope to have more for you to look at soon!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Beginning

Here begins my journey the Southern Hemisphere. I will let you know how it goes.