(This guest article was written by our mother, Gail Fowler, as she waited for us to arrive in Cuiabá, Brazil!)
After delayed flights, mixed connections, and misplaced bags I finally arrived in Cuiabá, Brazil on Saturday afternoon. Cuiaba is lush and green, even in the winter dry season, and very hot. More than one resident over the coming days would tell us, with a note of pride, that Cuiabá was the hottest city in Brazil. Unfinished road works and partially constructed hotels showed the challenges of preparing for the Copa de Mundo but from arrival at the airport, Cuiabáns showed their excitement about being a host city and willingness to help out.
Grant and David’s progress before I left indicated that they were a day ahead of schedule so I hoped they would arrive Saturday evening. However, once I had internet access Saturday afternoon, I saw no location updates since early that morning. Where were they? Still no updates on Sunday morning so I headed out in the increasing heat of the day to explore the historic area of Cuiaba. I stood outside a beautiful old church and listened to a choir singing an unknown hymn in rich harmonies. A church elder (?) walked out and invited me in “Entrada, Entrada”. I politely declined and we exchanged smiles. The historic area was quiet with museums and shops closed on Sunday morning so I headed back to the hotel.
Lunchtime – still no updates. I will not panic, I will not worry. Maybe they were kidnapped in Bolivia? Stuck in a ditch in the Pantanal? On the side of a deserted Bolivian dirt road with a broken down Land Cruiser? Arrested for doing something crazy? I will NOT worry. Afternoon comes and goes with another long walk in the Cuiabán heat and watching several soccer matches with new Russian friends. Evening arrives – no Grant, no David. OK – NOW I will worry, they should be here by now? Finally, a honk at the front door of the hotel from a mud-caked Land Cruiser. They have arrived! Vivo el Copa de Mundo!!!