Every year the BYU Founders Board gathers together from different parts of the country to meet in a location for a week-long adventure. Last year we went to the Dominican Republic. This year we went to Brazil to embark on a cruise that left from Sao Paulo, Brazil. For the last week my husband and I traveled on this cruise ship from Sao Paulo, to Rio de Janeiro, to Salvador de Bahia, to Ilhues, to Buzios, and back to Sao Paulo. We flew from Brazil to Atlanta through the night last night and now we are waiting in Atlanta to take the next leg of our flight back to Salt Lake City. By the time you see this blog I will hopefully be safe and sound back in Utah.
About a week before leaving on our cruise I saw the news of the Norovirus having infected an entire cruise ship full of passengers and I thought to myself “do I really want to go on a cruise right now?” The answer was no, especially given how crazy things are trying to finish building our new home right now, and the news of this Norovirus only served as another deterrent. But the fact was the people coming on this BYU Founders trip are some of the finest people I know, and the group is so much fun that I decided to put aside my worries about home, and the virus, and make the trek down to Brazil, and so off we went, excited to see all of our friends.
It would be way too long of a blog to write the details of my entire Brazil trip, so instead I will just touch on a few highlights. There was some amazing awesome things, and some not so awesome things from our trip. I will get through the not so awesome things so I can end on the positive.
When we boarded the boat we were informed that the cruise ship had an outbreak of the Norovirus on the cruise just before ours. The boat was the oldest in the cruise lines fleet and had a few obvious issues needing to be fixed. The boat was rocking so much the first night that people became sea sick and throw-up bags were being given out in the hallways of the ship (with one passenger not getting the back in time and leaving a lovely display in the hall for all to enjoy). Then as the trip went on we unfortunately had several people from our group get sick with a virus, with a few of them actually being quarantined to their rooms for several days on the ship while guys in hazmat suits delivered their food to them (which I was told consisted of only jello and dry toast to eat…ick). At the buffets on board the workers in gloves had to take up the food for the guests as they were trying to contain the virus that had broken out. As more people became ill with the intestinal issues another surprise was left down one of the hallways…I won’t elaborate on that one other than to say double ick…..Then toward the end of the cruise one of the gals from our group got sick and passed out and cut her head open and broke her nose as she fell down. So yeah, that gives you an idea of the not so awesome part of the trip. But oh, the memories it created :)…funny how its the worst parts of the trip that always make for the strongest memories.
Now let’s get to the great part of the trip. We were traveling with the greatest group of people imaginable. I am not sure of the exact count that went but I would guess it was around 80 people total in our group. Many live in different parts of the US so many only see each other during this trip each year. It is like a big family reunion with your friends. So every day we spent talking and laughing and going on exciting adventures together. Then we always ended the night with a big Rook Tournament with couples battling each other for the coveted first place position in the card game. There is no question that spending time with these great people getting to know each of them better was the absolute highlight of the trip. And it was these people that made it worth going through the not so pleasant cruising experience and the long flights to Brazil to come on this trip. The BYU Founders truly are incredible people and Rollin and I feel blessed to call them our friends. Great, great people and we love them all!
One thing I was most excited for on the trip was to see the Christ Redeemer statue in Brazil. This statue is one of the 7 Wonders of the World and just so happens to be on my Goal Poster, so fulfilling this goal was a big deal to me. That means I have now completed seeing 4 of the 7 Wonders on my Goal Poster 🙂
More than anything I enjoyed spending the week with my sweetheart. We both managed to stay healthy and and it was awesome to have time to reconnect as a couple away from the stresses of everyday life. I strongly recommend every couple find a way to get away once in a while and just have an adventure together!
All in all it was an exciting adventure, but I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally be Home Sweet Home….after all, there is just no place like home.
Here are a few fun photos from our trip: