Saturday, March 30, 2013

Travels - Part 3

Thursday, March 21st:
Elder & Sister McKinney at spillway overlook - March 21, 2013
Tour bus to Itaipu

After a late lunch we headed 12 kilometers in another direction. We added Paraguay to our list of visited countries when we visited Itaipu, the binacional, hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.  The tour began with a film and lecture – we again had to leave our belongings in a locker before boarding the tour bus. We were in a bilingual tour sot that everything was repeated in English and Portugés. There are not words to describe our experience. 
The dam is 5 miles long - 8 kilometers

This was a hard hat area for us.

Elder McKinney was very interested!

This area ran clear out of site it was so big.
Our tour touch on three countries
 in South America

State of the art equipment

They are the world’s largest generator of renewable clean energy. We were able to visit the inside of the power plant, stand on and walk along the dam (that magnifies the gigantic size of the dam), view the reservoir, visite the hollow, cathedral-like interior of the dam, see the former bed of the Paraná river, and see the central command room (it looked like NASA). We saw the turbines and generators and then stood in the enormous gallery where the covers of the generating units could be seen.  We say the outflow channel where the water that moves the turbines is returned to the Paraná River to follow its natural course. It was breathtaking. Dad would have appreciated the gigantic power lines leading away into both countries. The power generated supplies most of Paraguay’s power and leaves them enough of their 50% left over to sell to Brazil who then adds it to their 50% to supply a large part of the Brazilian power. Everything about this dam is amazing from its conception, joint country ownership, length of time from conception to completion, and cooperative attitude. I am grateful to have seen it. 

Power lines run miles into both countries
Imagine all that environmentally clean power!

Lincoln, Fernanda, Issac, & Elder McKinney at midnight!
We had pre-arranged to meet with Fernanda (who is the daughter of our branch member-Cida), Isaac and their family on Thursday evening.  Their brother-in-law, Lincoln, picked us up at the hotel around 7:30 and we got to know a little about him as we drove with him and his beautiful 9 month old daughter. He is a member of the church and a flight attendant who flies out of São Paulo three days a week. He has two sons named Moroni and Helaman, who we also met. They joined us for a delicious dinner of beef stroganoff and some lively talk. We share our family pictures and told about ourselves and then learned about them over dessert. We had hoped to convince them to move to Prudentópolis, having been previously told there was a chance they would, but they are planning to stay put in their ward. Isaac is the stake YM president and Fernanda is an avid genealogist. No wonder we talked so long. We eventually got a ride back to the hotel at midnight.
Street performers on our walk to the bus station - they juggled until the lights changed!

Friday morning, March 22nd was our 39th wedding anniversary. We checked out and stored our luggage at the hotel before walking the 100 meters to ­the Zoológico-Bosque Guaraní. We noticed it each day since it was across the street from Terminal de Transporte Urbano where we caught the bus. There was a school class there just like when the kids visit the zoo at home.

Turtles in the sun

You can start to image the garden of Eden

The animals all had slight variations from
those we see in North America.

The turtles are not disturbed by the crocodile.

After we stopped to eat lunch at one of the local lanchonetes we still had about an hour before we need to leave for the bus station so we walked up the street to visit the sidewalk vendors. They seemed to have cheap souvenirs from Paraguay. We were lucky to buy two fleece blankets for $R10 or about $5.00 each and we have been sleeping cozy ever since.

We then took a taxi to the bus station and repeated our trip in reverse arriving home late Friday evening in Prudentópolis ready to get back to work. 
John loved the translations

Google translate?  Is my Portugués this bad?

Great messages in three languages.

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