"Brazil is more than samba, says elfriede dorsch. The frimmersdorfer should know: she has already been to the sudamerican country seven times. Several times with the travels of the church community, but also quite privately. The prevailing image of brazil in germany is often limited to samba and scantily clad girls, says the frimmersdorf resident.
Rudi fischer, the former pastor of lonnerstadt, was not the only one who always complained about it. Before fischer came to lonnerstadt, he was a pastor in brazil for six years. Fischer initiated an exchange between the church communities with his brazilian brother edio schwantes. In 1994, a delegation from the church community of lonnerstadt traveled to brazil for the first time. Since then, the contact has not been broken off, indeed, real friendships have developed.
In august 2011, 26 church members set off again for brazil. Among them elfriede dorsch, monika and reinhold teufel. After landing in sao paulo, the trip continued via porto alegre to agudo and vila paraiso (rio grande do sul state), where the lonnerstadters spent a few days with their brazilian friends. In the days that followed, the group traveled the country from south to north, covering some 6,000 kilometers by plane and bus.
The clear differences between the south and the north of the country, between rich and poor, were striking. "In vila paraiso in the south, time has stood still. In agriculture, people still work with ox teams", tells monika teufel. There are no paved roads in the small town. "Rubber boots were needed on the way to the supermarket", says, affirms her husband.
About the "mercado, the people of lonnerstadt were amazed at the supermarket in vila paraiso: "you can get everything you need there. Whether it's agricultural fertilizers, foodstuffs, or a quick beer in a bar," he says, reinhold teufel gives his impressions. The fact that they were freezing in the south at six to ten degrees celsius was another matter. In august it is winter there and the houses had no heating. "They always leave the doors open to demonstrate that everyone is welcome."
The people of lonnerstadt were overwhelmed by their hospitality. An old mother had printed it with joy "a real deitsche" to meet devil. The reason for this is that lonnerstadt's partner communities are german, who came to lonnerstadt at the beginning of the 19th century. We saw giant trees that emigrated from pomerania and the hunsruck to rio grande do sul at the beginning of the twentieth century. "Even today everything is written in german", transactive. "When they were children, they all spoke german. In school they had to learn portuguese", says elfriede dorsch.
Because they could no longer live off agriculture in the south – mainly rice and tobacco cultivation – many families emigrated to the state of mato grosso, some 2,500 kilometers away, and built up a new existence there. In nova xavantina and agua boa, the lonnerstadters met the second partner municipality. "It is as if we have known each other forever."
Upswing through soybean cultivation
Brazil is an up-and-coming country, says elfriede dorsch. Reinhold teufel, who visited brazil for the first time in 2003, witnessed the upswing: on his first visit, tarcisio, his host in nova xavantina, still lived in a poor house. Now a stately bungalow stands in its place. Tarcisio cultivates soy on a flat of 1200 hectares.
On their trip through the country, the lonnerstadters also visited sights worth seeing: in foz do ignazu, the world's widest waterfall with 274 cascading streams. The group traveled to the capital city of brazil and to belem at the mouth of the amazonas. For elfriede dorsch it was "like on television. We went by boat through the tropical forests. We have seen giant trees. An unforgettable experience."
In the organization pastor fischer was supported by bernhard maier, alfred freudenthaler and karl kaiser. By the way, the partnership has already resulted in a marriage. During a visit to lonnerstadt andreia from goiania met her husband. The couple got married and now live in nurnberg. A group from brazil is expected this year from 24. To 31. August for a return visit to lonnerstadt. Monika and reinhold teufel's host wants to come to germany next year. The two hope that they will be able to fulfill his wish and travel with him to rome. Because he is catholic.