Today we presented the final day of the Curso Autossuficiente Profissional (CASP), or in other words, the Career Workshop, for the São Paulo Campo Limpo Stake.
While we present the CASP weekly in the downtown São Paulo Employment Center (CRE), we are trying to take the CASP to the members in the outlying stakes. We are concerned that many can not afford to take time off or the travel expense to be a part of the workshop at the CRE between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm for three consecutive days of the work week. So instead, we proposed that we come to the stake centers and give a 4-hour class on a Friday evening, and then present an 8-hour class the following day.
The first stake to take us up on our offer was the Campo Limpo Stake. After making arrangements to present the CASP in Campo Limpo, an outlying São Paulo "bairro" (neighborhood), we were excited that fifteen members had signed up to be a part of the class. The Campo Limpo Stake Welfare Specialist, Brother Harry Kaestner, requested that we present the course on three consecutive Saturdays, from 9am to 1pm. We agreed to do so, because of the number of potential participants.
Since we were transporting a lot of materials for the course, we elected to take a taxi to this, the first of the three planned sessions. I have attached photos of the Campo Limpo Stake Center. It is a beautiful building, constructed about 3 years ago. The stake recently decided to expand their parking lot to accommodate the members of the stake which is comprised of 7 wards. You may notice that the landscaping is still a work in progress.
Last week we met in the Stake High Council room on the north side of the building (above on the right, toward the back of the building). As it turned out, a construction team was busy with a jackhammer, tearing up a part of the recently completed parking lot, forcing us to retire to a large classroom on the other side of the building.
I have attached photos of the building from various angles for your viewing. It is really a beautiful building, both inside and outside, as you can see. Note the sturdy iron fence that protects the property. It is very similar to the iron fence that surrounds the São Paulo temple and the Church Area Offices here in São Paulo.
What you are looking at in this photo is the front east entrance to the building. The next view is of a narrow courtyard that goes from the front foyer to the back foyer.
The following pictures are of the Chapel (immediately to the right in the above picture), and then of the large Cultural Hall behind the Chapel. Currently, a platform extends out from the stage in the Cultural Hall, apparently for a stake event.
The following pictures are of other views from behind the stake center and from each side of the building. Note the basketball court behind the building.
While 15 participants signed up to take the CASP, only 7 showed up last Saturday, which disappointed both Brother Kaestner and us. Nonetheless, we plodded on, giving the first of three planned sessions.
Today, as we returned for the second day of class, only four participants showed up, which further disappointed us. Since those who came to the class last week will not be able to receive a Certificate of Completion without attending the session they missed, Brother Kaestner has agreed to present the class information they missed today, that is, if they are willing to spend the additional time needed to finish the CASP.
With only 4 participants there today, we decided to consolidate today's class with next Saturday's class, thus finishing the CASP for those who attended. Below you will see the CASP participants, standing for a graduation picture with Carlie and me. Brother Kaestner is the tall individual in the back row.
Following our class today, Brother Kaestner invited Carlie and me over to his home to have lunch with him and his family. I have attached the following picture of Danielle and Harry Kaestner, and their three young boys.
I also took pictures of their neighborhood from their front porch (their home is on the third floor above their auto repair shop building). The first floor is a automobile repair shop, run by Harry's father-in-law and Harry's nephew. Harry's father-in-law lives on the second floor, and Harry and his family on the third floor. They have lived there for the past nine years.
These pictures from the Kaestner porch are typical of the bairros of São Paulo. The neighborhods are quite colorful and remind me of the Brazil I knew as a young missionary.
The Kaestners were married in the São Paulo temple 9 years ago. Both families joined the Church when Harry and his wife were young children, if I remember correctly. Harry served a mission in Provo, Utah, and learned to speak English as a result of four years of study here in São Paulo, and then his mission experience. His wife also speaks some English, and is currently going to school to get her degree in languages. She would like to be a teacher.