The meeting on Friday the 13th was a nice way to end the meetings of the 2019 calendar year.  The club was back in our normal room, Ben Lingle received his Blue Badge, and we had one of our very own present  - John Neely!  After all Rotary business items were discussed, Gordon Matthews introduced John Neely who presented on his time in Brazil while he was in the Peace Corps.     
John decided to join the Peace Corps after graduating college.  Once he joined and was assigned Brazil, he had three months of intense tech and language training on a US Virgin Island.  While there, he learned Portuguese and took classes in agriculture and accounting.  After the US Virgin Islands, he lived with a family for a month in a town at the mouth of the Amazon river.  From there, he was put into a farming co-op where he taught the farmers things like accounting and how to run a meeting.  John said while he was in Brazil, he went a full year without seeing any Americans or speaking any English.  After his first year in a farming co-op, he started working for the Secretary of Agriculture and helped him organize volunteers and worked on pamphlets.  
Throughout his talk, John was showing pictures from his time living overseas.  The pictures were of other Peace Corp volunteers, the Brazilian people, places he lived, farming and crop pictures, and Brazilian life.  Rivers are a major part of life in the Amazon with fishing dominating the small towns.  The church is very prominent and a lot of the wealth in the Amazon was created by the rubber boom.