The Local Guard Force.

I work closely with these good people.  They know me by name, and luckily they wear name tags for me.  The two in the picture below are most interesting.  The one standing next to me is Lucas.  You can tell by his suppressed smile that he is most ornery.  He is vibrant and full of life, happy down deep inside where it counts.  He took his hat off for the picture, but I made him put it back on.

The one on the end is serious as a heart attack.  His name is Antonio Carlos.  He is extremely professional and it took many months of joking with him to get him to respond back.  Now, when I walk past him we will have a hand shaking contest.  I will squeeze his hand until I feel his joints popping.  Afterwards as I walk away, he will shake his hand to get the blood back.

… actually, if the truth be told, it is the other way around.  I am the one walking away shaking to get the blood back in his hand.There is an interesting female guard that I must tell you about.  She does not look Brazilian, but more European.  Because of the massive Japanese population in Brazil, she could be part that.  But she never smiles, so…. I saw that as a challenge.

Every time I saw her I would nod and say, Bom dia (good day), and she would nod back with a polite smile.  Over a period of months, the smile would get bigger.

One day while I was working at one of the Consulate’s gates, I saw a pretty woman enter and pass through the metal detector.  She was laughing and very much at ease, and I found it hard to look away.  Over a period of several months I saw this woman come and go several times, before I realized it is the female guard who never smiles.

A few months ago, I was working in the LGF Command Post during the shift change, and I happen to see her enter to start the checkout process.  I watched her remove her body armor, unload her firearm and check it in.  I watched her remove the tunic she was wearing and complete her required paperwork.  And with each step, I saw her personality slowly transform from serious armed guard, to a frivolous young lady.  At one point, she looked over at me and smiled, without me having to force it from her.

I found the transformation fascinating, yet beautiful.  I wish I had a picture of her to post.  She knows no English, so I can’t pull the 900-year-old mother trick.  Perhaps I will get one someday.

So, take care, kick butt and take on any new adventure you may encounter.  This weekend is the Marine Ball.  MotherDear asked me to take lots of pictures of pretty women, and that I can do.