Every morning Rosileia Mandelli wakes up to bird song. Actually, bird symphony might be a better description for the trilling and twittering that emanates from her kitchen in the early hours of the day.
Alongside family portraits and vacation photos, six bird cages hang on the kitchen and living room walls of her Oak Bluffs home. Adriano, her husband of 13 years, has raised and bred canaries since he was a boy growing up in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, the westernmost city in the state of Paraná.
Rosileia, 39, usually gets up around 7 a.m. and takes her daughter Rebecca, 7, to the Oak Bluffs School before heading off to work. Mrs. Mandelli is the stock manager at Tony’s Market in Oak Bluffs. She started there 17 years ago as a stocker and was promoted after four years.
“I order. I receive. I put in the computer,” she said. An average day involves making orders, noting inventory and placing items on shelves. Some days she calls companies and talks to salespeople about products.
The Mandellis own a duplex in a wooded area on Manchester avenue, which they share with Adriano’s brother, Agnaldo, and his wife. Alasandra, who live on the ground floor.
Rosileia was born in Belo Horizonte. Her first visit to the Vineyard was in 1996. She and Adriano, 40, first met at a friend’s barbecue in 2000. They were married in July. Rebecca, the first child, was born in 2005. She is thoughtful, proficient with an iPad and likes water parks. Her little brother, Matheus. was born in 2011. He is full of energy, talkative and likes going outside. Oh, and he can also high-five and fist-bump.
Friends have said to Rosileia and Adriano that they are a living example of the American dream: a close, immigrant family, owning a home in the United States and working steadily for years.
But even the American dream has shades of gray. Adriano talks to his mother on the phone regularly, but it has been years since he last saw her in person. She is planning a visit soon, or in August, depending on when she buys the ticket. Rebecca and little Matheus are excited to meet their vovó for the first time.
The Mandellis belong to Vineyard Assembly of God, a church located along State road in Vineyard Haven. Recently Rosileia completed a theological course through the School of Theological Education of the Assemblies of God.
For the last four years, Rosileia has spent three hours every Monday night in the classroom. Her coursework required 32 books, each focusing on a different aspect of Assembly theology.
“We learned a lot about the Bible,” she said. “The best way to run the church.” Generally people take the course in order to become a preacher or a pastor. In Rosileia’s case, she wanted to further her education and learn more about Christian scripture. “Adriano used to attend,” she said. “Then we had kids, and [the schedule] was very hard for us.”
Weekends at the Mandelli household are reserved for family time. Sometimes Rosileia takes the kids to the arcade, Flying Horses carousel and to the movies. When Adriano has time, he goes fishing with his buddies.
But raising birds is his passion. One he named Beethoven, another Pavarotti. One is waiting for a name. Sometimes Adriano records their song on his smart phone and listen to the playback.
“They sing in the morning,” he said. “They sing all day long.”