Friday, 11th of March
On the way back to the village
As Marie Hélène and I walked back to Calheta we finally got a glimpse of the kindergarten where some of the small children spend their days. I have been told there is not much entertainment material, so I hope I can bring some next time I come to Cape Verde, as this time it was practicallly impossible to do so with the amount of material I was bringing to work with such a huge amount of children, though I still had some at Sibylle's.
Climbing to the upper part of the village to collect the ordered coconut cakes, I came across some children playing on the bay, whose faces were quite familiar. Just as we were reaching Dona Lala's we saw a little goat with a rather strange wooden stick attached to its nose, which we were told by a child that it was not to allow it to suck the mother's milk ... In spite of not exactly knowing how it works ... I was "impressed" with the "apparatus".
The girls have today shown me they have effectively made some progress in the development of the English Language and may be able to take advantage of some of the response strategies they have learned in these evening classes.
Regarding the diary writing exercise they have submitted (with one exception and two "deviations" to the proposed theme) most girls presented long descriptions of their day-to-day sequencing not highlighting the moments, in what I understood (understand now) to be the routine like absence of less important moments, as anything that happens is considered of importance even if it happens on a fairly regular basis.
The diary and notebook I had for the person who wrote the best diary page was therefore given to one girl, whose approach was quite interesting, as she treated the diary as a friend she was talking to. Not to discourage the other girls (who am I to assess what is important or not in one's life?) I decided to give each of them a precious stone necklace, having been handed out (in turn) several letters which I fortunately decided not to read in class otherwise I would have cried ... because they were thank you letters ... and in a society where most people ignore the effort we put into things to make them work ... I unexpectedely felt I was not used to being praised in such a heartfelt way ...
Village people (wherever you may be ...) seem to be a lot humbler than those (in general terms) who live in the cities ... maybe because the hardships of life have taught them to be in such a way ... but they are equally a lot more thankful than their "higher class neighbours" seem to ... and judging from the things I have been given to either take for the "godparents" as thank you "gestures" for what they have been doing for the children or even for the dedication and committment towards the community ... I must say there is a lot to learn from these Cape Verdians ...
One of the "presents" ("feijão pedra" and eggs, wrapped up in a "souvenir" cloth the boy's mother won last year at the party tombola). Marie Hélène and her "protégéé" with the "present" she was given ("feijão pedra" and "corn").
Note: Both of these ingredients (feijão pedra and milho) are used in the typical Cape Verdian cuisine.
I always feel sad when it is time to go back to my daily routine in Lisbon ... it is like a sense of "leaving behind" children I believe I could do a lot for, if I were to live here ... but the tought of (always) coming back ... "reduces" that feeling of latent sadness ...