Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Cape Verde, Praia - São Tomé and Lisboa - The 12th (afternoon) and 13th of November 2013 (early morning)


I had an excellent lunch of "bogolom" beans at Flor de Lys restaurant, which allowed me not to be disturbed by the increasing number of city dwellers (mostly "beggars") asking foreigners for money, which very much sounded like it could be used for drug consumption. In fact most petty robberies and pick-pocketing activity in Praia, according to what I was told, is drug oriented, which is a pity really, considering that drugs are brought onto the island.

I soon found myself sitting on the High School Square watching students of all ages walking in and out of its premises in their rather sober-looking uniforms and after having done so for a while took to the reading of my Paul Auster's book, whose story I had been taking much pleasure in and finished the few pages that were left.

I had decided to meet Bela after her working shift so as to drive her to São Tomé community to see her daughter, a trip she couldn't afford but twice a month. The idea was to  hand her out a dress her "godparents" had sent for her and have a few pictures taken as well.

I was touched by the outburst of happiness on the part of Lidiane, who wasn't expecting her mother to come by but in two weeks. She was allowed to leave school for a few brief moments, before having been called back in.

I was shocked by the semi deserted  surrounded area and yet astounded by the fact that a "school (if one should call a patio-like dwelling as such) was organised to provide the very few children of the community some form of education. 

I had the chance of meeting some of Bela's family members before hopping back onto the taxi, whose driver had to wait for us all along. The taxi fare was fairly expensive and although I hadn't asked Bela any specific questions before I could then fully understand why she had to sacrifice not seeing her little girls as often as she would certainly have liked to.

An out of the ordinary house stood there in the distance and it wasn't long until I found out it belonged to a long time friend, Zézito who has been living in the Virgin islands for quite a while. Having to leave the islands is for most Cape Verdians a necessary venture but their sense of belonging is very strong and  they hold onto it for as long as they can. It is known that most Cape Verdian immigrants go back ot at least maintain a strong bond with their motherland.

Once back in the city I either walked up and down the long pedestrian street in front of the hotel or sat at the hotel lounge reading a Frida Kahlo's biography I had brought with me until it was time to board the flight.

The flight landed at Lisbon airport around five in the morning and because I decided to go straight to work had to wait for the Training School premises to be open by six.

No comments:

Post a Comment