Sunday, 7 December 2014

Praia, Santiago island - Cape Verde - The last moments - The 27th of November 2014 (afternoon)

As we were making our way up onto Plateau I noticed a lady packing "camoca" (a sort of peanut powder), a local flour-like product I got used to having mixed in my cup of milk every morning as I was travelling around the Cape Verdian islands back in 2001. I believe the grains can also be grinded  with a mill like the one we saw standing close to the lady, though at the time I was used to seeing women grinding them with stone mills.  

Noëlle  and I had a very delicious plate of "búzios" (dog whelk molluscs) at Flor de Lys restaurant in Plateau. Because Noëlle had never tasted such molluscs before I decided to take her into the local Plateau market to show her those, as well as gourds which she also hadn't seen before.

As we made our way through the busy vegetable and grain area part of the market I decided to "introduce" to some of the most commonly used beans in the Cape Verdian cuisine.

We finally found a woman selling and preparing dog whelks, which are considered delicacies throughout some seasons. It was a pity we didn't have time to try out a few other Cape Verdian plates (namely octupus the Cape Verdian way) and especially desserts, which are among some of the most creative ones I have seen throughout my travels around the world.

Once we left the market we walked into the Ildo Lobo's Association (former Portuguese Institute) where a caricature painting exhibition was going on.


Nácia Gomi (left). Cesária Évora (right).

Cape Verde's actual president  (left). The well known poet and writer Arménio Vieira  (right).

The painter Tchalê Figueira

Before getting back to the hotel so as to await the bus that would take us to Nelson Mandela International airport we still perused into the church and sat through the preparatory advice and "rehearsa"l procedures for the comunion celebration of some twenty children who were  sitting next to us. Quite an experience, I would say ...

We stopped (briefly) at Sofia's Café where I wanted to introduce Arménio Vieira to Noëlle, once he used to be (amazingly enough not to be seen then) a permanent guest and a chess player throughout the day, so long as Sofia's was open.

We noticed there were already some placards outside appealing to solidarity acts concerning the support to the population affected by the eruption of Fogo volcano, which didn't surprise me at all taking into account the solidarity approach Cape Verdians seem to have.

Paintings inside Sofia's Café

Having been told that the French institute would soon be leaving Cape Verde followed by the Embassy of France we couldn't resist alking into the library of the Franch Language Institute housed on the gound floor of a former school (I believe) next to Sofia's. I feel Cape Verdians will be at a loss if what we were told is true, namely because the French Institute in Praia was a cultural reference over the years for youngsters and old alike and will  almost certainly be missed.

Advertisements on African and former Portuguese colonies produced films exhibited during the film festival that took place in Praia and which we missed.


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