New Friends

Chance meeting

It seems extraordinary that we have been away only seven days when I consider the power and emotion of the experience. The amount of accelerated learning. The immense coloured images now loaded in my brain. Sitting in the flat at the end of another of those days packed with experience and new friends. The fan blowing on my back, the cold beer on the table, the view over Belem from our 11th floor.. many tall buildings and in the distance I know is the river.

Woke up slow today with the intention to revisit the island of Cutijubac and spend the day on the beach. By the time we leave the flat (Dan and Manos flat / national office) it is 11 and we catch the bus to Icoraci (40 minutes). The crazy speedy bus drive runs on and on. We worry slightly and ask another passenger whether we are on the right bus. She (Raquel) says sure and that she will take us to the boat. As we walk she calls her cousin and as if by magic the cousins husband turns up in his car and takes us down there. He speaks great English and is very happy to be with us. Down the pier to the boat, which we find out goes in an hour, so he invites back to his house to meet his wife.

We spend a great time there chatting and finding out about his life as a English and chemistry teacher and also designer of iphone apps! They both have ipads and there is general internet play including the connection to the Heartbreaks. As we listen to Winter Gardens he says – wow they are like the Who (Joe would be so pleased!)

Childs Play

The boat takes 30 people. Is beautiful in it’s simplicity and very familiar from the previous trips. We set of and the couple with their 2 tiny children next to us become our smiling friends.

The sky is big. The sea calm. The islands distant. The boy (of about 4) finds our empty water bottle and over the course of the next 30 minutes discovers all the potential tricks and games he can play with it. It is wonderful to watch and so reminds me of dear John Woodward and his belief in the innocence and beauty of play. First the lid is turned, with fingers, with mouth, with me helping. On and off, on and off. Then just general experimentation with the sound as he bashes things around him. Off comes the label, wrapped round a finger, rolled in a ball, used as a flag flying in the wind. The bottle is fitted thought the railings but won’t fit through the bars of the seat so he squashes it a little. Then opens it out. The squashes and blows it out. This is good. It becomes a telescope. One eye, then the other. Looking out to sea and into the boat. The top is sucked to his mouth, suctioned.. and then the bottle the same. The bottle is wrapped in his T shirt and he bounces on his mum. Back and forth. Making noise and silent. It is all the most beautiful education.  And then we arrive and our instruction from Manouela is to go to the beach called Playa Vai Quem Quer beach.


2 moto taxis take us. Scooters with young men driving us down potholed dirt tracks for 10 minutes to a beach…. Quiet with bars and a beautiful sea.


Chill – swim – eat – get burnt – swim – walk – beer .

I meet a new friend on a walk to the next bay and he comes back for a chat before it is time to go…

Stormy return

Packed boat leaves as the rain and the storm kick in. On the journey most people put their life jackets on as the boat rocks and rolls in the lightning, thunder and torrential rain.

We make it back safe – it feels good to hit dry land. The carnival however has arrived in Itourici and there is much madness going down and police everywhere. We find a bus finally and head back home meeting a new friend – Renato – who chats to us as the bus hurtles through the rain soaked highways back to Belem. We sit with cold beers and fans trying to cool down the intensity of the day.