Our sleep is under the canopy of a pink mosquito net on a newly built bed in the spare room of their house/community house. With a fan blowing all night and a heavy rainfall somewhere there in the dark we sleep deep. Breakfast is fruit brought from street sellers whose cries we hear from our window. (The streets and houses are very poor. Like shacks with occasional large scale 2 story houses poking up ready to take over. This is more like Baracoa in Cuba, or the streets of old Shanghai where the living is ON the streets and where people have very little.) Mango, banana, cereal and juice. Coffee brought back from Berlin where Dan and Manoela travelled just before now to attend a conference and launch their new book in Europe.
The 9 o’clock Meeting
With Eliza (15) and Camilla (16) I walk with Dan to the school 15 minutes away. This is a place where we will work after carnival. We are to meet the staff and start the process of collaboration. The young women are there because they will follow this project through and keep the connection. They have just left the school and are returning with the banner declaring the National Award they received a month or so ago. We sit in a room with 15 teachers and introduce ourselves and the idea of the 3 point start up project in the school. It will be presentation (2 hours), young leaders workshop (4 hours), teachers day (8 hours). The school is so poor. There are so few resources. It is for 9-15 year olds. There are 3 phases to the day. One group come from 7.30 – 12, another from 1.30 to 5 and in the evening it is open for adults returning to learn basics of secondary learning. We talk and share main common thoughts about education and how arts and culture can allow for different access, confidence building and development. There is an excitement and recognition of the long term plan to treasure and promote the culture of Cabelo Seco through it’s young people.
Home in the Rain
For conversation and sharing of the meeting in discussion with the young people. Continually consulting and talking about what has happened, how we engaged, what will happen next. This is steady steady careful confidence building and skill sharing. We are also starting to plan and consider the next week plan when we will probably travel away a little. There are various options opening up as ever. Tucurui for carnival, Belem for holiday…. Boat trips….
And then off for lunch which is at a restaurant that will provide us free food while we are here as a partnership deal. This is one of the ways of Solidarity support.
Galpone des Artes
A little rest and read and then to meet two new friends at the gallery not so far away. We walk again down streets that are becoming more and more familiar.
We visit a gallery space with a digital space. Privately owned. There is a very complex issue here between the state funded world and the rest. We seem to be in continual conversation about communities, identity and life. Dan has so much to share and so much experience. Very interesting. We spend an hour or so in the place and see some great work. A Ponto de Cultura.
Then ice creams in a self serve parlour and more conversation before back to the house with a few more meeting points along the way.
Then … we sit and talk more and drink a little as a storm brews outside and … we stay in as the rain pours down… and down… and down. We are in the forest. Oh yes. The RAIN Forest !!!!!!!