Breakfast ramblings and Sweet Crazitivity

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So things have gotten random just the way they should: my volunteer ship was canceled 10 days before I was supposed to arrive. The organization had to shut down two thirds of their activities due to some new government regulations. I spent around 12 minutes and 8 seconds feeling a little bit of dulled panic before I realized how incredible a gift it is to be in Brazil, with a bit of money to get by another month or so, a love in Burkina, good friends and a head full of fresh ideas.

This morning is me and Eileens last night sleeping together as wife and wife for a while. She is off to a capoeira event and I am going to spend some days in Pernambuco. We have gotten close the way you only do when you travel together, we have shared everything from midnight farts to dreams about the future, sunburns, morning coffees, random philosophical (or not) observations about life in our different places as well as the cruel, cruel anti climax of coming back to the place of the magical intercambio experience.

But behold, magic hasn’t disappeared one bit:

Yesterday I tagged along for capoeira class, and randomly I recognized that the capoeira mestre was a guy whom I owed money, someone cheated for a free percussion lesson five years ago. xD. He looks a bit puzzled at my face when I tell him my name and for a moment I doubt if he recognizes me, but it doesn’t seem like it. He is studying English now. I finish my amazing Doris Lessing book while my friends work up a sweat. By the end of the class I give him the book without further explanations, happy to be able to restore a bit of my karma.

We walk from Forte de Santo Antonio towards Pelô (the old town where now in day the party is at), its raining and we catch a ride with two guys who are trying to pick up girls. The minute we jump out of the car someone calls my name and I see my friend whom I haven’t seen in five years. It is the most amazing randomness. We happily hug each other and catch up on latest events as if we had just met last week

”Oh Mie those eyes, I feel like kissing you!” I hit him with a friendly fist on the chest against his bulletproof vest (he is in the police, working tonight)

”You are a married man, you need to behave yourself!” but he assures me it doesn’t matter.

”I’m married, but I didn’t really marry, Mie, u know”

”But listen, even if u didn’t marry you are married, if you married or not, it doesn’t matter. If you married then you are married, even if you didn’t marry!”

”But you know a Brazilian can’t settle with just one…”

Stereotypes have to grow from something, after all. I don’t take it for anything its not, there is a clear line which is never crossed.

Me and Eileen continue down towards the music but the rain starts again and this time it is wetter than a shower, we seek refuge in a doorway. Another friend texts that she is in the street above. A guy with an umbrella passes by and I call out to him to please transport us up the street, the three of us grab a hold of each other and run up the street getting completely soaked, save our heads, thanks umbrella.

Finally the rain stops, we are soaked, Pelô is exploding with people, music, food, colour, we gulp down some hotdogs and a bolinho de estudante before we head on home… soaked in silly, rainy happiness…

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Casa…

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When a mum’s heart opens for you it rarely closes again… ever… I found the one of my Baian mum as warm and tender as I left it. Mine too…

Cheguei a ser reunida com minha irmã, cheguei aos braços da minha mainha baiana

”Sabe o que a Mie é?” Pergunta ela a um dos sobrinhos ”Ela é a minha filha” tô literalmente sentindo o coração dela abrindo pra me abraçar, as duas tiramos lagrimas.

De todos os tipos de encontros lindos que existe numa viagem, aquele aonde se fica mesmo assumido, adotado numa família é o que mexe mais comigo. No meu mundo de impermanência e insertezas  é nesse momento mais que os outros que meu espíritu, voando por cima da vida, pára e cresce um raíz, se torna parte daquilo pra sempre.

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PULA DE ALEGRIA VOCÊ ESTÁ NA BAHIA

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Salvador !

Salvador is extremely sticky, I am extremely sticky in Salvador. people smell nice, cars are new, busses old, queues are long, nature is SO awesome and pretty. Im stressed: there are so many things I want to eat, so much Bahia to absorb !

Beiju, acarajé, hot dogs with maiz and little potatoe chips (because they are awesome!!), feijão, farofa, acai, cashew juice (OM friiikiiiing GOOOOD), meat on a stick, fried tapioca, água de coco, carurú, vatapá, roasted shrimp, grilled cheese, fruit fruit fruit FRUUUUIT maracujá, cajá, cajú (atchú!), mamão, melão, melancia…

First things first, we people need phones, expedition goes into shopping center in Barra to buy a chip. Just in and out real quickly! because there’s so much stuff to do! Because we’re back in Salvador!  Finally! after 5½ years for my part, and 10 years for Eileen… (blaaarrrrgh!!!)

Inside Barra Shopping. I get a call from a Brazilian number, for some reason the person in the other end doesn’t understand anything Im saying, the connection is crap – turns out both because the call was coming from Burkina Faso. xD. When we hang up, I look at Eileen, I look at her like… ô velho, I used to come here to buy movies, friking lojas americanas. I start crying. my heart my heart my heart. not the pretty cry where you just have one small tear running down your face no. the kind of cry where your whole face crums together like a used napkin imploding, Eileen hugs me, people who walk by stare at me, it makes me laugh.and ramble, I’m rambeling. its insaaaane… insaaaaaaaannnnneeeee!!!!! IM IN SALVADOR :DDDDDD

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Coming home to Brasil: longing and belonging…

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I thought a lot about how I would describe what it felt like coming back to Brasil after 5½ years of intense longing for this place which somehow had become my reference point for everything: food, culture, people, music, nature… Everytime I landed somewhere new during these years I’d compare it to Brasil, sizing it up and always feeling a melancholic sting of something missing…

When I was around 15-16 years old I got a new mum. At that time I felt like the world was a pretty unfriendly place, but my new mum had such a warm and nourishing energy that many times I’d barely step in the dore before I’d start to cry, feeling safe, welcomed and a little defenseless.

So a few days after I arrived to Brasil I’m sitting on a mountain, where a river flows down over the rocks, forming small currents and pools. My bikini clad bum planted in one of the small streams and facing the sun and the rounded mountains below, covered in lush green forrest, the impossible amounts of yellow butterflies catching the sun on their wings.

I put my palms on the rock under me, go into my heart, and from there I let my love travel down towards my mother…. ”hi there…” I tell her. Not much more to begin with. And then I feel her streaming up towards me, her answer a pressence more than a message, so much love. I feel my heart cramping up and  pushing out dried up tears from very deep inside.

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Painful. I wash my face, don’t want to talk about it. Then I open the gate and let all the love I have inside pour into her. The sun from above and the mountain and water below communicate through me in two simultaneous flows, upwards and downwards. More tears, from long years of longing to belong. I’m home now. So much it doesn’t even matter that I’m not going to stay…

Baby Jesus, a Present and Bobo-Dioulasso

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December 24th

Christmas eve is for church and late night dinner. I’ve got the flue and the mass is three hours long, at least, so after finnishing the cooking me and Sarah stay home watching Fresh Prince of Bell Air on a laptop until 23:00 – then we head towards Serge’s family’s house and engage in an experiment with a very strong gas-flame and two inexperienced brown-potato makers. Miraculously nobody was hurt (except the potatoes). The family is home by midnight for champagne, frikadeller and fried plantains, we’re in bed by 3am  zZZZz….

  

December 25th

– is for visiting family and friends, so we get up after way too few hours of sleep and stay most of the day in Serge’s family’s house while people come and greet. I drink ginger juice, bisap and Fanta until a sweet, sugary fog swirls around inside my head along with confused fragments of conversations in french. At the end of the day there is still one family left to visit, I arrange another meal inside me the same way you arrange your bag when going home from a place you’ve lived for a year – with effort, care and a little bit of nostalgic brutality.

The day is over. A sweet hand leads me outside, the sky a star dotted ocean. Innocent black waters cool my eyes, as wonderfully salty tides crash… bliss…

December 28th

We go to Bobo to spend New Years and unwind…

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January 1st

The train from Bobo back to Ouaga is a mellow metal cow making her way through stretches of green leafy trees on red sand, we rock back and forth inside her belly in the rhythm of her steps. An unexpected love is sleeping on my shoulder. My mouth tastes gloriously of sardines. Small pieces of ash from burning vegetation flies in the window and sticks to my skin and my shirt, I brush it off and create a wonderful black smudge. The water in my bottle is actually warmer than my body, time stretches out its body in lazy pleasure.

January 2nd

We are on our way out for dinner, I am leaving tonight and I’m NOT ready.

– You know when a prisoner has been sentenced to death and have to walk down the hall to take their last meal?

I receive laughter and a hug from the side. Ça va aller! I comfort myself thinking that all the people telling me that I will come back are right – I will be back soon again! I’m aware that in fact I have no idea when or if I’ll be able to go back, but I just don’t feel separated, the embrace of Burkina is a gravitating force drawing me down under an always starry dome filled with sweetness.

I kiss Burkina and my darlings goodnight and au revoir with tears streaming down my face… I will be back, Inshallah!

Burkina dans mon cœur, mon cœur au Burkina ❤

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