Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Latest news regarding Calheta ...

Thirty four letters of all shapes and sizes are on the way to Calheta, as most "godmothers" decided to answer to the cards and messages sent by the children.

Words of affection and encoragment have a huge impact on these children and I am particularly thankful to those who have committed themselves to helping me make these children happier...

The child of one of the "godmothers" decided she wanted to participate in this project and bought a small school set for the girl her mother is "protecting". It is gestures like this that count and may turn this world into a better place for us all to live in.

I'll soon be sending some extra presents that Carlos Saboga had bought long ago for one of the little girls and which for unexpected reasons were not handed to me before. As the saying goes "it is better late than never" ...

Presents bought by Carlos Saboga for Eunice de Jesus

I am preparing my next trip already, even if it won't happen before next February ... Taking into account the number of children involved, things have got to be planned in advance, especially in what concerns selecting the "appropriate" things for each of the girls when it comes to the Art projects.

I am looking forward to the next year ... hoping my health problems  will allow me to  continue doing what I have been able so far ... on behalf of these children ...

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Cultural oriented Saturday - the 26th of November 2011.

Having been organised by the Gulbenkian Programme for the near future and co-produced by Casa da America Latina with the support of the Lisbon Townhall and the Embassy of Peru in Lisbon, 28 photos and  three videos by Roberto Huarcaya are being exhibited at one of the most outstanding Sixteenth century buildings of Lisbon - The Tavora-Galveias Palace.

Many city dwellers don't know what lies beyond this apparently "dying" facade, because they have most probably never been inside the Palace nor its gardens. I was fortunate enough to have participated in a venue organised by APAV and my late deceased daughter in its premises a few years ago and I must recognise it was "painful" to be back there without her.

Although I had read very little about the exhibition and the photographer, I was quite impressed with some of the photo compositions.

"Pictoric recreation" series

"Pictoric recreation" series


"Vegetable retable" series



Public Beach - Private Beach

"Subjective landscapes" series

As I walked out of the exhibition there stood the 1890 Neo-Mudéjar Bullring right in front of me again, though this time under the sun which insisted upon  making itself noticeable on such a cold afternoon ...

Friday, 25 November 2011

Latest news regarding Calheta ...

I have recently found "Godparents" for nine more children from Calheta and must confess I am impressed with the wave of solidarity.

Ana do Vale will be "looking after" two small children, whose mother (Ariane) has been on her own, since her husband left the country, struggling with enormous difficulties to provide for the girls, whilst the needs of three more siblings (Edeson, Veronica Conceição and Leiziny) will be provided by Mia, Marta and Olivia, with Berta, Carlos, Tania and Carla Cordeiro providing for the school needs of Ana, Jessica, Jessica Maria and Lucia.

The last four have already received some books, puzzles and a T-shirt during my recent stay in Calheta, whilst the others will soon get new clothes, books and toys which have already been sent.

Ariane and her small children

The presents bought by Ana and myself for Ariane's children

Edeson (left) and the things he will soon be getting, which were bought by Mia (right).

Veronica da Conceição (Left) and her sister Leiziny (right)

The presents they will soon be getting, which I have bought myself.

May these children feel the spirit of Christmas time and eventually acknowledge the fact that some "ordinary" people somewhere do care about them ...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Cultural oriented weekends (still) ...

I couldn't resist going to the Museum of Ethnology to see the exhibition of Romanian icons painted on glass currently on display. Their exhibitions are always extremelly well organised and this one was no exception, having had the participation of the Cultural Institute of Romania in Lisbon. 

A video introduces the visitors to this traditional Art which is said to  reflect the imagination of the village artists, as well as their creeds, life concept and social justice by incorporating biblical characters or themes related to the Old and New Testament in their Transilvania reality.  Passed from generation to generation the painting techniques seem not to differ a lot from the ones used long ago.

Of the many  glass paintings being exhibited some seem to have caught my attention in a rather special way (those painted by Savu Moga), the main reason being because of the facial expressions of the characters represented and the slightly different chromatic approach.

The flight to Egypt - Arpasul de Sus, Sibiu - XIX century/ Savu Moga (left) and Riding into Jerusalem - Arpad de Sus, Sibiu - 1872/ Savu Moga (right).

Arpasul de Sus, Sibiu - 1891

Cape Verde (the afternoon and evening of the last day) - The 1st of November 2011


The last image I have "taken" with me from Cidade Velha was part of the remains of the 1 metre thick walls of the 1556 Cathedral, as I was driving back to Praia.

I must have taken the wrong "aluger" going back, because rather than having been dropped at Sucupira I was dropped at Terra Branca overlooking the cemetry and the stadium, thus having had to walk into town via the Ministerial Palace and then up to reach Plateau.

As I had quite a long time to go till the check-in, once the flight back home would only be leaving at around one the next moring, I decided to wander about the Plateau, this time in the back streets of the Cathedral.

I accidently came across Amilcar Cabral's Centre, whose facade has been painted by the International mural artist Joel Bergner, whose work focuses on issues of Culture and social injustice. I was impressed to have also found out that he has spent part of his life as an artist-teacher counselling marginalised youth struggling with issues of violence, prostitution, drugs and suicide, as well as  working with international refugees, homeless and mentally ill.

I must say I was lucky enough to have met friends I had not seen for a while, whom I spend part of the early evening at Café Sofia, before heading to Quintal da Musica, where they suggested I should spend part of the evening and night prior to boarding the plane back home.

Quintal da Musica which has been "formed" by some members of the Cape verdian traditional Band Simentera plays an important role in the promotion of local musicians of various musical genres and so does its courtyard restaurant in regards to the typical cuisine.

What I didn't know was that I was about to witness some moments of extreme beauty in its back rooms, as two members of the Raiz the Polon Dance Group rehearsed what looked like particularly well coregraphed dances involving  youths with physical impairments. 

Belarmino was the musician and singer on the little stage that night and I felt I was lucky again, because not only did I like the selected repertoire, but also the way he "touched" the audience (as he always does).


I was later joined by a dear friend (Zezito), who came along with his brother. That was also a touching moment, as we hadn't seen each other for a while. In no time at all memories "took" us back into the distant past ... a past that highly contributed towards my understanding of what Cape Verdians really are. We inevitably spoke about our lives and our actual relationship with Cape Verde ...


... and it was soon time to board the flight ... with almost no luggage but a bunch of letters from the children addressed to those who had thought of them ... a few presents given to me in Calheta ... and a heart full of joy ... one of those heartfelt joys of having "given yourself" and having received a lot more than you gave ...

  Letters and cards written by the children of Calheta