Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The latest books I have read ...

Having gone through an urging need to devour books over the past year I've finally managed to pace the rhythm in which I was actually reading them to get some healthy entertainment out of doing it, which didn't always seem to happen before.

I have recently finished reading three books, which being very different are nevertheless worth being read.

"Reinventing yourself" enables us as readers to reflect on various aspects which may become a hindrance for us to move forward. Being hooked onto painful circumstances that have either affected our self esteem or disrupted our life's journey must not be an impediment not to live the the fullest because we have allowed our energies to be dormant. The amazing thing about this book is that most of what has been written is well known but the way it has been conveyed leads to an alert and particularly to a major determinant aspect one should not forget  "All human beings can become, if they truly want, sculptors of their own brain.", a sentence the author and doctor is well aware of.

Paul Auster's brilliantly well written prose brought about a fairly interesting analysis of the main characters of the book, making me ponder on life and life risking. Among several two quotations caught my attention.

"He takes it for granted that the future is a lost cause, and if the present is all that matters now, then it must be a present imbued with the spirit of the past."

Wounds are an essential part of life, and until  you are wounded in some way, you cannot become a man."

I thought I had read all that there was to be read as far as Frida Kahlo is concerned, but the livre de poche  "Frida Kahlo, la beauté terrible" proved me wrong, because of the perspective of the author in regards to some aspects of her life.

Again my attention was drawn to a few quotations  ...

" (...) elle qui a la faculté de transformer chaque instant de sa vie en événement."

"La partie la plus importante du corps c'est le cerveau."

"Le but central de sa vie est de vivre, de faire quelque chose d'utile pour la societé (...)"

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Cape Verde, Praia - São Tomé and Lisboa - The 12th (afternoon) and 13th of November 2013 (early morning)


I had an excellent lunch of "bogolom" beans at Flor de Lys restaurant, which allowed me not to be disturbed by the increasing number of city dwellers (mostly "beggars") asking foreigners for money, which very much sounded like it could be used for drug consumption. In fact most petty robberies and pick-pocketing activity in Praia, according to what I was told, is drug oriented, which is a pity really, considering that drugs are brought onto the island.

I soon found myself sitting on the High School Square watching students of all ages walking in and out of its premises in their rather sober-looking uniforms and after having done so for a while took to the reading of my Paul Auster's book, whose story I had been taking much pleasure in and finished the few pages that were left.

I had decided to meet Bela after her working shift so as to drive her to São Tomé community to see her daughter, a trip she couldn't afford but twice a month. The idea was to  hand her out a dress her "godparents" had sent for her and have a few pictures taken as well.

I was touched by the outburst of happiness on the part of Lidiane, who wasn't expecting her mother to come by but in two weeks. She was allowed to leave school for a few brief moments, before having been called back in.

I was shocked by the semi deserted  surrounded area and yet astounded by the fact that a "school (if one should call a patio-like dwelling as such) was organised to provide the very few children of the community some form of education. 

I had the chance of meeting some of Bela's family members before hopping back onto the taxi, whose driver had to wait for us all along. The taxi fare was fairly expensive and although I hadn't asked Bela any specific questions before I could then fully understand why she had to sacrifice not seeing her little girls as often as she would certainly have liked to.

An out of the ordinary house stood there in the distance and it wasn't long until I found out it belonged to a long time friend, Zézito who has been living in the Virgin islands for quite a while. Having to leave the islands is for most Cape Verdians a necessary venture but their sense of belonging is very strong and  they hold onto it for as long as they can. It is known that most Cape Verdian immigrants go back ot at least maintain a strong bond with their motherland.

Once back in the city I either walked up and down the long pedestrian street in front of the hotel or sat at the hotel lounge reading a Frida Kahlo's biography I had brought with me until it was time to board the flight.

The flight landed at Lisbon airport around five in the morning and because I decided to go straight to work had to wait for the Training School premises to be open by six.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Cape Verde, Praia - Plateau and Sucupira - The 12th of November 2013 (morning)

Having got up fairly late I decided to stay around the Plateau area and just wander about like in the previous afternoon, despite having ventured into the bustling of the local market particularly the fish stalls, which were filled with huge chunks of tuna and other fish varieties.

I hanged around for a while talking to the vendors before heading to the belvedere overlooking the Gamboa bay ...

... but as I did I came across some kind of Christian festivity, which I later found out to be the Christening of a few children.  

On the way back from the belvedere I stopped at Sofia's Café and the cosy little square where it is located ...

... before deciding to walk down towards Sucupira once I sighted a new mural from where I was standing. I have always had some sort of strange relationship with vibrant colours ... that inevitably draw my attention. I found some of the paintings fairly interesting apart from the chromatic approach and the fact that some of them dealt with voluntary work and solidarity attracted me even more. I often question myself as to what leads people to volunteering ... and feel that those who don't haven't had the privilege of giving without expecting to get anything in return.

As I decided to walk back up I came across two old buses transformed into street restaurants and had I not already asked for my lunch to be prepared in advance I would have sat down and tried some of the "tasty" stuff they was being cooked and whose smell I could clearly feel in the air.

(To be continued)