Friday, July 21, 2006

Report # 6a

Hi All, since the internet is cheap and I have a few hours spare I thought I would add a few things to the last report.

Salvador was founded in 1501 I think and was the first capital of Brasil which was of course Portuguese. Later it became the centre for a huge and thriving slave trade from Africa, which lasted for 300 years. Hence most of the people around here have some colour in their skin and many are very black. Because of this racial mix it is called the Africa of the Americas. You can still today get food exactly the same as in Kenya and Uganda (hope I have those countries correct). And also the music is heavily Afro particularly with the drums and rythym. So there are carved wood objects that look like they are direct from Africa and there are instruments direct from Africa. In fact one of the pedlers today said he was from Africa - Uganda I think - he was selling the berimbas (?)
which you can see at this address
they are here in the streets. for $10-20. Music is a huge part of the life here - it is going all the time and people dance at the drop of a hat. CD sales are everywhere, in fact in the corridor into our building there is a guy with racks and racks of CDs for sale.

Saw another arrest today of a black guy. Two cops were trying to get him to give himself up but he was shouting ands presumably pleading innocence - one cop had his pistol out and the other had his batton. Eventually the first cop holstered his gun and chased the guy and a civilain bystander grabbed the guy and the cops raced in and handcuffed him. They had been using walkie talkies to call for reinforcments who arrived. They all went into the famous St Francis church here and were pointing at the ceiling and discussing it. One bystander told me the guy was just a loco. So I suspect he attempted some damage of the beautifully painted ceiling of the church entrance - I mean painted as in Sistine chapel type of thing.

Did somw walking around and took lots of photos. Also tried one of the ubiquitous green coconut drinks = "coco verde". They take a green young coco and cut the top hole and pour it into a machine and it comes out the bottom cold - clear as water and very refreshing. They call it coco water (not milk). Also tried a famous açai dish which is the pulp of a special fruit - the açai - and is mixed with ice, honey, banana, and muesli. Its colour is deep purple - like aubergines. Very energy giving and weell worth the test/cost. Some music has started up outside - it is 1930 here - drums, cow-bell sound and more drums and now some trumpets or sax - hello it is a procession!!! all dressed in white - will find out later who or why and what. But very Afro and drum controlled. Okay session expires soon - will talk again later. Hi Mary hope you are still around will talk to you next time we can meet !!!!!
Love Nobby