Saturday, 29 September 2012

While there's life, there's hope. Marcus Tullius Cicero

Unfortunately we have been hit by a tropical storm and the island is in devastation. But I thought I'd post a picture of someone at least enjoying the flood water. The islanders have pulled together and in the midst of such problems is a strong sense of community. With patience, friendship, strength, courage and determination, we hope that normal life will soon be resumed.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

"We do not remember days; we remember moments". Cesare Pavese (1908 - 1950)

It was one of those moments; a moment that, if you could, you would bottle and keep, forever, to uncork later, perhaps to show to someone else, or just to prove it was real.  It was one of those moments when a cacophony of sights, sounds and smells come together in unforgettable harmony.

Sitting in my new favourite 'day-off' cafe, Te Manche, by the harbour, in Sal Rei; surveying the scene.

The smell of freshly caught and seasoned tuna,  sizzling on the griddle, mixed with the sharp aroma of freshly ground coffee, brewing. The soft strum of local African beats drifting from the radio behind the counter and the bored barman tapping his fingers in miss-matched accompaniment. The local children, enjoying school holiday freedom, shrieking, as they hurl themselves into the turquoise waters below; and it is turquoise, and the surrounding sands are talcum powder white, it's cliched - but utterly true. The local workers are taking a long drawn-out siesta, sipping cool fresh 'super bock' whilst enjoying the local game of 'ouri' with their soft carved dark-wood boards and bright red seeds. They're in no rush, noone is.

A rusty dog lifts his head briefly and sinks back into slumber. The mad dogs and Englishmen make space; as an old man squints sightlessly into the sunshine on the pier head, waiting for the local fishermen to return, whilst his elderly companion sits in the sultry shade, piecing together some worn out nets. Dusty goats, tied to the pier, look on, bleating softly along to his task.

Boa Vista - the island of 'no stress' claims it's title with pride. If relaxation was an olympic sport, without a doubt, this place, this moment, would surely take gold.