Tuesday, 20 July 2010

some extra calories

20 july 2010
at pizzarina with kassandra and jota
well, who needs extra, unnecessary intake of very fat calories? those three in the photo do. it's like a must-do thing, and i have to do the whole gastronomy tour. it's true they make fantastic pizzas at pizzarina. actually, theirs is for me the best pizza place in teresina. but now, looking back i wonder if we really needed that. we don't need any hunger to drive to these places, sit, order, stuff ourselves, spend money, and many times feel the guilt later on. our chat we great, anyway. why is it nearly always too late when i realize i could have gone without the food intake?  too late now, at least for this one. hope i learn from these photos and memories in both my mind and belly.

this pizza was giant. we got two as the offer of the day says. i took some slices home with me and jota did the same. we make  did a good combination of the leftovers from the two pizzas. naughty people! anyway, my mom loved the one with figs and pineapple.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

the warmth of friendship

11 july 2010

i met jana long long ago, maybe around the year 1994. she was actually my mother’s classmate in a french language course they were both attending at yazigi. jana was also going to uni then (her subject was computer sciences) and came to our apartment to see my mother a few times because mom ordered some address labels jana made to get some pocket money. we became friends right away. i remember in the beginning i didn’t really know much about her yet but she invited me to go to the movies. we first started talking about movies, and to move on to other subjects was just a matter of time. since then we’ve been friends and meeting up when life makes it possible. this time jana wanted to see the two old time friends of hers: my mom and myself. we indeed had a great time together, talking about marriage, men, children, discipline, birthday parties, life. beatriz planned to come back on a later date to sleep over at my mom’s. so cute! we ought to pay close attention to what these little people say for they utter wise truths and reveal a lot about life.

one good thing about old time, true friendships is that whenever we meet, no matter the time span, we just smile and converse and swap details and or facts of our lives that have taken place in the meantime, so much naturally. with jana i feel particularly comfortable to talk about whatever, and she apparently does feel the same. it’s about trust, i think. she contacted me right before i left to brazil, because she read in my blog I was going there and she was going to teresina as well, as a vacation trip for her, her chatty daughter beatriz. jana is 5-month pregnant with felipe, and is married to fabio. they have lived in brasilia for a good while now.

happy sunday meal at mom’s

11 july 2010
today we had another cosy, intimate, family lunch today. my dad is always present to these family moments, which i hold invaluable. today there were only the five of us: mom, dad, jota, kassandra, and myself. i like it that we don’t spend too much time cooking. we can just easily buy some ready to eat grilled chicken and paçoca and rice or whatever, and the banquet is set up. in our family meeting the menu is never a worry, lunch serves more the purpose of the time that places us all together around the table, for around the table we are indeed together. right? sometimes i still wonder. anyway, just for the record, today we had chicken, fresh, delicious, mom’s rice, and kassandra’s ‘brandade de bacalhau’ as the great treats of the day.

my thought is that whatever the family do it has a significant impact on the ones growing up, i mean, the impact is important on everyone involved. we make the effort to find time to be together. for us, grown up people, it is a sign of maturity and responsibility, and of course, of love and a sense of family as the first and most important reference of us as human beings. For the young ones it is an opportunity to fill their minds and souls with cherished moments of family ties. Hopefully this represents a rescue for them when they go somewhere else and have those moments of questioning exactly who they are and what they expect from life.

Friday, 9 July 2010


9 july 2010
this is me planning the course – still checking out on last minute changes in my plans for the carrying out of the course. worried about the whole process, worried about managing everything properly, but also confident that it will all be fine in the end. all texts are already printed out and put together to be handed to the participants. my family is so absolutely supportive it makes me feel i am not left with much to fear. this course has the new ingredient of it being carefully observed by me. i have a twofold role time, both as the facilitator and as researcher. i am happy. amem!

lunch with fatima

9 july 2010

today i had lunch with my old time dear friend Fatima. believe me, this was another non-stop, women’s conversation. we met long ago, when we worked as English teachers at Yazigi. at that time she was pregnant with Segundo and divorced her husband. now segundo is a big man, studying at university, which means we’re growing old, and she is married to Humberto, ‘o super sincero’, so she says of him.

first thing in the morning i went to tribunal de justica to sort out some things. fatima picked me up there about 10.30am and from there we went to the Municipal Secretary of Education, where i expected to meet with the secretary for a booked interview. well, not quite, as he was not there. that was not a problem at all and fatima and i ended up having more time together. we had lunch at the restaurant which used to be called “Peixaria do Alfredo”. there we had a scrumptious ‘peixe à delicia’, and drank cajuina. fatima is a mature, funny and very family oriented woman. i admire her multi skills as a mother, daughter, wife, and professional. she is often running up and down the city, she even works in a different state a few times a week, and always has a smile to her face. way to go, girl. every time we meet we talk about our professional experiences and plans and frustrations, well, on life. i hope she manages to go to the UK or anywhere in Europe for a conference some day while i am still there. it’d lovely to go visit some places with her here.

loo at the secretary of education

while still at the municipal secretary of education i went to the loo anyway and found this rather intriguing note on the toilet door. what does it tell about its habitués?

Thursday, 8 July 2010

photocopies: taking shape

8 july 2010
at bate copia

Since my attempts to get the photocopies done at Centro de Formacao failed I decided to go professional and went to Bate copia, these people who are everywhere in the city and whom I had known before from CEUT. I spent a total of six hours there and the people are so professional. I went home for lunch but the materials (book chapters and articles) all had numbers and they would make the photocopies and put them in the right order. It was a big emotion to see a complete set of materials for the course prepared. My heart raced and it made visualize myself in a hammock reading again everyone and getting prepared for the course, which is next week.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

warming up for the day

6 july 2010
what can be better than starting out the day with an invigorating walk by the river? just a little before 9 o'clock in the morning, with my mom, under the vast shade that also offers a breezy wind. free to go when i got up, had breakfast, and decided to do it. it feels free to be free and to enjoy life. priceless.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

hectic sunday: family lunch & walk & pizza

4 july 2010
family lunch:
at Kassandra’s, with everyone again: Manuela, Andre, Vanessa, Caio, Danilo, Laiane, Jota, Mother, me. . .
i took ten photos with Caio by his request; we watch an 'agua-com-acucar' film on tv as if it were really interesting. we need to do things together to keep together, and agreeing on points we would normally disagree is part of the deal. loved those magic moments. more endless chatting with more than one speaking at the same times, obviously. good to see Vanessa has time for her family. she is so young and started not long ago working as an oncologist. cherished moments in my memory. i also think this get togethers are good for little, imaginative caio. he was fascinated with kass' big collection of magnets he got about ten i his little hands and asked her: 'aunt kassandra, if someone comes here and asks you to take your magnets for a day would you allow them to do that?' soooo precious! he helped kass on this and she said no, because she loves her collection of magnets from places she's visited.
oh, how could i forget to mention the food? it was fantastic. we had green salad, rice with beans, and bbq. everything, everything, was freshly made and tasted delicious. ice creams and fruits for dessert. oh Lord, save me from temptations for they may lead me to undesirable roads. i fear this time in teresina is leaving significant / visible marks on my person.

walk by the river:
about 5pm i was off for a walk by the river with my mom. walking after stuffing oneself is especially useful and helps release the guilt, plus the ay was beautiful. i am not going to list the endless advantages of walking, by the first ones that come to my mind are: helps me sleep better, breath better, feel my body, some aches go away, and it makes me smile, especially if i get to see people i know along the walk. the specil one i know and whom we met this day was kassandra - LOL! yes, she went from her place and we all met by the river.

in the evening i went to La Pizza with mom, jota and kassandra. you can have a dreadful idea of the amount of calories i have already consumed in less than 48 hours after i arrived in Teresina. this is all so challenging, and i am a week soul, this is the plain truth.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

film: julie & julia

3 july 2010
Definitely for me the book should come before the movie. The movie is fine, Meryl Streep is phenomenal, but the film, which of course is another, completely different language from the book, presents only bits of the real story. I don’t understand why some film producers and or directors feel the need to change details in recent facts. I’ve read somewhere that important bits about Julie’s life were left out of the film. Oh well, it was good to watch, anyway. The said part to it is that now I don’t feel like reading the book. But I do believe it is important that our knowledge about the story doesn’t limit to the selected information presented in a film. Although I am not a movie expert I dare say the director could have made better use of the rich material available. Oh, I loved to see Shakespeare and Company, the great bookstore in Paris in the film.

festive arrival - family lunch

3 july 2010

During our breakfast Manuela invited us to come have lunch at her house at 1.30pm. Kassandra and I said YES right away. For me it was precious chance to see Vanessa, Andre, Lorena, Fernando, Danilo, and the kids Fernandinho and Caio. The food was routinely excellent. I couldn’t help but eat a lot of this Thai lamb, cooked in coconut milk, which was superb. There were other things to eat but I concentrated on the lamb, rice, and veggie salad. For dessert we had some chocolates I took there myself plus a chocolate cake and ice cream. Any meal at Manuela’s is always a big feast.

The relaxed chat involved technology, life, trips, chocolate, study, death, kids, and all the natural issues families talk about when they meet. When we left Manuela’s house it was nearly 5pm. Every time it is the same: we just linger on and on and on for a long time after the meal is over. The funny thing is that we remained around the table, biting this and that.

festive arrival - family breakfast

3 july 2010

I said goodbye to Liliana around midnight and left Fortaleza in a GOL flight at 00:45 in the early morning. When I got to the airport in Teresina it was nearly 2am. My mother and Kassandra were faithfully awaiting me, with the most wonderful and welcoming hugs and kisses in the world. We spent the rest of the night at Kassandra’s but went to my mother’s in the morning because a big family breakfast was planned for us to have. I helped with the pancakes and there were so many other things to eat. Oh my God, eating always ends up posing a problem when I go to Brazil, because it is everywhere. Family members and friends came to eat with us, and there was of course great chat and laughter and everything. Caubyra brought me beautiful flowers.

Our family breakfast was very very good. This trip through Lisbon was not tiring at all and didn’t even last too long. It was more than 24 hours for the whole journey, but I had the advantage of the hour in Brazil four hours behind. I felt quite rested. During the breakfast Manuela invited us to come to her house for lunch. this is the topic of the next post.

trip: uk - brazil

on 2 july 2010

My trip to Brazil this time was (coach) Southampton – (TAP) London – Lisbon – (GOL) Fortaleza – Teresina. Because I had fours hours in Lisbon between the TAP flights I arranged to meet with my friend Fernanda. She came pick me up at the airport. We drove around the city, which I found beautiful. It is interesting to be in a place where people speak a variation of my own language, but clearly not quite the same. We visited quite a few historic places, but unfortunately didn’t have time to try the ‘pasteis de belem’. Leave it for another opportunity.

When I was back in the airport to leave to Brazil I realized from talking to people at gate 42 that my departure gate had changed from 42 to 44. The Brazil and the Netherlands match started exactly when we left Lisbon. During the flight a flight attendant announced she was ‘sorry to inform Brazil lost the game to Holland’. Who asked? Some whisperings of sadness as well as some manifestations of joy were heard in the plane. Fine! It is said a game is a game and it implies that one has to lose for another one to win.

when i was in the queue for immigration in Fortaleza the noise from the gathering of people drew my attention. i looked back to the many people in the queue and only idea came to mind. the synthesis of my thoughts was 'they are all much alive'. when i get to Brazil i instantly feel the difference in the incessant heat everyone displays, starting from a big round of applause we give when we land in Brazil, which i see as a beautiful moment that holds us all together.

I got to Fortaleza and met with my cousin Liliana, who stayed with me at the airport until I left to Teresina. We talked non-stop, about life, about us, about love, about work, and about whatever else popped up on the menu of our chat. It was fantastic to spend this time with Liliana. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Last time we had seen each other was 2007, I think. Getting together with Liliana is getting together with people I have loved all my life, people who i grew up with, people who know exactly who I am, and know of me, of my deeds, of my fears, of my dreams. Liliana is not only a cousin but also a very close friend of mine. Years away from face to face encounters don’t make us one bit more distant or anything of strangers. On the contrary, we need more time to catch up. I was worried about her, because I was going to embark to Teresina sometime after midnight and thought it would be not safe for her to go home after that. Well, she had plans and she actually took a taxi there from Silvana’s home, where she is staying with her mom while Silvana is in Paris with Heitor, and that’s why we didn’t get to meet this time. The warmth and tenderness of familiar love were clearly set in the air.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


1 july 2010

i can hardly believe it is already july and i am going again to brazil. i'll leave in the early hours of the day to london by coach. at 8am i fly to lisbon, get there at 11.50. fernanda will meet me at the airport. it will be nice to sse someone and help pass the time in the new place. it will be great to see fernanda after so many years. she lives in lisbon but has been to brazil a few times. i am a little anxious about this trip.
i'll leave lisbon towards fortaleza at 3pm and arrive in fortaleza at 6.30pm (local time), but it will be 10.30pm in my watch because we are four hours ahead of brazil.
i will stay six hours at the airport in fortaleza. my cousin liliana is going there to see stay with me. this is fantastic. i am so thrilled to see her after so long. liliana is not only a good cousin but also a very special friend.
i will fly to teresina at 00.45 and get to teresina nearly 2am. it will be am in my watch. in teresina i will be receptioned with much love from family. can't wait to give my mother and my father and everyone else a big hug. when i get home the feeling is one of safety and peace.

i might be absent from the blog for a few days as i don't know yet how i'll manage the posting thing. so, if i don't come by it only means i am in teresina taking care of my business there, which is the main phase of my research and also to be homey for a while and be very happy about it. i love brazil.