Month: October 2009

Bahia

We’ve been traveling for a week now. We flew to Recife first in the state of Pernambuco. We did a mini tour of the city including the craziest museum in the middle of brazil: one full of European artifacts built like a castle. It was a collection of knives mostly, that just showed the reach of European imperialism simply from the materials used to make the knives: ivory, jade, Egyptian gold, silver, etc… We went to an outdoor market, then to a neighboring city that had the most tapioca vendors I’ve ever seen in one place. We had some great tapioca for dinner—I had tapioca filled with a GENEROUS portion of shrimp. We had a lot of lectures throughout the week but on Tuesday we went and visited the indigenous community of Xukuru. It was one of the better experiences on this trip. We danced with a bunch of school kids-we learned to do the samba de coco. We rode in the back of a truck to go to this huge rock (that’s a sacred …

and I’m still awake…

Okay, now it’s almost an hour after I started writing the initial post and was about to submit but the computer decided to randomly restart itself so now I’m even more frustrated. It’s 3:29 and I’m still awake, not in my own homestay house but in the house of another student, who is currently sleeping. I should be writing my ISP proposal, my book review (although I don’t have a book to review), or my field journal, except now I’m writing this again! Damn computer! What I was doing was looking at all the articles that were written about my dad since he anounced his retirement recently and seeing all the discontent with his administration from students and other employees. My last post was much more well written, but now I’m frustrated and rushing to get this thought off of my chest. I’ve been thinking about the complaints that students and faculty have deemed as central to their reasoning for drafting a vote of no-confidence and it just reminds me of how superficial and ungrateful …

Quase…

So the days of class are dwindling down, and by dwindling I mean I only have 3 more days of classes left. Then we travel for 2 weeks, then do our individual research projects for 3 weeks, come back, write a paper, present the paper, and go back to the US. It feels like it’s practically over although I still have half the program left. I’m excited though, because we’ll be in Salvador really soon and then I will stay there for the month of November to do my research with Grupo Nzinga and Mestra Janja about Capoeira Angola. Finally some training in my life. Although last week I did train a bit, but differently. We did our community projects for a week, each of us in different places, and I worked with a Capoeira regional group. Mostly I just watched them teach a couple of kids’ classes and chilled. But I did train twice. Once in this big open field where they mostly just did “pula” (flipping in the field). I spent that time …

Escrava Anastacia

I learned about Escrava  Anastacia while in Canindé for the pilgrimage to pay respects to Saint Francis of Assisi. I ran across a statuette of her in one of the shops and was intrigued. Later, I looked up who she was. She’s respected on the level of a Saint even though she’s not officially a Saint in the catholic church. From, In PRaise of Black Women: Heroines of the Slavery Era (pp. 17 -30): “She was fifteen years old when she was deported to Brazil. Her forehead concealed memories of abduction and mourning. Memories of marching in a single file in the blazing sun, of lamentation, of the fetid human warehouses, of crossing the Atlantic, of loss. On the docks of Bahia, the newcomer wanted to survive at any price, even at the risk of losing herself, just like those around her: her balaoms, her travel mates, her “boat” brothers and sisters. Anastasia’s youth and grace helped her remain in town, in the house of Lord Abaete. She was able to please her masters, worshiping the …