sábado, junho 26, 2004

Sao Joao has come and gone. We went to Santo Antonio de Jesus for 3 days, and came back to discover the maid had shut Ona up in the storage room the day that we left. She totally destroyed the room trying to get out, broke some soap bottles, got into the juice cartons, it was a mess. She was extremely dirty and soapy, and I was worried about her consuming soap as she was trying to clean herself, so I took her into the shower for about 10 minutes. She took to it rather well, didn't even claw me up, I think because she realized it was for her own good. Once we were through, she walked around the bathroom dripping, meowing pitifully. It was quite a sight. She has since forgiven me, and now won't leave my side. Lela hissed at her for a few hours, but seems to have figured out that it is in fact Ona, and is now sleeping on my shoes in the "closet" area of the bedroom.

Our festivities over the last three days were common. We drove on the shoulder of BR 325 (I think that is the highway number) for about 25 kilometers, helping turn a 2 lane highway into a 4 lane highway, drank beer on the way, swerved around potholes, and did manage to find our way to the city we were intending to arrive at in the dark without too much trouble. In this process we did, however, loose the rest of the people we were traveling with, so we opted to wander about the main square in the city, and lo and behold, on this walk we found them. So problem solved. It was a rather typical holiday, Forro, caucus, all that good stuff.

We even made a brief trip to Cruz das Armas (I think this is the name of the city...) to see people attack each other with fireworks (a well known event of dangerous idiocy), and run from out of control Espadas (swords - the type of fireworks that shoots a column of fire into the sky, usually set on the ground with people surrounding watching; in this city people hold them and attempt to burn others, or kick them around like cans on the street as they shoot fire every which way). There are several parts of the city where there is "Area Prohibida" where one is not allowed to attack others with flaming material, however, as one woman we met on the street countered "The fireworks don't know that." Case in point, as we were walking up one of these "Areas" we heard the distinctive sound of the espada behind us. Generally, when one hears this sound, you should run because it means you are likely the in the vicinity to be struck by a burning column. So, just to see which way we needed to run, we looked behind us to see one shooting towards us like a rocket, with a nice slight twirl of a decent foot ball (American) throw. Logically, we ran from it, when really, we should have run towards it. In any case, we managed to just outrun it as it crashed to the ground. What fun.

Our lodging was provided by a friend of a friend who knew a nun who allowed us to stay in a guest bedroom area of their home, complete with bathroom and mosquito netting for the bed. Very nice people.

Somehow, with all this activity, and probably due in part to the wood smoke from all the bon fires in the streets, I have caught something else! Basically a cold, but that has manifested itself in my head, mostly the throat and the nose. It is quite aggravating as I can hardly stop sneezing enough to type sometimes. This is my excuse for not having actually done any work, despite staying home all day to do so. Perhaps my argument will be weakened by this long blog entry. Lets just pretend it doesn't exist for the moment, shall we?

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