A Christmas Tale

Vitoria de Santo Antao Travel Blog

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Beto and myself, nipping from fresh coco-juice. Tudo Bom!

After arriving from Fernando Do Noronha at Recife`s airport, I headed for the busterminal. There I was taking a shower and BAAAAM, that`s when it happened: 2 guys stole my money-belt, which I had putted under the rest of my gear.  Of course, I just had withdrawn cash! I lost a lot of money and on top my credit cards. Nevertheless, i still have my passport and all the rest. So some phone calls to VISA should solve the situation. On top, as I am heading for Salvador, where I can meet my friend Katrien Leyssens, I felt pretty saved to travel on.

In the mean time, I Brazilian guy, called Beto started talking to me and he offered his help. As I realized that he had had a lot of opportunities already to get away, I had the impression that he was bonafide.

Beto`s road
More-over, there were not a lot of things left he could steal from me! He offered me food and shelter for one night in a town, 30min from Recife, called Vitoria De Santo Antao. Beto started to explain that he was candidate for `Vereador` (=counciler) and that he is standing up for the poor people on the country-side. And poor means poor: no asfalt roads, no electricity, no water (imagine that...).

During the night we crossed the little town on motorcycles - with my backpack on my back. We arrived at his place and introduced me to his parents, brothers and sisters. I got food, a good bed, internet connection to take care of the blocking of my credit cards, everything. Later on that evening we went to the town-center again, where a parade was going on.

You have to know that Brazil is in the middle of municipal elections and that is a(nother) reason for the Brazilians to party. The parade was led by a truck with a sound system, big enough to support Rock Werchter. On the top of the truck a live-band was playing; only the percussion section existed of 4 people, playing these pounding rithms. Any drummer would be jalous about this. Of course, no samba without dance: in front and behind the truck there was this crowd of energetically dancing people. DJ Reynders and Rudi Demotte-op-uw-bakkes could only learn from this!

The next day Beto invited me to go and have a look at the situation on the country-side, outside of Vitoria. He and some other local politicians had forced the responsible governements through hunger-strikes to build an asfalt road to the village of Pirituba to get it out of it`s isolation.

You can see the result in the pictures. Next to this, his (socialist) party has installed a electricity-provision in the village and it today it is still organizing projects together with ao. the Banco Do Brazil for water provision. We visited Beto`s brothers and sisters, friends, fellow-politicians and other persons who are of influence in the country-side. Everywhere we got coffee, cake or soup (of the `marido de la baca` :-) ).

In this way I would like to thank Beto and his family to take care of me while I was in trouble. The hospitality I experienced there was unseen. Incredible. I will for sure think of this situation whenever I meet a stranger in Belgium, who runs into trouble. You, dear reader should be doing the same. It gives such a warm feeling! As I said, ever since Olinda, my trip hasn`t been the same anymore. Brazil stole my money... and my heart.

Thanks Jesus-Beto-Maria. Good luck with the elections!!!

Fre

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Beto and myself, nipping from fres…
Beto and myself, nipping from fre…
Beto`s road
Beto`s road
(One of) Beto`s sisters
(One of) Beto`s sisters
At Beto`s place. (The family helpe…
At Beto`s place. (The family help…
Beto`s sister Joanna.
Beto`s sister Joanna.
Me and sister Joanna. :-)
Me and sister Joanna. :-)
Beto and his brother.
Beto and his brother.
Ordem e Progresso
Ordem e Progresso
Vitoria de Santo Antao
photo by: vanaver