Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a nice thanksgiving. I worked in the morning and hung out with a few other volunteers who were around and we went to the beach during the afternoon. As I was making some sutffing I got a call from my family. It is always great to hera from them. I gave them a small list of things that I wanted from home (my sister is coming in December which is really exciting and so soon!) and talked about the Thanksgiving Day Parade in NY and a rediculous turkey hat that my sister found and my dad wore around and had Japanese tourist asking him for a picture and telling him he looks great. (I really wish I could have been there for that, though I am sure I would have been completly mortified).
We cooked chicken, stuffing (which wasn't as good as my mom's but might have come in second place), baked some fresh rolls, and garlic mashed potatoes. And to drink we had tropical orange caparinha's (rum-grougue here, with sprite sugar and usually lime), which were delicious. It was really nice to be able to spend some time with them and get to have a really good thanksgiving away from home. Although it is obviously hard to be away from home for the holidays, I'm very thankful to be able to have met and hang around with some really great people who without coming here I would have never met.

(This is a terrible picture of me- iºm not really that red!-, but the two before are of the food and caparinhaºs)

(Caley and Lindsay very full and happy, Daren and Emily also very full)~

I also have some exciting news, two of my good friends from home Jennifer Flynn and Jill Sullivan are engaged to John Paul and Dan O'Connor (respectively). So anyway I just wanted to congratulate them and wish them the best. Love you and miss you both!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jogos Globais da Paz

Last weekend the SOS had their Jogos Globais da Paz. The event took place at a campo in Mindelo and involved about 10 teams playing soccer. It was a pretty cool day, actually hot, but I think that overall it went really well. There were a good bit of highschoolers who (they have school in the afternoon, that is the way school works here because there are so many children, that you either have school in the morning or in the afternoon), were cheering on the players. The whole point of the day was to show how important soccer is to children all across the world. Not only does it give kids a fun activity to partake in but it also keep kids from doing other things, such as drugs or getting involved with the wrong crowd. The event which is either sponsered by or at least the idea of FIFA, hopes to show that soccer can be a peacemaker.

After the events there were two groups, one who did capoeira (is an Afro-Brazilian art form that ritualizes movement from martial arts, games, and dance... look it up on wikipedia it has an interesting history) and the other were playing music. It was really cool. I had seen a group in the Praca doing capoeira on Sundays (Sunday is a realyl big night out, why I have no idea, but itºs nice that you can always go to the Praca and either pacia around or listen to music).
So overall I thought that the day was really cool and it really brought a lot of kids together to do something cool and show how great soccer is as a game. I threw the idea past my boss of possibly having a girls soccer team, maybe affiliated with the SOS, she didnºt seem like incredibly enthusiastic but I think that she thought it was an interesting idea and I would really like to see how feasible of an idea it is.

Anyway hope that everyone is enjoying the week, I will try to post something again soon!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Sucker is Born Everyday

So yesterday @ work I saw that some kids had this card that had different peopleºs names on it, but when they tried to explain it to me I didnºt really understand. From what I did get, if they got people to sign it they would win something. I thought they would win 10\20$oo escudos, because it had a price on the top. I didnºt think much of it and since they didnºt ask me to sign it I didnºt ask more about it. Today when I came into work though, two girls came up to me and asked me to sign it. They gave a half ass explanation again (I think it was more lack of explanation than it was me not understanding) and asked me to sign it. I figured what the heck and I saw a couple of other names of people from the SOS who signed it too so I signed theirs. Next thing I know they are asking for the money (the number that was on top of the page). This really nice woman Solange who works here than explained to me that I had to pay for signing… so I totally got sucked into it. I didnºt have enough money today to pay for it so I am indebted to two 12year olds… haha I am hoping that they didnºt tell any of the other kids that I signed it, other wise every kid is going to expect me to pay. I guess you live and learn and donºt sign anything if you donºt understand it! My overall understanding of this thing is that once they have their whole sheet filled out with signatures they win something, but Iºm not sure what. Do they keep the money that I give them, do they give it to someone at school? Oooo well, so I am now 30$00 escudos broker, but I may have made two best friends. I will certainly not be signing any more cards until I really figure out what they deal is.

Halloween in Mindelo

For halloween people in Cape Verde dress up in all black. There were a couple of people in costumes but not very many, and Chinese lojas are trying to bring our influence by having masks and wigs and such, but it hasnºt really caught on. I bought a mask but didnºt end up wearing it, mostly because it was so incredibly hot to wear. Since nights out here start very late we left our apartment around 11ish and walked down to the praça where everyone was walking around. Someone explained to me that people walking around the praçaa is a big part of the culture here that hasnºt died out over time, which is really awesome and cool (People just literally walk around the praça for hours- itºs been said that you can have the best conversations there). So it was pretty cool to see all these people wearing black walking around. For some reason I was the only one who caught a glimpse of a guy in a mask walking around with a torch (but I swear I really saw it!)
After getting an idea of what was going on we went down to the beach and went to a club. It was an interesting experience with lots of American music and people dancing away. As an interesting comparison, I found it very interesting that it seems like not all that many people were drinking (or at least not heavily, probably because the drinks were crazy expensive but also just because unlike in America where I feel like it usually takes a couple of drinks to get on the dance floor, people in Cape Verde genuinely love to dance and donºt need a drink in them to do it). So overall it was a pretty good time, it was a good experience to find out what a dance club really was all about, defiantly not my kind of scene (it had strobe lights and all), but it was something I feel like you just need to do at least once. We didnºt get back home until 530, which was really quite late (Iºm not sure if I will ever get used to the really late nights here) and really shot the whole next day, but it was a good Halloween despite not getting to see peopleºs creative costumes and maybe next year the Chinese lojas will have more luck with selling costumes similar to ours in the states.