Wednesday, October 1, 2008

where to from there.....

I left everyone else there to enjoy Sara while I hiked up and down hills to catch the procession for São Cosme e São Damião. I had given up on the idea of more Caruru. If it happened, so be it. I was desperately running out of time. It was now after four o’clock. The bus I needed to catch was at 5:20 PM. I had promised Ana Claudia that I would stop by to say hi & bye. I had had hopes of possibly navigating a future meeting with Zelita. That was toast.

I still needed to get my overnight bag at Francisca’s. We also needed to exchange information. The email that I had for her wasn’t working. On the run, I made it into the hood of the Igreja and everyone was patiently waiting in costume for the Go-Ahead signal. Young children in colored marabou and crepe angel costumes, marching band outfits and other rigmarole were sweating in the late afternoon tropical sun. Adult men were struggling to keep the icon of the Saints elevated off the ground.

I ran through the crowd, racing the clock. I was looking for Francisca. My memory card was just about at tilt. I thought I could shoot half a dozen still images, switch to video and use up the card before the already weak battery gave out. I am learning about traveling with technology in the street. I expended the card, capturing the frustrated and confused kids and some images of the Ibeji’s before I saw the film crew. The parade had just begun to move.

Once the parade had moved out of sight the rented van pulled up to gather Gina, Francisca and the sisters from the Irmandade to ferry them to the next best vantage point. Wolfgang and his cameraman had the strap on devices so that they could walk with the parade, the camera secured to their chest to keep a stable image. They would walk the entire route. Francisca told us that the parade finished up after seven o’clock with no ambient light left.

I jumped in the van to chat with her for a moment as we drove into the center of town on side roads. Unfortunately, I had misheard and they were not parking the van at the Irmandade, but by the old slave prison. This was farther from Francisca’s house and the Rodoviaria, or bus station, than I wanted to be.

After thanking Gina for the lift, and saying goodbye to Francisca and As Irmas da Irmandade, I ran down the main street, grabbed my gear and hit the parade as I ran up the hill near the bridge to the bus station. I hoped that the parade would slow the bus, in case I was late. I ran up and found three parked busses. “Ok,” I thought; “No-wait. It’s leaving soon. It won’t be parked. -Uh, that one across the street that’s pulling out. Kick into gear.” I started waving and calling. Luckily, for a moment he had no forward motion due to the revelers. I had made it. I switched on the MP3. There was just enough juice to carry me into Salvador. My plan was to go to Terreiro Gantois, Zeno’s house. Tonight was the annual ceremony, Aguas de Oxala. It promised to be exciting. Zeno would put me up for the night. Now I could chill.

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