Thursday, May 8, 2008

Salvador!

Well folks, I know it's been awhile, and we appreciate that you come back again and again even though we are slow with the posts. It's hard to believe that as I write this I only have 8 more days left in Brazil! Lane has twenty or so since he will be travelling back up to Joao Pessoa when I take off for New York. But, needless to say, we are feeling the end of our epic journey closing in, and with that, comes a whole new level of appreciation and awareness for a place...not to mention the frantic need to ingest as much tropical fruit and coconuts as possible.
That top picture is from an amazing hike we went on in Capou, but we are far from that landscape now....very far, indeed. We have been living in the gritty, culturally rich city of Salvador for almost a month now.

This picture is taken from the "lower city" looking up at the "upper city." There is an elevator which connects the two. This is the only safe way to get from one to the other. We found this out the hard way as we tried to walk up the street that connects them, and a man started screaming, "Peligroso!" at us. This means dangerous. Don't worry mom, we took the elevator.
And, it's really no joke around here. We hear stories of robbery and violence almost daily, and it is common knowledge NOT to walk alone at night...anywhere. Considering the immense gap between the very rich and very poor, along with a thin web of infrastructure, it's not surprising there are some serious social problems in this city (and country). And, although looking poverty directly in the eyes eveytime I walk out my door is wearing me down a bit (or maybe it's the jackhammer outside my apartment or the throngs of begging children I encounter when I go to take my dance class??), I have to say, it's humbling and eye opening in a powerful way. It's hard not to feel incredibly grateful for the endless opportunities I have and the heeps of love I receive in my life. Although, simultaneously, it's all very sad, confusing and overwhelming.
And, on that happy note, here's some more pictures...


This image is from an exhibit we saw at the Modern Art Museum here in Salvador. The artist used fish parts (see the tails) to create all kinds of cool installations, and the museum itself was located in these amazing buildings (old forts turned tabacco factory turned art museum...)


This is a famous view in the Pelourhino (the oldest part of the city). Apparently, a Michael Jackson video was filmed here, and it was also the where most of the slave auctions where held (two interesting, but entirely different facts).


More cool street art...this has actually inspired a whole set of new paintings. Birds, go figure.

The woman to Lane's left is Cheryl, a Portlander now living in Salvador. She has been an amazing "local" contact for us and is becoming a good friend too. The other folks are her friends who visited from Chicago. We all went to an island (forgetting the name..yikes!) which is a short ferry ride from Salvador. That's Salvador in the backround.


This is a sunset view of taken from the upper city...see the elevator? I actually witnessed an episode of the T.V. show, The Amazing Race, being filmed right here. They had secured a huge net from the top of the elevator to the bottom, and the contestants had to crawl down it. I don't think the Brazilians watching had any idea what was going on.


I'll leave you with this cool chick and some of my latest creations....




Hope everyone is enjoying Springtime in the northern hemisphere. We'll be thinking of you as we spend our last five days on a remote tropical island!
Love,
Flora




3 comments:

Jamie Watson said...

Hi Flora! I loved reading this post and seeing all of the pictures. I also love your latest creations. What a neat adventure you are on.

lindasmith said...

Dear Lane and Flora,
I LOVE reading about this fabulous country. Your commentary, pics, and videos really make it come to life for me. The "new creations" look wonderful. Hope to see you both very soon.
Linda/Mom

theotherfreq said...

You should know the weather is beautiful here.
The sun is back and people are smiling. Its a great time to be in the Northwest.....can't wait to see you
:)
cristina