I am able to actually blog 2 days in a row!!! A sign that things are calming down a bit.
Just now, as I sat down to write this, a lizard appeared at my side. He is a little thrown off, as I don’t think he wants to have entered the kitchen. This house has a lot of access to the outdoors, so we co-habitat with lots of animals. But usually these little lizards stay on the outside. He’s trying to make it across the slippery ceramic floor. There are beautiful birds, hummingbirds, red caterpillars, and of course all kinds of mosquitoes, flies, ants. You are one with nature. Pete and Eder love it, my mom, well…
Yesterday was my first full day alone with Zaya. I was exhausted by the end of it, when everyone came home, started grilling and the party started. We made grilled chicken and shrimp and pasta and potato salad, and some yummy Phyllis drinks – lime, mint, pineapple, cachaca. The occasion? Eder’s family came over – mom, dad, brother, his girlfriend, aunt, cousin, her boyfriend. We had a great time, and pulled it off, despite shrimp that went bad, a chicken that turns out was not-grillable, mom et el getting stuck in traffic jams and getting home an hour late, Zaya suffering from horrible stomach gas pains and crying out in pain for the first hour of her party then falling asleep the rest of it. But the biggest event of the day wasn’t the party. It was when I was writing the blog yesterday and I get a call from Eder.
He was at the local police precinct. He had been arrested while doing an incredible piece (attached here - the one below, not on the right) at an abandoned and run down small police post on the boardwalk along the ocean. The piece was almost finished when not one, but four police cars pulled up and called him over, saying someone had called them about him painting. He tried to say that he was doing the piece as part of the Salvador Graffiti Project, the Mayor’s initiative to hire graffiti artists, but he didn’t have proof and the police didn’t buy it. They put him in the back of the car (no seat, more like a trunk that you have to lay down in) and brought him to the precinct. He tried to plead his case, but ended up offering to paint over it if they would let him go. They threatened to fine him, or put him in jail, but then took his offer. He had to go buy the paint and paint over it, the whole time the police there to watch . He said that they had a conversation in the front seat of the car driving him to the precinct about “what is art?” one of them said that if any graffiti artist painted on HIS house, he’d kill them, cut their hands off. Another disgruntled officer said criticized the Mayor’s stupid plan of hiring graffiti artists, preferring to have them all shot. Eder said that the most high-ranking of them actually was in support of Eder’s art, and assuaged the situation the most he could, to no avail. Eder’s painting of that building symbolized the power of the people to take back public space abandoned by corrupt city government. The police use to use those posts, but now, for whatever reason – budget cuts, threats to their safety, the posts are no longer functioning. They are eye sores for the public. And the whole experience was humiliating, frustrating. Eder lost a whole day’s work, materials. The police won back their same old decrepit abandoned building. The people of Salvador lost a beautiful mural.
… and she’s awake...
1) Eder playing with Zaya in her little mosses basket
2) Zaya strikes a pose with a Mohawk
4) Nonna (my mom) and Zaya
5) me, Zaya, coconut on Stella Maris beach - Mother's day!
6) (random) - the impact of the landslide/wall falling on Eder's neighbor's house last month