A morning in Belem that takes me down familiar streets, past colonial mansions in disarray, pavements that are so broken up that there is danger at every moment that you will fall down a hole or crack an ankle. We walk through market streets selling brick a brack, clothes, watches, dvdís and sunglasses (mostly very cheap) and past a church built in 1608 that is exploding with vegetation growing from itís high walls. We see the hammock shops and a vynil store.
Feast our eyes on the beautiful mounds of the shrimps, vegetables and fruit at Ver o Peso. Open our nostrils to the smell of limes, cumin, chile powder, brazil nuts, corn and jambu. Then the rain falls in a powerful shower, like a big bathroom tap and we take refuge at a stall selling acai, fried fish and maize.
Great food followed by a walk back up town to our flat where we pack ready for the last leg of the journey to Maraba. A small plane cruises over the deforested land and delivers us to the welcoming arms of Dan and friends at the airport. Evany was not allowed out of school so it is Sandoval who greets us representing the young people of Cabelo Seco. Arriving on a separate flight is Jessica (from Conneticut), a student on a 3 month environmental study placement come to spend a weekend here to share the celebration of the CD launch and to learn, like us, from the project. A packed car travels the 15 minute drive to the community and we arrive to meet Mano and have a welcome circle of coffee and cake.
The talking begins as Dan explains in more detail the local and sub regional politics and the intense production schedule to prepare for the Saturday night gig. It is good to be here! We unpack our clothes and gifts before a walk for a Guarana smoothie with Jessica as we try and find out all she has learnt about the mining, deforestation, damn building and all.
The evening has 2 more stages as we attend a rehearsal of the Latinhas which is inspiring in it's energy and musicality. It takes place in the new Cultural centre they have built and we re-meet all the young people and the great musician Zequinho. Finally a walk in the rain for pizza and beer and more talking as we slowly arrive and understand a little more. Sleep comes easily under our pink mosquito net.