IN TRANSIT | Robin Sparks


I’m back in Salvador. Arrived with no plans for accommodations…ran into Lourdes walking down the street, Lourdes, my Brazilian friend…who within moments found me a room for $7 a night, just downstairs from my English friend Helena. Yes, in the same neighborhood where I watched a gang try to mug Helena and another gang protect her.

What a change! The inconveniences (no walking alone at night) and lack of creature comforts (no hot water) are more than made up for by the fact that my next door neighbors make the one-stringed Brazilian guitars called berimbaus. This morning as I hung my laundry, it was to the tune of my neighbors tuning their instruments. Lourdes introduced Helena and me to two of our neighbors last night. The young black men walked us home and told us (translated by Lourdes) that we are not to worry – that they will watch our backs.

And so today I sit in this internet cafe thinking about where to spend the last of my days in Brazil. There’s Praia do Forte, Trancoso, Ubatuba….so many possibilities, so little time.

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