I have arrived in S. Vicente, Cabo Verde, my homeland. I have to say that it was a great feeling. Not as emotional as it has been in the past but nevertheless a great feeling. I think it’s because life circumstances has allowed me to see my grandmother more often and also my husband is no longer my long distance boyfriend J It was liberating to see my grandma, aunts, cousins, childhood friends and town people.
It felt great to get off the plane in the capital city of Praia and it also felt great to get off the plane in my own city of Mindelo. We had a few hours in Praia before boarding to my island so we were able to have an abbreviated tour of the city. It was like any other big city: busy with people, vehicles, stores and even road blocks because Portugal’s President was here in commemoration of Cape Verde’s 35th anniversary as an independent state. Yes, we did see him and his 15-car entourage, twice. Yesterday, my husband visited world-renowned Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora, who is resting after a cardiac related surgery. In contrast to other famous singers, Cesaria is very accessible to the locals when she’s home from tour. Her home is in the middle of the city where anyone, rich or poor can come by and say hello. She has an open door policy. While my husband was visiting, Cape Verde’s president Pedro Pires and first lady, Adelcia Pires stopped by to check up on Cise. My husband got a chance to visit with a famous singer, a nation’s president and the first lady. I am so mad I was taking a nap at the time!!!
So thus far we have gone to the beach everyday, ate all kinds of fish and other local delicacies like octopus, coconut and cheese desserts, local beer (STRELA), Juices, etc. Today we are going to the fish and vegetable markets as well as downtown to check out boutiques and other stores that speak volumes of globalization. In terms of goods, one can find anything here these days. From clothing to building materials, anything can be made or imported. The city of Mindelo’s nightlife is like no other. Everyday we have experienced different bars, lounges, restaurants as well as nightclubs.
Last night we went to Furnalha, a local restaurant. I ate grilled octopus with potatoes (amazing!) and the whole group experienced the best vegetarian pizza with peppers, tomatoes and corn! Furnalha had live traditional music. The crowd was a mix of locals and European tourists. The ambience was great as the restaurant was out in the open. We also went to a bar/lounge called Look, with eclectic sounds of techno, R&B and Hip Hop. It’s very contemporary. Caravela is one of the nightclubs that is happening right now. It’s beach front location is amazing! It has a bar upstairs and the massive dance club is downstairs. Great lighting, pool tables, happy people having lots of fun! This weekend, there’s no telling what will go on. There’s lots to do and lots of time to do it. Sunday we are headed to St. Antao Island that is a 45-minute boat ride from my island. Because of its mountainous and rural setting it will be a breath of fresh as well as a different environment from my island.
I will try to upload updates and pictures at least once a week. But there’s so much to do that sometimes time is of the essence. Until my next post…..