Saturday, April 24, 2010

Carnival festivities

February 2110
Carnival was right after I got back from South Africa (travelling by yourself with an arm in a sling brings out the best in people) and although my shoulder was very painful & the amount of movement allowed by my sling was quite limited, we were determined not to miss it. We booked a car to take us down for 2pm with an arrangement to pick us up 2 hours later – we figured that would be more than enough time to take photos but would get us home well before it got riotous.

Having a “big” camera at carnival is an amazing experience – just like last year we were mobbed by people asking us to take their photo, when we asked people if we could take their photo, they almost always said yes. In fact one of the biggest issues we faced was more & more people crowding in on the photo we were trying to take. Also it was quite crowded – so many people in a small space.

There were many more police & security people around this year – although we were on a different section of the Marginal. We got to see some samba teams practising their dance, which was very cool. Everyone just looks so excited and happy.

Costumes were similar to last year – there seemed to be quite a few guys wearing condoms as part of their outfit & as always, lots of guys dressed up as girls. There was a man whose costume was hundreds of clothes pegs & another had a tie made from a loaf of bread with fish embedded in it! Very weird.

It’s hard to judge the mood precisely when you can’t speak the language – I felt most people were happy to have us take their photos, but there is an underlying current with some others – they pose, but you get the feeling that their attitude is more aggressive.

The timing of our return home was just right – it was getting much more crowded & as it was it took ages for our driver to be able to get in to pick us up.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Catching up at last

Sorry – health & work issues have kept me from keeping my blog up-to-date so I will start to catch up with some back-dated posts for the last 2 months. Mostly it has been a quiet time with my right arm in a sling limiting what we have been able (or wanting) to do. Despite this I found I could use my camera if I was careful, so we went to Carnival again, a wonderful evening of Japanese music & then I went back to South Africa just before the end of the school term to get assessed by my surgeon again. Then off to Tanzania for a very welcome holiday & then back to Luanda again for the final months of school. Unfortunately bad health is still an issue for us, as Bill has been diagnosed with pneumonia and is now into his second week off school. We’ll both be glad when we are feeling fit & well again.
(The slideshow is photos of African "babies" taken in various locations - I put this together for a preschool teacher who was looking for photos for a calendar she was making.)