Travel Journals

Carnival in Azores

Hello, all, and happy Carnival!

I just came inside after taking a ton of photos of the local kids here in Fazazinha (the next little village) having a crazy water balloon fight. Everyone got very wet and alternated turning on each other with balloons and buckets and hoses.... what a grand ruckus! All of the local moms were clucking and worrying that tomorrow they will all be down in the pharmacy buying medicine since the kids will all be sick, but nobody seemed to take much notice, and apparently this is a grand annual tradition!

Things are going fine here in my island home, and for the most part I’ve been enjoying the rural life. I looked up from my reading a few days ago to see the neighbor across the field walking up towards his house with a freshly-slaughtered cow slung over his shoulders (!) And I’ve noticed that a herd of cows and sheep and goats which has been grazing across the cobbled road for the past week was mooooved on down to someone else’s field. And I watched two seagulls struggling out in the field, eating what appeared to be quite a long snake.... So there’s lots going on here!

The internet cafe has been proving to be a bit of a challenge. Apparently the guy who runs the place also works for the Town Hall, and so sometimes without warning the place is closed (even when I call and am told that it’s open!) So I’m getting plenty of exercise walking up and down and around all of the hills here, trying not to be frustrated with the island way of life.

The crazy winter storms have been continuing, and the townspeople say on a daily basis, “You should come here instead during the summer!” which has gotten to be quite a typical conversation. Even though there is indeed lots of rain and wind, there are also good points about being in a place without any other tourists and having an absolutely authentic experience in rural Portugal!

Thanks for all of the emails and lovely connections from home. Connie, I got your Valentine when the postmaster lady stopped me on the road in her car and said, “I have letter for you!” And Cole and Kristi.... congratulations on the splendid arrival of baby Claire!

Much love to all of you....