Monday, May 28, 2012

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5/25/12 The tour of the Xukuru territory today was quite the adventure. Due to the terrible conditions of the roads it felt like we were off-roading the entire time; and, since we were four-deep in the backseat of a three-seat bench, it was hours of “extra” fun. We got to have some great quality time with Cacique Marquinho and experience first-hand how he interacts with his people. Everywhere we went he was greeted with a huge smile; the amount of love his people have for him was plain as day for everybody to see. His picture was in every school we visited – one child even had his picture glued to the front of her notebook! In turn, he greeted everyone he encountered with a hug as though they were family. The relationships people have here with each other are really special. It also became even more evident how much he cares for the people around him, even if they aren't his own people, by lunchtime when he took us out to eat at a local restaurant. Knowing that we were slightly homesick for "familiar foods," he ordered fried chicken, french fries, and Coke (alongside traditional regional foods, of course). While each of these were slightly different in taste than those found at home, everything was still delicious and it totally hit the spot - we went through two liters of Coke! It was a real treat.
I haven’t met one person on this adventure yet that I haven’t cared for. The people are so generous and accepting of us, even though we aren’t Xukuru. Today while we were touring a man’s garden, he offered each of us our own coconut so we could have fresh coconut water – complete with straw! It was just one example of the kindness that seems to flow freely from everybody here. We haven’t been made to feel like outsiders by anybody we’ve encountered, and I can already tell I’m going to miss this place terribly when the time comes for us to leave. Shayla

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