segunda-feira, 9 de fevereiro de 2009

Day and a Night

Ariel view of Jauá, there are two ways in and two out of Jauá, the confusions are at the point of entry in the middle of the photograph and my house is off the photograph on the right hand side. Since rediscovering the pleasures of new love, the problems of bad vision due to the change in my eyesight after the operation to the right eye, the constant need to go back and forth to Salvador to organise different things in this life of mine (and the false friendships that exist in Jauá). I have very much kept away from any social encounters in Jauá preferring instead to spend the time on my own or with my noiva, who has now returned to Ouro Preto to continue her course. The lady (Mrs M), who is meant to be helping me with the renting of my house, brought to my house, yesterday, several more couples and their family to view to rent for Carnaval, as it would appear that the original family from Senhor de Bonfim, have reneged on their promise to rent the house for February and Carnaval ( without paying deposit and leaving their options open till the last minute, or in fact, after the last minute). When I chatted to M----- during her visit, I mentioned the fact that the previous family, who stayed for only 16 days, had used more electricity than families who had stayed one month, she replied that we could chat more about this if I visited her house the following day. This is something that I have refrained from because of the ill manners of her family and friends. When I did go the following day I got more of the same dialogue that is my reason for not having them as friends (always still referring to me as the Gringo and making out that I have relationships with every woman in Jauá)Their habit of starting to drink beer from very early in the day, makes for their comments to be loaded with stupidity and banelity, not a place to talk business. During the conversations that took place whilst I was there, I mentioned that there had evidently been a TV local news bulletin concerning a fight between several woman in the centre of Jauá a few days earlier( in fact whilst there was a small concert with a pop group and in front of the police box. This was confirmed by every one and elaborated with the fact that one of these ladies had opened up a tin can in order to use it as a knife in the fight. my comment was that it appeared that the women in Jauá where by far more dangerous than the men, to which M's husband replied that this was certainly the case and that one of their house helpers( empregada), who is quite a slight build and feminine sort, had on one occasion, recently, in a bar in Jauá, taken unkindly to a mans comments about her, he was seated at the time, so she picked up a drinking glass, broke it on the table and inserted it into the neck of the man. This lady is with others similar, still working in his house and serving food to us at the table. The lead on from this story was that on the Monday of the 2nd February, 2009, the day of Yemanja( see other posting to know more) at about 10.00 in the morning, there had evidently been about 100 hundred of the locals (a lynching party) in their garden. It seems that early in the morning a man from Camacari, had decided to help himself to various treasures in at least 10 houses near to the house of M and R. How ever, being armed with just one plastic sack and a small knife, and needing to scale the walls and the roof tops of each of the houses he entered, along others that spanned the distance between each of them, he had exchanged goods at each house in order to gain the best sack full. He was doing this in broad day light ( here it is very bright sunlight from after six in the morning till six at night ) and wearing only bright blue shorts. He had been seen by several people in their houses and leaving other folks houses by the bathroom windows at roof top level, so behind him he had created one confusion and alarm. There seems to have been a possy created to catch him and after he had raided one of the houses that M had just( that morning) rented, he became the attention of M's street.

Here he was spotted entering another of M's friends houses and the call was sent out for her husband to go there with his friends. This they did and on spotting the robber, hiding behind a turned over table-tennis table, called to the robber and asked what he was doing in the grounds of their friends house. To which the robber replied, that he was being chased by a group of people who had mistaken him for a robber, but he protested that he had not stolen anything. This was slightly unfortunate for him since he had been cut as he climbed over the roof tops and also had received a cut from one of his chasers who had managed to get close enough at one point to slash his back with a large knife, also his plastic bag had received a tear. Mr R called to his friends to get a pistol and they would shoot the robber there and then, this alarmed him so much that he took flight and cleared the 2.5 metre wall and ran over the next three roof tops, misguidingly entering the garden and house of Mr R were he quickly discharged his bag of evidence before one of the lynch mob, a burly man, caught him and the rest of the mob crowded around him. It would appear that Mr R decided to intervene at this point to stop what was about to be a killing in his garden.

The first group had already put several fists into the face and body of the man from Camacari and R had asked the others to stop from a more severe beating, it would seem that they wished to take him to the beach and offer him to the Goddess of the sea,Yemanja on her day.
The police arrive at the point that Mr R had even put a noose of wire around the neck of the robber and by this time evidently about 100 people had arrived to participate in the party of confusion. My house is thankfully at the opposite end of Jauá and well away from the super markets, beach bars and town centre where most folks gather and where most drinking takes place.

For me the biggest crime in Jauá is what the prefeito ( mayor of Camacari) has done with the beach, after bad storms three years ago, the sea wall started, continues, to collapse so he has dumped a vast quantity of large black boulders along a large stretch of the beach( it is impossible to get to the beach easily as there are now no steps or ramps and the stones are the size of about three foot balls each.
It is well known that Camacari has one of the largest budgets that is available to a mayor for work and infrastructure but every one of them that comes into office does nothing to help the community long term. This part of the coast was once very beautiful and the beaches regarded as some of the best in Brazil, still each mayor as allowed the beaches to become soiled and the sea walls to collapse without any attempt to rebuild the sea defences and make these small towns on the coast something of a real tourist destination for the whole world and not just the local Brazilians who come for a barbecue and a booze at the weekends, not really interested in the marine life or the natural beauty of the beach.
A short distance up the coast are several eco-resorts but they are thankfully owned by foreigners and therefore saved from this sort of destruction. I have written a letter to the mayors office and am going to print off these photos to accompany the letter but doubt that I will get any response.

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