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Memories from Pernambuco January 26, 2006

Posted by ditta in Uncategorized.
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..the time started to fly and my capacity to write was somehow reduced.. here are at least some memories from the rest of my stay in and around Recife, from which I came to Brasilia last Friday (20/1) – but about that in a separate post..

So, the Voices of Youth conference was partly a consultancy of the World Bank for their World Development Report on Youth and partly a youth gathering, which brought together various groups to discuss the priorities for youth policy in Pernambuco. The second part of the conference was very interesting as the synergy of the different groups of urban and rural youth, the indigenous and quilombolo youth – on the pictureRecife-Olinda-e-Pontos-de-P.jpg and other subgroups called for the establishment of an independent youth council, which would participate and cooperate on youth policy formation together with the state government of Pernambuco as well as the municipalities. The outcomes, though in my opinion still rather vague, called for a second meeting, which would discuss the start of such process in more detail.

But overall, it was amazing to meet such a great diversity of people – from Brasilia (the federal youth secretary and the youth secretaries of the Min of Agriculture and the Min for promotion of racial equality), the neighbouring state (Ceara – who were already involved in such a process), the governmental agencies and local authorities of Recife and Olinda (all young adults!) as well as the amazing variety of youth and educational organisations that I will have hopefully time to visit during my next trip to Recife..

Well, but this trip was not only work, as it may seem – the evenings and late nights were very animated with debates on youth policy in brazil, and critical reflections on the process of this last moment organised event and gossip about everything that went wrong, which mixed nicely together with local drinks and street samba festivities in down-town recife, night swimming at the beach in front of the hotel (which is supposed to be the only area in Brasil where people die from shark bites! – but luckily we did not meet any 😉

the conference finished actually on wednesday evening, so we had thursday ‘free’ – to recover from the party and plan our next steps before taking the plane on Friday morning back to Brasilia.. In the general chaos and undecisiveness of the late morning, me and my wonderful new friend Barbara (who works for the Ministry of promotion of Racial Equality) went for a walk, acai and some shopping and ended up at the beach in new swimming suit (as we both forgot them in Brasilia), where we met with Alessandro, who arranged for us served fresh oisters with lime from a guy selling them to hungry beach enjoyers.. – well kind of paradise feeling..

boa-viagem.jpg new-swimming-suit.jpg oisters.jpg

once we actually got out of the beach to pack, we discovered it is rather late to materialise any of our ambitious plans.. there were about 7 people waiting for us, not talking about the fact that we had to move out from the hotel..

so with our great local guide Vittoria (civil servant from the municipality of Olinda – great dancer too!) we went through various stations to the airport where we deposited some people to go to another youth event in Fortaleza, finally had lunch (at 5PM) and hired a car to spend the evening and the following morning at some beach close by..

but the evening developed still in the city of Recife and Olinda, and we were driving meeting various people and walking around the old streets of the city – had a local tapioca (kind of pancake from maniok filled with meat, cheese or banana with condensated milk) and talked to various street youth workers who just happen to be around..

olinda.jpg – Olinda by night

olinda-igreja-da-se.jpg – Igreja da Se, Olinda

olinda-barbara-thais-vittor.jpg – form right: Vittoria, Thais, Barbara and me

only around 10PM we finally decided to leave and find our ‘beach’ and after about an hour driving we ended up in Ponto das Pedras (half way to Joao Pessoa) in some beach resort were we (Barbara, Thais – also from Federal Min, Aless and I) ended up in a beautiful pousada at the sea… walked around, opened a bottle of wine and continued our talks about brazil until early morning hours..

wont tell you how was the sun-rise as I missed it by half an hour and woke up to a marvellously illuminated beach, after which I slept happily for another hour or two, until we decided to have breakfast and enjoy the sea-side (pictures to come..)

ponto-das-pedras-2.jpg ponto-das-pedras.jpg

..dont want to get into big details about the surprise and panic when we discovered that we were super late to leave for the airport (when we realised that it is not 11AM anymore – when we wanted to leave, it was already 12.20AM, the time to arrive to the airport), and that the road was rightly only 40 min from Recife, but another 30 min within recife to the airport.. and the surprise that we could eventually check in 20 min before the departure of the plane – all of this was actually a miracle that brought me safely back to Brasilia exhausted but with great new friends and amazing memories…

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