Music Events in Cape Verde

If you’re looking for something to do in Cape Verde, you’ll usually find it regardless of the season (although coming here to do absolutely nothing also has its magic). A quick look at the cultural agenda will tell you if there’s something interesting happening in town and through our Whatsapp service, you can also stay up to date. On the more populated/touristy islands, there’s definitely always something to do and if you’re anywhere else, you’re usually more lucky to find something in the weekend if you’re looking for a party. Check with locals for events anyway!

When it comes to the big stuff, throughout the year there are events which you can keep an eye on. They are the following:

  • Carnival in February/March, probably best experienced in Mindelo and on other Barlavento islands. Praia is now also trying to introduce Carnival but it isn’t experienced and felt in the way the people of the Northern islands experience and feel it, so go there for a more authentic experience (or find some emigrants from Mindelo in Praia to hang out with).
  • The Atlantic Music Expo and the Kriol Jazz Festival in April in Praia.
  • The Flag Feast on April 30th in Fogo.
  • The Gamboa Festival in May in Praia.
  • Tabanka in June in Santiago.
  • The Festival of Sao Joao on June 24th.
  • The Violin Festival in June in Santo Antao.
  • Baia das Gatas in August in Sao Vincent.
  • The Sal Music Festival in September (in Sal obviously).
  • Sete Sois e Sete Luas in November in Santo Antao, although I’ve seen their events on other islands as well like Santiago and Fogo.

Most of this info I got from here, as from the above list, I’ve personally only experienced a handful of them. At the Gamboa Festival, I’ve had an especially good experience because that’s where I started my relationship with the mother of my unborn son: you never know who you might meet! I personally would like to experience Carnival in Mindelo one day, just to know how it differs from Carnival in Praia.

When it comes to music in Cape Verde however, anytime is a good time to experience this. Especially in cities like Praia and Mindelo, there’s always something going on as the Cape Verdean people breath music.

Living in Praia, I can tell you that Quintal da Musica will always have something going on in the evening (music related), where Tuesday will usually be a Batuk day, and they have pretty decent food too. During the day there are also numerous artists playing for lunchtime concerts at various restaurants and cafes, mostly in the Plateau area.

To summarize, anytime is a good time for music, although agreeably with varying degrees of intensity. If you’re able to catch a festival here, good for you! There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year so come around and consider checking in with us if you’re in the area. We’ll be glad to at least give you some pointers 😉 peace!

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The Start of 2018

So the first month of 2018 has passed and there’s a few things I feel I have to share with people that like to hear stuff from me (also known as ‘friends and family’). Here’s a little update for you all:

-As of October 2017, I’ve started teaching English mostly to youth classes, however, I have one adult class which focuses mostly on conversation. It’s been a way to keep my head afloat with some steady income and I’ve come to realize I really enjoy teaching. It’s also given me some structure to plan my day around and forces me out of bed early, which is good.

-I need the income from teaching because growing mushrooms is harder than I expected. In my experience, I haven’t really ever had problems of the type I’m experiencing now but it is part of the learning curve I suppose. I’m going to be modifying some of my methods and started with a clean slate this year by cleaning out my lab. I’m going to get started with some cultures on petri dishes and will also be constructing a glove box to keep contamination in control with some new inoculations. The season for sugar cane has just started so I will be retrying some experiments with that. Hoping for a better year.

-I’ve been practicing my arts as well: music and a kind of theatre/dance performance as of late too; it’s starting to look like this could be another source of income with my first payment coming in. I began playing saxophone with some bands in late 2017, then doing fire Poi at some events (parties/new year) and I was recently part of a performance which was centred around music but had elements of dance and theatre too. I applied a variety of my skills there including playing some saxophone, doing some Kung Fu and dancing with Poi as well as some general animation. It was a lot of fun and hoping to grow this part of me in the future, especially with the people I did the performance with. Hoping to see the videos/pictures of that posted soon J

-I feel pretty positive about what this year’s bringing, and especially the new life it’ll bring with it. Literally, as I have one final announcement to make: it looks like I’ll be a father by the end of July this year. I feel pretty relaxed about it and just taking things as they come. Doctors are saying that everything looks perfect so far, but we’ll be having it in Spain because that’s where mama is from (and where she has insurance), which will make procedures much smoother in case of complications. We’ll know the gender at around March.

I think that’s it for now. Life just goes on as usual for us. Monday to Saturday are pretty much work days, and Sunday is our holy day which we religiously spend on the beach. The weather’s 90% of the time sunny here which has its benefits (and drawbacks), and I enjoy the lifestyle that we’re able to live doing what we do. I can be pretty flexible around the teaching I’m doing. I teach 6 times per week in the morning, and 3 times per week in the evening which works out well. I’m also trying to see if I can hook up some other private teaching jobs using the skill set I have. For example, due to people noticing my flexibility through Kung Fu, I’ve been getting leads for potentially being a yoga teacher where I won’t be teaching yoga, but general flexibility exercises I do in Kung Fu. Got to hustle. Looking for opportunities to connect people for more value generation as well. Also working on some other ideas with people, though keeping in mind that action speaks louder than words; it’s all about the execution. 2017 has been a good build up for 2018, so this year has to be about the results of that foundation. I’ll be in Spain again this summer at least (Andalucía) and looking forward to some crazy life changing events. We’ll see what the year brings us. Peace and prosperity to all!

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Response to Yesterday’s Freewrite

I might consider writing this up to make it more legible. Didn’t want to sit behind a screen at this hour so at least minimizing like this. Later! 

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It’s really just about doing what you love.

Try to find the win win situations. Win win, or no deal.

I realized that I have that kind of relationship with music. I play music because I enjoy it. It isn’t my life, but it’s definitely part of it. I believe, however, that my being is bigger than that. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, it’s just that I want to taste all the flavors that life has to offer, and I’m lucky enough to be able to choose to do that.

Don’t compromise on yourself. Don’t compromise on your integrity. Learn to channel yourself. Your inner energy. Listen to yourself. Who are you following? Yourself or someone else? In the end, you’re the only one that knows what’s best for you, so let your inner self guide you. Let your principles guide you.

Since I’ve started re-reading Stephen R. Covey’s “7 Habits” I’ve realized that I have to keep “sharpening the saw”. It wasn’t even all that sharp when I finished his book back when I was in university. At least the foundations are there. I just need to build on them.

I like my life as it is now. It’s a mix match of different things, though very cozy and casual. I feel at home, especially when my woman is around.

I’m not an extrovert. Let’s get that straight. I might be able to handle myself in social situations, but I really need to be doing my own thing most of the time. I used to often meditate at parties (especially after smoking some marijuana) because I had to. Dealing with other people’s energy sometimes takes energy. Sometimes I find people that give me energy, and I know I need to give them some back. I’ve been somewhat selfish in that regard but I’m trying to change that. To be more giving. My woman teaches me a lot about that.

The last 24+ hours have been really cool actually. I’m doing what I love almost all the time. As a saxophone player as well, its not necessary for you to play all the time. Besides, I need to catch my breath after a few rounds… and it fits into who I am.

I was really all over the place yesterday during the jam/rehearsal. Before people started arriving, I had a swim in the sea and did some beach Kung Fu. Then, I was practicing sax in the company of the coconut ladies. Later, I sat outside practicing flute, I was doing Kung Fu, I was dancing, I was joining my friend with percussion. I picked up my sax when I was needed… but I really just had a great time; I didn’t want to ruin that by treating band practice as ‘work’… because it isn’t, and it felt like that when I got asked for rehearsals again.

Perhaps I’m stubborn. Perhaps I’m lazy. Perhaps my heart’s just not in it. But I’ll remember this: win, win or no deal. I just didn’t see the win for myself in that scenario. Picking no deal just felt like the better alternative… and it was.

I’m a jack of all trades. Though I need to think about what I want to master. Permaculture really is one of those things. At the moment, most of that is directed to mycology, because I just see an opportunity in that right here, right now. It still fits under the umbrella of permaculture and I just see a massive need for this, especially here since it doesn’t exist.

Even though my family is far away, I still feel very close to them. It’s like Quantum Entanglement, in the way I understand it; the way that everything is connected and that space and time and don’t affect the simultaneous behavior of two particles. It helps that we have internet these days too.

I’m really tired now though and off to sleep. I’ll write some more later. Peace!

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Menno’s Last Days in Cabo

I was thinking of writing blogs again because my friend said he missed reading them. That’s all it takes for me really. I just need a slight push because I’m already on the edge of things. I’m not afraid to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. In general I feel that’s real. Ofcourse there are moments where I find myself being insecure about things but luckily I have a partner who I can confide in. 

Yesterday we had a jam session and a barbecue at my place. It was pretty sweet. We had a first group and a second group, and some overlap. It was a good crowd and everything worked out the way it should’ve. We started with the barbecue early because I know barbecueing chicken takes time and attention. I watched the sun set as I was preparing food before the guests arrived. Its good we have a pretty good sound system now too. The first group involved mostly IT professionals and some other friends and the second group involved more musicians who came to jam. We had flutes, saxophones, guitars, an accordion, voices and some beatboxing. It was pretty fantastic since some of the musicians I invited also were professionals. Me and Menno started us off with some Sunshine Castle originals (our latest recording), and we ran out just as the other musicians joined the party. 

I find that that happens a lot here. Serendipity. Everything happens when its supposed to. Just give it time and have patience. Not saying thats the case with everything, as putting people under pressure when you want things to happen is also necessary. It’s a balancing act of pushing and letting go. 

Its the last day for my friend in Cape Verde as well. We had a good run. I’m glad he visited and learned a lot with him. It helps that his job involves coaching startups as well as he gave me some valuable advice and helped progress my business after the first night already. 

He gave a presentation at the university and we travelled to another island (Fogo) as well as exploring Santiago to the extent we could with the time we had. We played a lot of music and made some moves with business. It was pretty fantastic.

As a Libra, he balances out my extremeties. Whether you believe in astrological compatibility or not, I’ve found it helps me balance my life and relations with others. It gives me an alternative lens to look through and helps compare and contrast what aspects of my personality and that of others works well and doesn’t. Its a crude lens, I admit, but it captures some generalities marvelously. 

I’m about to head out for a last meal before we’re putting him on an airplane. 

I’m thankful for his presence and we had some good adventures during his stay. We laughed and we harmonized, we created beautiful things together and I hope we will continue to do so in the future. Overlapping his field with mine could potentially create new opportunities and new adventures. I wish him the best of luck and hope to meet again. Bon voyage! 

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Freewrite July 20th

I’ve been a bit obsessed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers (again?) today. I’ve been actually going through all kinds of music lately, and really studying sound development and the process of music making. I was listening to some Xavier Rudd and reading a story from him, then going deeper into the sound and lyrics of Nahko and Medicine for the People, then moved on to the Beatles and tried to listen to the difference in sound before and after Magical Mystery Tour (after in which they went to India and had somewhat of a spiritual transformation, especially George). Today, I found myself back with the Peppers, as I was listening to their latest album last week, and now again, also diving back into their past a bit. Listened to their interview of some of the songs of Stadium Arcadium and got a bit of a grasp of their music making process and imagined myself in the studio with them. I made me also think back of all the musical experiences I’ve had in my life, especially the creation of it and jam sessions and it made me want to do and be more.

The thing is, I want a lot of things. It’s hard to find focus sometimes. But its good to work in a project based manner. Right now, I’m thinking of finishing a song that I have sitting on my smart phone as a recording. John Lennon wrote like 15 songs during his time in India, Paul McCartney about a dozen and George Harrison wrote 6. Even though their lives were dedicated to music, I’m sure with my will and determination I can at least finish what I started some months ago now.

At the moment I’m at work, and I try to keep myself productive and thinking ahead. Working on my own business a lot lately as well, making designs, planning materials, writing requests, studying processes. It takes a lot of energy too, and even though I enjoy it, and its interesting, I need variety in my life. Writing a blog is a welcome way for me to express my feelings and thoughts, doing something different while I’m here.

Work is pretty easy going for me at the moment. I just finished some administration to pay workers which is a sort of meditative process for me as I focus on efficiency and automatizing as much as I can. Probably in my genes since my father and grand father both specialized in Information Technology. I listen to music and do what I need to do.

I reply to emails when they come up and try to be proactive on most tasks that need doing. I push myself to finish a task so that I can play a quick game afterwards, matching the task-reward aspect of my brain. I probably have a bit of a gaming addiction but going about this strategically seems to work as I discipline myself to enjoy these things after tasks I don’t like doing.

At home everything is fine. I’m missing a certain someone but won’t go into details about that. Life’s good here though. I’m a lucky man.

I’ve been having a couchsurfer over from Brazil who’s a mellow guy. He’s actually from the Congo but studies in Brazil momentarily. I got the last season of Game of Thrones from him so will watch that in the coming days possibly. I was watching an old episode the other day because he put it on when he was transferring it to my external drive and I was just glued to the screen after that. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) is such a fantastic actor, Tyrion being one of my favorite characters as well.

So yes, I’m a bit behind with that. Not a terrible thing, because now I can just marathon the whole thing and be done with it. Other things I’m also behind on is Pokemon Go… although now that I think about it, I’m kind of curious how many Pokemon I can find on the island. Water Pokemon on the beach perhaps? Hmmm… perhaps worth to find out one of these days.

I also think about my family every now and then. My dad, who’s mostly busy with his hotel software business in South East Asia and my sister, busy with her life in Groningen, the Netherlands, trying to combine her business savviness and creativity with waste reduction and marine conservation, which is part of her job. My mom is in Thailand and I know its probably hard for her to have her family all over the place like this. At least she has more opportunity now to visit her parents and brother who she normally wouldn’t see as often when we were living in the Netherlands. I miss them sometimes… although I’m glad I am where I am.

Cabo Verde has been good for my growth. I’m in the prime of my life which means that now I have to chance to establish patterns and habits for myself which will have impact on my later years. I’ve matured more on the inside, feeling secure with who I am, and letting myself express who I am with more authenticity. A lot of the things I read on these personal development blogs I seem to already have, or already be doing. I’m on the right path, and it feels good.

I’m excited for what the future holds. I’ll make a quick stop in the Netherlands in October, and hopefully visit at least 1 other country as well, but for the rest I’ll be in Cabo Verde at least until the end of March 2017, quite possibly longer. So far so good here anyway.

I’ll leave it at that for now since I think the electrician for my company just arrived. Will update some more later.

Have a great day. Tchau!


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9 Types of Permaculture People

Permaculture people. As the way plants reflect human beings, we all have different purposes, come in unique shapes and have a certain relationship with our environment. I’m getting more fascinated by this world I decided to jump into, and realized there’s also a whole spectrum of people to explore. Here are 9 types of Permaculture people I’ve met:

The Intuitive Expert

These are people who have a deep expertise of a certain field sometimes very much related to Permaculture, but have come to a Permaculture way of thinking from their own intuition and understanding of their environment. Experts probably have a job in their respective fields or are using their knowledge applied in specific niches related to Permaculture, but wouldn’t necessarily classify themselves as Permaculture practitioners.

The Young Adept

Young Adepts have recently graduated from a Permaculture Design Course or a more specific field underneath the Permaculture umbrella, and are looking to apply their knowledge with the skills they’ve learnt. They are starting to deepen their experience in a certain area with the first drops filling the bucket. They may already have come from a certain related field but are letting Permaculture tie it all together.

The Radical Activist

The Radical Activist likes to March Against Monsanto, but can also be seen shouting out about animal cruelty, injustice against people and probably is a bit of an anarchist too. They want to farm for their sovereignty.

The Sensitive Artist

The Sensitive Artist sees and feels too much of the world sometimes. Is happiest when making art or gardening in the community garden.

The Working Professional

Has an established Permaculture practice. Is applying it a demonstration site or a terrain at least a few acres in size, and consults with other people and organizations on issues of sustainability.

The Grass Roots Leader

Has crafted their own philosophy through experience and found a way to bring people together with a garden. Has a charismatic personality that puts a smile on your face. Charms you to pick up a shovel.

The Recently Converted

It’s when we’ve taken our first Permaculture introduction or are starting jump on this path of gardening, and attempting to grow our own food. How does it all work? What do worms do? Soil huh? Tell me more?

The Alien

That guy who’s slightly separated himself from mainstream society, perhaps a bit cynical of it. He’s a bit weird, but the people around him don’t raise an eyebrow because he’s in a place of love… well they sometimes raise an eyebrow, but that’s why he’s loved! 😛

The Overseas Starter

The Overseas Starter lives, as the name implies, abroad. Had different reasons to move but is turning their attention to their purpose and inner calling. Somehow Permaculture is something that’s resonating strongly on their path. They might very well be combining their job with Permaculture happenings because of its related field and planting the seeds of an organic lifestyle.

Hope you enjoyed the read 😉

Until next time!


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