Had a great weekend in Praia. Met lots of people and felt like I’m starting to get a better feel for everything around me. Becoming in sync with the place. Attracting opportunities that I never realized.
It’s been pretty hot lately. Even my Thai genes are like ‘whoah, something’s cooking out there!’. Doesn’t stop me from doing anything, although lying on my bed with airconditioning on for 15mins does wonders. And cold showers help as well.
Friday, I was somehow worn out by everything I did that week and took an easy night. Besides, I didn’t know anyone that was going out and I wasn’t completely aware of the festival that was going on. My plan was to go all out on Saturday anyway.
Saturday morning was easy, and I had lunch at a nearby restaurant. My goal was to look for some fuel for my fire poi that day. I went past the gas station to see if they could fill my 5liter water bottle but they were like ‘no, something something something *points in another direction*’… I figured what they meant was that there was another gas station which was a bit more easy-going with safety regulations than the Shell was. So I made my way in that direction.
I had no idea how far it’d be, and wasn’t even sure if that’s what they meant so I contemplated my options at a busstop. I wanted to go to the beach that day anyway but wanted to get fuel so I could do my fire dance once the sun would set. I figured if I met some people at the beach, they’d probably be willing to help me. So I started walking again.
At the first beach I stopped, I just wanted to put my feet in the sand there because I wanted to go to the big beach where’d there’d probably be more people I could connect with. As I walked on I heard ‘iemke!’ behind me, and I turned around just for the sake of checking where this sound was coming from that sounded a bit like my name. It turned out to be my friend who I met in Holland that was calling me, which was a good omen.
We greeted and I told him I was looking for fuel for my poi. Ofcourse he didn’t understand what I meant so I was like ‘I’ll show you’ giving him a little demonstration. His eyes lit up and he was like ‘wait, wait, you have to meet the guys’.
He introduced me to the band he was playing percussion with that night, who all flew in from abroad to play at the Jazz Festival. The band leader was Paco who was apparently a drumming legend having played together with artists like Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone and some other famous people I forget. His band members were also extraordinary players as I’d find out later that night… after I realized who these guys were I felt very lucky to be just chilling with these musical masters.
When everyone got out of the water to chill on the beach for a bit, there was a gap which allowed me to demonstrate my poi dance as my friend from Holland was like ‘show them!’. I got into my routine of tricks and movements to show some skills, but also feeling the vibes, being free in my expression. Paco was pretty psyched about it in that he started air drumming towards the beat of my poi cycles. I also hit myself on the back a few times doing some moves but kept my cycle steady and recovered which scored me some points with the crowd. After I ended, I got an invitation to come join them on stage that night.
After a bit more chilling and some meditation, the band had to leave for some preparation. I went to the other beach after that. I connected with some people there, and had a bit of a workout before I left to go buy some water, food and go home.
I was pretty tired from my day as well, and went to take a nap. When I got out from my nap, I felt like I just wanted to keep on sleeping but I pushed myself to go do what I told myself I was going to do. I got in a cab and left for the festival.
When I arrived, I immediately recognised my friend and he attempted to call me just as I was getting out of the cab. Another moment of perfect timing.
I chilled for a bit with the people there, having a beer, being able to communicate in English. My friend then let Paco know I was here and arranged an ‘artist’ bracelet so I could go pretty much anywhere in the enclosed area, including backstage where there was a tent with refreshments and a spliff waiting for me. A ticket to the festival would normally cost around €15 and I had a pretty sweet seat of the show where I was.
I pretty much watched the whole show before Paco invited me on stage to do my light poi show during the encore. It was strange yet normal standing in the middle of the stage, with a big smile plastered on my face. When the music started, I started spinning. I felt like it could’ve gone better though, also because of the fact one of the LED balls broke and flew off behind the stage which gave me a weird exit. But hey, all for the experience, and I suppose not bad for an impromptu addition to the show 😊 people had never seen something like that before there. It was overall just a great night of sharing energy and culture.
After the concert was done, I thanked everyone and mingled some more with the people. There was another party somewhere so we all went to the other destination. I shared a cab with a violinist who was studying at the conservatory in Rotterdam; the world is a small place.
At the other party, I met some people I met on the beach a week ago. They had a whole friend group that was coming as well so the connections multiplied fast. I chilled mostly with them until the rest of the time… and I’d be chilling with them the day after.
On stage, there was a bit of a jamming session going on and I did another light show since nobody was taking the floor in front to dance.
Being one of the last people to leave, we tried to help this woman find her lost purse with credit card and phone and everything in it. She was being pretty dramatic about it as she was emotional and not thinking clearly but we all took a cab and dropped her off at home. I ended up sleeping when the sun was out again.
The next day we were celebrating the birthday from my friend I met from the beach. That day was also my mom’s birthday coincidentally. We had a nice lunch at a restaurant:
After lunch we went to the beach:
I did some more poi dancing and tried to teach, played some ukulele, went for a swim, did some pullups and dips then made my way back home as the sun started to set.
It felt like I did a lot that weekend. The pace at work is a little different as there are a lot more moments of emptiness at the office currently… its a matter of waiting for resources, which is fine for me as it gives me time to think about my own business and write and reflect as I am now… but not very efficient for business. Cabo Verde has its pro’s and con’s like that.
We’ll see where this ends up. Ciao for now!