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mardi 5 avril 2016


It had been snowing since the morning and it was gaining strength. I had to go from the Hilton Hotel in downtown to the Convention Centre where I was attending the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society. It is a nice walk along a park and bayside but on this morning of freezing winds, it was not a possibility.
Uber to the rescue! within one minute, Abner is at the front of the hotel. Young and dark skinned, with frizzy hair, could be easily mistaken for an Ethiopian. But as it turned out, he and I shared a profound love for the country of his birth: Cabo Verde!
We immediately switched to Portugese, he was curious where I had learned it, Brasil?
Of course, Cesaria Evora was the first one, then Tavares, Jovinho dos Santos, Mayra Andrade, Tito Paris, Ildo Lobo, Bana, and the singer who is the Minister of Culture … just like Jorge Ben was in the cabinet of Lula!
We talked about Cabo Verde: sodade that incredible sweet sensation of nostalgia and longing; emigranti, which details their history of migration, Mar which is always there surrounding them, imprisoning them as well as liberating them, their lovely Mornas y Coladeras.
I wanted to show him that I had CV music in my iPhone, he connected it to his speaker system.

The first song that came out of my iPhone was Beijo Roubado by Cesaria Evora. My heart sank, tears nearly came to my eyes. Such a sentimental song and it had such a meaning for me, of evenings spent at the University of Reading!! I could hardly speak, choked as I was, while he talked about his Cabo Verde home
Be proud of being a Cabo Verdian and be proud of your culture, I managed to blurt out.
I told him of the special relationship Cuba has CaboVerde, La Habana has one of the 7 Cabo Verdean embassies in the world! He remembered his doctor being a Cuban and that he has relatives who had studied in Cuba. TACV flies twice a week from USA to CV!
I made a mental note, it would be nice to be take that flight…to recover my Beijo Roubado.
Boa Sorte, I wished him well, ate logo, see you later, Um prazer conhece-lo, it is a pleasure knowing you, he replied.

Obrigado para as islas de musica, de mornas y coladeras, Cabo Verde!