Photos of Ribeira Principal: located on the island of Sao Tiago near Tarrafal, facing the other island Maio (see map under 'Cape Verde' link).
This is the most recent photo of my house in October 2002 at the height of the wet season. I planted 5 kinds of melons, 4 varieties of sun flowers, 3 colors of morning glories, zinnias, cosmos, moonflowers, soybeans, birdhouse gourds, and American sweet corn. All of the flowers finished their blooming season with flying colors, but the melons died due to the drought after October. All of the custom painting on the front of the house was done by me, and only me (very exhausting). Scroll down to see the first photos of my house when it was an animal stable and Peace Corps installed new, blue shutters and a door before I moved in.
My house in July 2002 after I had just painted the trim. The rainy season had not started yet, hence no corn or tobacco out front on the dirt hill.
PHOTOS FROM 2001.
This is the cluster of houses where I live. There are six, once of which is mine. The one with the blue shutters in the bottom right hand corner. You will notice that the animal houses are plain stone with thatched roofs usually.
This is my house in all of its splendor. The only typical stone house with a Peace Corps volunteer. It's a small compound in the sense that it has 6 rooms surrounding a courtyard.
Kids on the steps of the kindergarden waiting for class to start. This is also the traditional dress of young girls and boys. Girls always wear beautiful cloth to cover their heads from the sun and dirt.
This is the moutainous view I have from my courtyard. There are houses on the rim of the valley, a half an hour walk or more from my house.
This is my bedroom, mosquito net and batik from Senegal that I bought here in the market in Praia. The window above is one of my skylites from buying clear glass tiles that cost 10 times more than clay tile at $7.00 US each. Hundreds of insects die above my bed each day, so the plastic table cloth on the mosquito net catches them before they reach my sheets!
This is my kitchen with a batik from Senegal, like the bedroom. I did the paint design that goes around the middle of the room. WAter filter is on the window ledge. I now have a gas refrigerator and a long set of cabinets, so this photo is no longer very accurate.
This is tobacco growing outside my kitchen window and the majestic view.
My living room view on the same side of the house as the kitchen. Nice breeze and view of bush taxis entering the valley.
The mortar and pestel they use to grind corn on a daily basis for every meal. I hear the pounding of corn day and night.
Here I am in Gom Gom at the top of the river valley. You can actually see my cluster of houses from up there, despite them being over an hour walk away. You can also see the ocean up there, which you can't see from my house in the bottom of the valley.
This is the view of my neighbor's house and what I see when I walk out the front door of my house. Breathtaking...Clouds are covering the peak of Serra Malagueta, one of the two highest mountain peaks on this island -- a five hour hike from my house.
This is my living room with a nice view towards the entrance of the valley. Imagine me eating my dinner by kerosine or candlelight here. The wall batiks are from Senegal and the poster from UNICEF. The table is provided by one of the associations I work for in the valley.
This view of my house shows you the steep mountainside above it. I am told that in January a very cold wind blows over the rim and into our cluster of houses. The rock rim is also where wild monkeys have lived since the Portuguese came.
The center of Hortelao, the village where I live. Unfished houses are cement and as people earn money, they continue building.
Gom Gom, the village I work with that is a one hour hike up a footpath from my house. I am currently working with their association to see if we can finance a road up there.
What appear to be wild turkeys, although they are actually owned by random people up in Gom Gom.
Kids at the one room school house in Gom Gom.
Girls in Gom Gom on a typical afternoon, carrying water home for cooking and their animals.
Houses in Gom Gom.
Me in the flowering sugar cane fields of Gom Gom on a sunny afternoon that I was doing a health survey with Isabel, my boss.
A view from a house in Gom Gom located very high up. You see the corn drying on the line and a rooster. To cross to the other side of the valley where you see the houses is over a 30 minute hike.
This is a community of rebelados, or rebels, who are Cape Verdeans who about 50 years ago or more decided to live apjart from modernized society. They follow their own religion and live in thatched roof houses. I will probably help their community craft center with a few art lessons on how to mix colors, arrangement of interesting clay pottery, etc. They don't like to have visitors, but they do occasionally work with PeaceCorps volunteers.
Kids at a kindergarden in a neighboring community outside of my river valley.
The ocean view on the way to the entrance to my river valley located inland on the left.
The small store recently opened by a neighboring community's association. Dawn and I with the association president and a worker.
Kids on the way to school in front of the riverbed in front of my cluster of houses. I stand there with my batiked bag whenever I waiting to catch a bush taxi at 8 a.m. to Calheta, the nearby beach town where I use the computer.
A view of the other end of my river valley where the 3,000 person town of Principal is located, after which the valley is named. Currently, the road there is washed out due to the storm a few weeks ago that left a mud slide through my house.
My shower! Bucket baths every night by candlelight. Lots of spiders on the walls.
My 8 inch high cement latrine base and small table with toilet paper, etc. Imagine 2 years on this seat! Toilet paper goes in the trash can and I burn it once a week in the riverbed.
Another view of the center of my village Hortelao.
Another view of my neighbor's house and the tobacco in front of it. This is their donkey that is pregnant and due in a few months.
Two of the neighbor's kids, Odair (3) and Dani(5), as well as a neighboring kid from another house named Joao (5).