Redemption in The Rio Negro

It took me a day to hate Delhi, a week to go out of there. One month to love India, and I will take a whole life to learn to be far from there, I even miss Delhi.

It took me one day to hate Manaus. I confronted the upper class that reminded me of Brazilian literature, so many lies all over, so much lack of respect to the other. I thought of going home. Then I remembered no one should consider the first week of a long journey seriously.

I love it here now. Met really nice people. Spent a wonderful day swimming in the Rio Negro. We drove through the roads of Amazonas.

The whole country wondered what would be the result of the election. Raphael, my host, voted and I justified my absence. Then we went to a small beach that is unknown to most people from Manaus.

I met other travellers last night. Suddenly I had tons of possibilities for the path. I remembered India. So much freedom and options that in the end will always lead one to not know what to do.

I saw the sunset here in the Rio Negro. Of course, it brought me joy, happiness and memories of the mekong but I did not want to be there. I was in place. I have actually made friends here.

No idea where I am going now. But I feel I am back.

The zoo made me think a lot about the fact that some animals wanted to escape. Others seemed fine there trapped and cared. I knew I would be the monkey trying to escape.

Since I started this journey s few days ago I realised something I thought was strange. When people asked me where I was going, I responded my plans were free and that all I knew was that I did not want to be back in the state of sao paulo this year.

Naturally, people were surprised by this answer. Actually people acted differently.

Some men and women of all ages would reply. Either they felt that was very scary, dangerous and that they loved their houses, and routine.

While others would actually say they would love to do that.

I knew that those would be natural reactions to my response. I did not actually anticipate so many older women being in my group. Even less some of their answers.

“You are so lucky I would love to do that. My trips have to be small because my 27 year old child cannot deal with me being gone for very long.”

“I guess the life of a mother is to abandon her whole life forever. I love my children and grandchildren but I wish I could just go. The next year is always the next year.”

That actually surprised me a lot. Many men replied they wished they could have their freedom back to simply go. I expected that. But I did not expect that from a grandmother.

Since I started this journey I have had so many different emotions.

Sometimes I felt there was nothing else for me to keep looking for. But of course as the water washes your body in that beautiful river, and you realise the amount of beauty there is, it all stops.

And this exercise to see more things brings you back so many gifts that you do not know anymore where to go first and who you should go with.

We have just had the results of the Brazilian election. Dilma is re-elected.

The speech reflects the feeling of the country. Both candidates speak of reunion. The country has been severely divided. There was so much rage in this election.

She wins because it reflects the desire of the poor. My state the richest of Brazil, Sao Paulo, is unhappy.

I did not vote. I have no right to speak of it. I know so little of this country. Both presidents would lead to harm to someone.

As I bathe in the river I thought of that. I wish that the least harm will come to the weaker. I think of that knowing I am in the Amazon. Who are the weaker? The poor? The indigenous?

I dive and I realise I do not know. All I know now is that I feel very well travelling alone. I feel so deeply that I am not weak, that is why I can even endure the beginning of bad moments, my memory is back so I know one must endure it, because the beauty will always follow it.

Love from Manaus.

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4 thoughts on “Redemption in The Rio Negro

  1. Aproveite Manaus, já recebi alguns amigos aqui em Manaus e eu fazia questão deles verem os dois lados, mas no final das contas, sempre saiam falado bem de Manaus. A mesma tem suas mazelas, mas infelizmente acontece… . Aproveite ! Com certeza em suas viagens vc irá encontrar oq quer encontrar =)

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