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Portraits of Cabo Verde : Bia

I met Bia in the Nilza's restaurant. She is her cook.

One day Bia asked me shyly if I knew someone who could teach her English. She didn't have a lot of money but thought learning English could allow her to find a better job. I told her that I was not a teacher but wanted to try to teach her English.

I went at her home the next day. It was a nice challenge. I thought she would need to have the basics of a conversation and be able to ask the usual questions when she meets new people. I liked it a lot and she learned quickly. It was an exchange as I would go back onboard always thinking how I could improve my lessons. It felt glad to give her a hand.

The last lesson she asked me to teach her how to cook a Doña Amelia in English, we tasted the cake with the family and had a tea.

She left for Mindelo to meet people who could help her daughter Mélanie to find a fellowship to study in Portugal. Mélanie is a good student and her mother wanted to give her a better chance in life than she had had. She unfortunately had a health issue that blocked her in Mindelo. I was going a few days later and brought her clothes she needed. I realised how difficult life can be for them, as any unexpected event has big consequences. Bia told me she was just earning enough money to pay her food and house, but even going to a doctor became a problem for her. I worried and offered her to pay the hotel and had lunch with her while she was in Mindelo. She refused that I gave her money for dinner. I felt nervous when she said she just would eat biscuits and drink milk. Yet we enjoyed walking together in Mindelo. It felt as if we were two sisters strolling in the city.

Luckily everything settled back and she could go back home in Tarrafal. I met her again there and we took some time together. She came to visit Giulia with her brother. We went sightseeing with her other sister and her family, first to Cabeirinhos and then to Juncalinhos. Juncalinhos was a very nice day, we had breakfast in the trunk of the jeep, went swimming, drove all around the island. It was a nice way for me to be integrated in a Cabo Verdian family and experience the life in São Nicolau from inside.

Obrigada pelo carinho linda irmãzinhas Bia!
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