So I decided to go 'free' to the island - not booking anything but just going to bus, boat and hoping to get accommodation when I arrive.
What an experience so far. I got to the bus station to get the last seat and left straight away. I sat next to a prestige man who slept until the bus pulled into a service station. We spoke briefly about getting coffee. Although reluctant to have usual garage coffee, it was actually so delicious. Anyway, he then said he was trying to move seats because the air was so cold on his face. I offered to change seats even though I was freezing as well. So I did. I improvised though and put my towel over the hole of blowing air.
This was the beginning of an hour of inspirational chat. As soon he realised I was Scottish, he was so happy. He spoke about his love for Scotland and how he couldn't wait to write in his diary that he sat next to a beautiful Scottish woman (maybe he had partial vision haha). But he spoke so well, so articulate and inspirational. I felt like I was reading a Paulo coehlo book when listening to his stories.
Anyway, before coming to Brazil when I was learning Portuguese on duolingo, I would learn random words like lawyer - advegato. I would think, why would I need such words. Nevertheless, he gave me his business card and I knew what he was. Thanks duolingo :) he was 83 years old and had studied at Harvard. He told me his idea for his next research and told me I was the first person he had told in great detail about his theories so I felt very privileged. Anyway, we spoke about many things - his life, psychology, and the importance of excellence. He said, 'in life, it is important not just to do things, but you must do things well.' And I believe this to be true. In order to excel and be at your full potential, we must apply ourself to our max. To have attention to detail, to give effort will result in quality. Life should be about quality.
Not just in what we do but how we feel and how we love. To give our all to other people, through love and help and care. We spoke about attachment and he said that he learned to love fully because his father adored his mother and loved her completely. He role models this and he sees love as the same. He was passionate about this subject and spoke about how men just treat woman like animals these days. We should love with delicacy and appreciation.
Anyway, more inspiration came with my next two friends. Sofia who is Spanish and lives in Sweden. She has been travelling for almost a year and works in film. She has couch surfed for the majority of her time here. She is very open and although vegetarian, she sat with me whilst I ate steak and she wasn't eating anything.
And Geauisa, a Brasillian women. The animated stories she tells, keeps you engaged (well all day for me), and she taught me a lot about life in Brazil, the language, her life. She is really unique, just like her name. She worked in Angola where she was the only female among 700 workers; she has been robbed; her car stolen; travelled many countries and is just so happy and positive. Everything around is amazing and beautiful in her eyes and she is so pleasant to be around. She admits her fears but can laugh and ask for help. Today because of the rain, we walked a trail and then had lunch and dinner together and also slack lined. She's scared of snakes so I told her I would rescue her because we have lots of snakes in Glasgow haha.
Today whilst on the trail, I spoke indirectly about someone I met a long time ago, 'Suzie Powell' my neighbour in the USA. Today, I spoke about advice that she gave me and I use all the time especially here in Brazil when walking in favelas etc "if you act like you know what you are doing, nobody will question it'.
Unfortunately, I just found out that Suzie passed away today so I would like to dedicate this post to her because she taught me a lot in the time I knew her. Not just this quote but Suzie was there for me in the most difficult times in my life. In times of relationship difficulty, I would talk to Suzie and she would be open and non judgemental. In sickness, Suzie was there for me. She would give me advice, and scare me into behaving myself, she would bring me the things I needed when Ill. When my mum came to United States, she bonded with Suzie. Suzie took her on a bike to come to hospital to see me, she and Janet had a party for my mum. So today, I am so thankful to have known Suzie. She was so strong yet warm. So open and kind. She would talk to anyone regardless of background. The homeless person in the area, Suzie would help and give money or shelter or just to show she understood. When I went back to USA in July 2010, I stayed at Suzie's house and looked after her wee cat - and again she made me feel so welcome.
Suzie was an amazing woman and I am so sorry to hear that she was ill and I wasn't there to help her the way she helped me. I am so thankful that she made such a positive footprint on my life and many others. Thoughts, prayers and love.
So I finish this blog today in being thankful for all the people in my life who accept me for who I am and help me to grow every day. Conversations today with my new friend, Geauisa, in a time of having to slow down due to rain has made made me grow even more.
Appreciation for inspiring people. Thank you for everyone in my life.
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.