An Amazing Story
Recently two thick scrapbooks were delivered to me. They were written in a clear and minute woman’s hand. In the front was an introductory page, by the same hand, with these few lines.
Dear Uncle Bill, I haven’t forgotten you after these years of silence. In the past we had the opportunity to exchange words, either on the phone or on the net, and on those occasions I could tell you everything about my life and my mother. Then fate suddenly changed the course of my young life and I lost contact with you. Only recently, with the help of an investigator, I found your address. I wanted to send you this manuscript.
These are notes from my diary which I wrote in the years after we lost contact.
You may ask why I did it. You were always supportive during my younger days, and I remember them.
It was during this time that I became fond of you and I started to love and trust you for the help you always gave me. You have been there for me more than my real father, therefore I owe you this.
I’m grown up now, or better, life has transformed me rapidly into a young matured woman, and in a relatively short time I have undergone many experiences. The innocence of the girl in me has gone forever, but still I have good memories from the past. I treasure those days we had together, when you introduced me through your stories to the Australian outback. Since then I started to love those animals and your country.
In my diary you will find the missing links of my life, and I know they will be a revelation and will surprise you. I have to admit that what I wrote would appear to someone as an unbelievable and amazing story, but it really happened to me in the simple way in which I have narrated. Reading through these pages you will get a complete picture of my life and be able to judge the events and the reasons that took me along such a difficult path.
More then likely, by the time we meet again, and I hope it will be soon, I will have more surprising news for you. I won’t tell you any more now. I wish that, remembering the past, you will be tempted to write again a few stories. If you do, I would love to read them.
Thank you for everything, Uncle Bill.
It was such an unexpected surprise receiving that note from my little Dolores, together with the thick manuscript.
I spent the next several hours reading through those words, diligently written in an educated way, and I also tried, using my imagination, to read between the lines what she didn’t write, to get the complete picture of her life.
Finally I spoke to her on the phone, promising a visit in the near future, and asking permission to write the story of her life.
To which she replied simply, ‘Yes.’
She felt her experiences could help somebody else in their young life.
It Started in Rio
It all started about fifteen years ago in Brazil. At that time I was representing a civil engineering firm in Rio de Janeiro.
My scarce knowledge of Portuguese meant, at times, I had to discuss business with the local government officers through an interpreter.
That’s how I came to meet Juanita Delacruz. She was a local English teacher who had completed her degree as an interpreter.
Juanita was in her early thirties and like many Brazilian women; was quite attractive with a full curvaceous body. She had brown shoulder-length, straight hair and almond eyes. Her lips were sensual, accentuated in a deep tone of lipstick, and the shape of her body was well outlined by her light dress; sensuality emanated from her.
I told her that her husband must be proud of her and she was very beautiful.
To which she replied sadly, ‘Unfortunately my marriage broke down a year ago. One day, returning from an overseas Rotary Club convention, I found that my husband of ten years had run away with somebody a lot younger. The girl was barely sixteen.’
‘I feel sorry for you, Juanita.’
‘It is typical of our men. Brazil is overpopulated with women. They say it’s seven to one, but it’s more likely we are three to one. For these reasons men are getting greedy. The younger women badly want to have a man of their own and therefore they are prepared to compete fiercely to get one. It is a sort of contest seeing women rivaling one against the other.’
‘And have you battled your own war against the other?’
‘I did what I could, but because of my job I had to keep a somber facade of respectability.’
After that Juanita explained the mixing of believes in their culture, their religion and how frenzy people are at Carnival time.
‘At Carnival time Brazilian women are possessed by demons that compel them to frenetically dance sambas on the streets and this ignites an uncontrollable desire to have sex. By nature our blood is hot.’
‘This life is certainly much in contrast with the castigated Christianity that rules Brazil. After the two years that I lived here, I began to understand this country, and the conflicting ways that people rebel against the strict Catholic creed.’
‘You see Bill; you must understand that in Brazil we have a strong Voodoo cult that was inherited from Africa when the first slaves arrived.’
‘Some time ago I read with interest about Voodooism and the way it runs hand in hand, with local Christianity. Apparently the church closes its eyes to the occult powers of this primitive religion to keep its followers. The Mulattos have cleverly mixed their mystical African beliefs when they were forced into Catholicism.’
‘That’s right Bill. I wish you could visit the northern regions to appreciate there contrasts. As a visitor you would see solemn processions with tall statues, candles glowing on the beaches, flowers tossed in the ocean, and mysterious ornaments around old women’s necks. The Meticios have their own way of expressing their spirituality.’
‘Is it true that in the early days of the colony those first African slaves concealed their deities into those that existed in the new compulsory religion?’
‘Very true, Bill. Their god of fertility Oxala, was recognized in the figure of Jesus, and Iemanija, the mother of all goddesses, was recognized as Mary. In this way they retained their own deities.’
‘I wish one day I could mix with them in their celebrations. I heard those festivities are intoxicating and beautiful. I have also been told that their ceremonies take place at night near rivers or lakes. I heard they also celebrate in open places and at others in a spiritual house, where the acolytes arrange flowers, candles, and ritual ornaments around the ceremonial site.’
‘Yes they chant and dance all night to the drums and at dawn their priestesses fall into a trance and then tell of the future. But don’t forget that you can be part of it only if you are properly introduced by a member.’
‘I want to find my way there at Carnival time, there will be a lot to see and enjoy.’
‘The Carnival, in those North Country towns, would be the best time to enjoy their folklore. You know that Mulattos are born musicians and music runs in their blood. They can create rhythm tapping a piece of wood on an old metal drum, and those nearby accompany the beat with equally improvised instruments, while the rest of them dance. Music is for them a drug in the bloodstream, and these fast rhythms inflame their sexual desires. Only in the country you will be part of the real spirit of the Mulattos with their spirited samba. The Carnival that is celebrated in Rio is mainly a tourist attraction.’
‘Still this is a fantastic celebration Juanita. I saw it myself last year here in Rio. I mixed with the crowd over the four days of celebration of the Carnival. It is an experience that I’ll never forget. It’s the most spectacular and colorful festival around the world that people can see and enjoy. At Carnival time, every individual on the street seems possessed by a demon. Everybody dances with each other while sweat flows in rivers, and the warm air carries around the eroticism created by the promiscuity of seminude bodies where men and women touching each other, flesh to flesh, wearing so little and drinking so much.’
‘That’s why tourist comes in Rio at Carnival time. The atmosphere is incandescent and euphoric. Normal daily worries of people are completely forgotten. There are no other desires, but what the sambas gives. The samba music mixed with their sweat and alcohol saturate the erotic desires, demanding to satisfy their sexual needs over the nearest road kerb, and under such euphoric ardor people let themselves go. Everything becomes possible in these circumstances. Their wildest desires explode freely. Women emanated their sexual scents, and men become attracted to them. But at Carnival time this is permitted and possible. No one object.’
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