Via Benji Prickett:
Today started quite calmly. We didn’t need to meet together until 9:45, so we had a nice leisurely start. Some people woke up early to swim or exercise, and others took advantage of the extra hours and slept. It was a little rainy outside, but not terribly so.
When we finally met, we all spent 15 minutes filling out some school forms, followed by a greeting from Javier and Isabel. We were hurried onto the buses and drove into the city. After about 15 minutes of driving, we parked outside a local community center where we would spend the rest of the day.
The center is called the Pierre Verger Institute (The Fundação Pierre Verger) and is a tribute to the great Brazilian photographer of the same name. We were joined inside by several of our old friends and were given a talk from Javier about the history photography and race. We then went into the library to look at some of Verger’s work and took a short tour of his old home.
We then were joined by one of Javier’s old professors, Dona Ceci.
Following this we enjoyed an expertly crafted lunch consisting of assorted veggies and meats, at least four kinds of juice, and delicious Yoruba spices.
Via Charlotte Reaman:
After lunch, we talked with some of the kids who are a part of the institute and we played soccer with them. They were all huge soccer fans and much better than us. After kicking the ball around, we had a turban workshop where a woman taught us a variety of different styles people wear them. Watching most of us fail and end up with a pile of knots on our heads was very funny.
Next, there was a cooking lesson where we were taught how to make a coconut dessert. A pot of sugar was melted, then we added fresh coconut we previously grated, then cinnamon and cloves were mixed in, and the dessert was finally served on a banana leaf. The dessert was very tasty.
Then, drums and other percussion instruments were brought out to play. We all had the chance to play different types of instruments. Michael, after his turn with the cowbell, played hide and go seek with a mini monkey.
To end our time at the institute, we had a intense dance class. We headed back to the hotel after the demanding class where we enjoyed the pool and some sandwiches.