Sunday, 14 January 2007


This was home from home. We met Fatima & Franco and realised we were in paradise. Gianni was possibly more at home as Franco is Italian and Fatima has lived there most of her adult life. The main language was French to help me but occasionally they all slipped into Italian which I can almost follow .. the food was Italian and Gianni thought he'd gone to heaven when a massive plate of pasta with parmesan was put in front of us the first night.

We were the first tourists to make it to Varela since the bridge was fixed. It was Fatima & Franco that paid and fixed the bridge for the village as the government weren't really concerned about it. We sat up the first night talking till about 1am, discussing the war in Guinea Bissau in '98 & '99 and the aftermath, including a minibus with 13 from Varela that was blown up by an old landmine 18 months earlier on the road out to Varela from Sao Domingos.

The following morning Gianni & Franco 'went missing' but were talking at nineteen to the dozen at one end of the property. Fatima introduced me to Alibu, their monkey that she saved when the villagers killed the mother (we saw several hunters on the road the day before with various forms of bushmeat, including monkey)

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