Days get busier

Pamela Martinez - Brazil


October 10, 2018

I was biking (at 7 am) on my way to APAE when I met Kiko (my supervisor)
who also works on a project called “monitoramento marino”, where they take
kids to beaches like Gamboa with the hope of looking at whales. I went with
them, and I finally saw whales! There were from 6 to 10 whales that day,
swimming freely in the ocean.

I learned a lot about whales actually:

– We saw Balleaias Francas (*right whales) *and we knew *it* because
those are the only ones that make a v-shape split with the water from the
hole on top of their heads.

– Whales are around 60 tons and 18/20 meters long.
– Whales eat a lot of nutritious stuff in the Antarctic and they store
it in their body so they have enough food to travel 8,000 miles to the
shores of Santa Caterina, to give birth to and feed their babies because
it’s warmer and safer here.
– It’s safer because in the open sea there are orcas which are the main
predators of the baby whales. The mommies have to feed well the babies (the
milk its like very condensed milk which doesn’t mix with water so that’s
how the drink it) so they are strong enough to travel back in summer to the
Antarctic to eat proper food.
– Babies whales drink on average 500 liters of milk per day and they
gain like 3 tons? per day something like that whales have babies every 2
years. They start having babies since they are 8 years old.
– Due to whale hunting, the “Right Whale” was almost extinct but in
1970’s hunting whales was prohibited and this year they counted around 700
whales that come to Santa Caterina.
– Whales have some kinda food print in their skin which allows
scientists to know if its the same whale they saw last year.
– Whales are mammals and they used to be terrestrial thousands of years
ago. They adapted to be aquatic so that’s why their “ nose” its actually on
their head, so they can breathe more easily.

– When whales give birth to their babies the tail goes first and the
head is what comes last (opposite to us humans) because otherwise, they
would drown. So when they are finally out of the belly the moms pushed them
outside the water so they can have their first breath.
– Whales don’t have boned teeth, they have some brush type of threads in
their mouth which fisherman would use to make fishing strings/ropes?

So yes, whales are big and beautiful so *don’t* fucking kill them. Don’t
hunt them. Don’t pollute. Be conscious about the amount of thrash you
monthly generate which might end in the sea, where whales live.

After that, I met Marcella and we had very good açaí.

At 3 Marco and I had our first percussion classes and after, afro dance.
My legs were killing me from the morning but somehow I managed to bike the
8km, to dance afro for an hour after an hour of hardcore percussion and
later we went to Na Lata to dance samba (the only bar you can go in
Garopaba). Somehow – “Más salida que una gaveta, más metida que un cajón” –
I still had the energy to dance. I went towards this guy and ask “oi,
desculpa, pode me ensinar a dançar” – Ta, uma. -Ta.

And those 5 minutes were worth of all the effort that implied going out. I
was truly happy because I dance spontaneously samba.

Saturday morning I met Ariella. We spent some time at the beach trying to
imitate Capoeira steps. I loved doing “stars” three consecutive times while
looking at the sea. This was the first time doing it because the sand was
compact enough so it’s stable but soft for my ankles.

We also saw a dead penguin, and consequently, I wrote this:

*I died a bit today. While couples and families walked today around the
shore, and we played at the beach, a dead pingüin, reached us from the
water. He would move due to the waves but his body wasn’t functioning
anymore. This was the first time I saw a penguin and I had the misfortune
to be dead. Ariella – while she tried to find someone who might take the
penguin – found another penguin and a Dead Sea turtle as well. All in the
same shore. While couples and families would enjoy the beach in a Saturday
morning, and I would enjoy the privilege of being alive at the cost of
living a nice lifestyle that ultimately does impact nature in a negative
way. *

*I don’t know what caused their death but I do know I am guilty of
polluting this earth due to what I consumed and have consumed my whole
life. I had never felt as guilty about feeling human with my human
selfishness of not taking action to use less plastic, for example, as much
as today.*

Later, we encountered a group of people gathered to protest against
Bolsonaro. This protest was organized by women since Bolsonaro has publicly
had said pejorative comments about women. There was a lot of energy on the
streets mostly women but I was happy to see men as well. Their theme was in
color purple. I learned a very nice song:

“de manhã eu acorde que ele era cobarde esta manhã eu acorde que eu lute
contra um opressor”

While walking with people I didn’t know, defending an opinion that I had,
that mattered in an election I couldn’t participate, I felt the equally
strong to express my discontent and speak up and raise my voice. My eyes
were tearing and my heart was burning because I felt the power of my voice,
united with other ones, to fight pacifically against the oppressor, even
though that’s something I couldn’t do back home while I was there; scream
for democracy, for women’s rights, shout for rejection against “machistas
and facistas”.

I loved to speak up for what I believe in terms of political circumstances.
The protest didn’t go deep into why was the discontent or to inform more
the general population of why “Bolsonaro” was not a good candidate for the
presidency but it showed the raged that women in Garopaba had and it showed
that women’s votes counted, so better he should pay attention to it.

After that, we walked to the Mercado predictor where we got *caldo de cana*
and saw Paulinha working without Anna, who couldn’t go to work that weekend
because of the recent incident.

We went back to Garopaba beach where we met Steph. We went to the
historical part and Steph showed us a “secret” – at least to me – beach
which was srsly a paradise. I came back home with the bus at 5pm.

It was an amazing day full of different activities and emotions: happiness,
outrageousness, and sadness, amazement and reflection. That’s the type of
day I like to have.

Pamela Martinez