Peru TravelBlog 09 Index

April 3, 2009
The Magic Of Matutu Delivers Me to São Paulo

While we were in Matutu, Musi needed to change her ticket to leave sooner. When I went to change mine to leave at the same time, it was going to cost quite a bit and I didn't feel it was worth it to arrive home just 3 days earlier. And besides, I would have missed the ride from the SF airport that I had arranged with my daughter Jody—a tradition that both she and I love.

My first reaction was to freak out with the thought of having to be in Brazil speaking no Portugese for 3 days by myself. That lasted about 2 minutes until I realized that there was magic hidden in this turn of events. I knew there was a good reason it worked out that way even though I would have to find out the details as time went on.

A couple nights later I was laying in bed and a brainstorm popped into my mind. Last year while I was in Peru, I received an email from a Doula in Brazil requesting the Blessingway CD. She had met Karen Ehrlich when she was in Santa Cruz at which time Karen told her about the recording. The Brazilian Doula wanted to bring songs to Brazilian women giving birth. I emailed her and told her I was happy to send her a CD and would do so when I returned from Peru. Turns out that Robin Burnside made it home before me and sent off the BW CD so by the time I returned to the states, it was delivered.

Now for the idea...where does she live I wondered. I opened my computer to my email and found one of the emails we exchanged. I looked at her address and it was in São Paulo. Hmmm...this is a possibility since I leave from Rio and I think that would be just a day's bus ride. I composed an email as a reply to the last email I received from her. After writing it, I scrolled down and saw the date of the old email. It was exactly a year before—to the day— and to quote the email:

"Vera
That is wonderful. I am glad it finally came.
Maybe someday we connect.
take care and
much love
Copperwoman"

Amazing! Yes, magic. And better yet, I heard back from her and she said, "yes, come visit and sing with us."

Musi and I were lucky to get a ride from Matutu to a town called Caxambu where she would get a bus to Rio at midnight and I would board one to São Paulo the next morning. I say lucky, as there had been so much rain in Matutu that one's car needed to be part boat to float out on the muddy roads and the driver needed to be a master mud driver. The ride we had arranged in a VW bug could not make it out the hour long dirt road. Anton, an old friend of Musi's had the right car and more skill to manage a car in mud than I have ever experienced. He delivered us safely to Caxambu where we bought our bus tickets and rented a room for the night.

One more note about Matutu—it is a countryside full of VW bugs and a few VW buses. I would never have guessed that VW's could manage roads like that. They were everywhere and they could scale muddy mountains as if propelled by a kid playing with a car in a mud puddle.

Vera and I had several emails and she was planning to meet me at the bus station. In the last email I received she asked, where should we meet? In return, I asked her that question since I didn't know the bus station. I sent her a picture of myself so she would recognize me besides my description that she should look for the woman who stood out and looked like she was from California.

I got off of the bus and looked around for a Doula-type looking person. No one looked like they were looking for me. I put my charango over my shoulder in place of a carnation on my lapel. After about 20 minutes I tried to inquire about internet service so I could check her reply about where to meet. Just as I was getting directions, I looked up and saw a woman coming towards me. We exchanged knowing glances and both knew we found each other.

Her husband was in the car trying to find a place to park so we headed through the bus station out to the streets. On our way she asked me where I lived. When I told her Santa Cruz, she told me that her sister lives there and she had been to visit a few times--one time for her niece's funeral. When I asked who her sister was, she told me Solange, Jade's mother. These are people I know and who are very close to some of my friends. Amazing...I didn't know I was going to visit extended family.

This was only the beginning of the magic. See the next blog for more of the story.