It was four weeks ago when I announced that I would have left, and my departure date was just a week later.
I had already said that the plans were not clear and that I would have decided on the go, after three weeks, what I would have done afterwards.
Now that those weeks have passed, I ticked off days from the calendar and I blew my twentyone candles here.
Right in the last post, I told you about how I spent most of my time among chats and the several people who have come and gone here at the Banana Eco Camp, and I thought I might share part of the adventure here. I really hope it will help me remember my experience in the future.
Life at the camp is made of a continuous back and forth of people.
People who travel alone, couples, families,
at the beginning of their trip, in the middle or at the end, exhausted from the weeks of pure adrenaline.
People from all over the world, with every kind of story and luggage.
People so different from one another but that later gather all around the same bonfire and eat at the same table.
The key word at the Camp is for sure sharing. Not only among the guests, but with the owners, too, Nina and Sergei, two real adventurer born in Mother Russia and that later decided to leave. They met in Asia, they fell in love and from there, a beautiful blondy monkey full of energy was born. With their experience and knowledge, they manage and own the camp, that has not been completed yet – five huts for two people, one for four on two floors, and a tent area. All this in the middle of a banana plantation, with proteas, passion fruit, mango, avocado, coffee, and many, many more.
And then Denise, the first person I met at the camp, and with whom I began the exploration of the island.
Born and raised in Switzerland, her parents are Portuguese and during her teenage years, they all moved back.
She feels Swiss, not Portuguese. How to define her, then?
But is it really necessary to decide whether she is more Portuguese or Swiss?
After her, I need to mention Cris and Giuditta, an Italian couple who were the happiest people ever. Before starting their relationship, they had never really travelled. On the contrary, they began with their honeymoon, a super start – a trip through the USA for two months, without planning anything and with a rough knowledge of English.
And here they stayed in a tent for five days, visiting the island only on feet and with the help of the public transportation. Something that, for who has not been here, may seem reductive, but I can assure you – it’s a super mission!
The alarm set early in the morning, an exchange of smiles, a quick breakfast and then they left, planning and discovering day by day the upcoming destination.
And how to forget Patricia? Patricia with her husband Jean Claude, a joyful French couple, that, as the vast majority of their conational, doesn’t speak English. With my greatest surprise, she could handle a conversation pretty well in Spanish! So we had long conversations mixing some English words to Spanish, and this is how she became a sort of French mom to me after eleven days at the Camp.
In that same period, there were two other young French couple.
One was two engineers who met on a meeting website, and he was an adspiring poet in the effeverscent Paris.
The other were two law school graduates, with whom I couldn’t help but share opinions and visions of the world. I can’t even remember how we began it, but we talked about religion and spirituality, and about how the extremes are always looking for a utopic and pure society, inevitably excluding a part of the population.
Carina and Antonia, a couple of German friends, helped me with the care of Nico, a tiny cat we found at the Camp on the day of my birthday. A small cat that we later decided to give to an animal shelter, where he would have had more chances of survival. And together we held talks with Joao, a Portuguese with strong and clear ideas. And while we were trying to convince him that sometimes choices are choices, even if they seem to be taken unawarely, his girlfriend, Mariana, was telling us about her workaway worldwide adventures. They even brought us to a local celebration with Emanuel, a 61-year-old Portuguese popular singer who, still nowadays, fills the squares with people at the rhythm of “Nos pimba”.
But now the time for the announcement has arrived.
As I said at the beginning, the first three weeks and I gave myself went by way too quickly, and the time for a decision had arrived.
So, here I am on the plane, translating the Italian post I published yesterday, ready for my next destination in the mainland:
Lisbon for five weeks.
Then there will be a surprise for me, too.