My last blog may have been a bit gloomy, which does injustice to life in this bright town. Each day the sun beats down from a cloudless sky, light bounces off every surface. It has been dry season for months so the grass, sand and hills are now all a shade of brown or beige. But colour hides in details. From my window I see green leafy mango trees. People throw little mangoes up into its branches hoping to break free the riper fruits. It is a manner of food collection that needs patience and a strong aim, making me prefer the lazier option of buying a bucket full of mangoes offered by the side of the road.
Aside from green trees there are bushes full of purple flowers, fuchsia-blue-green crickets jump around, and just the other day I saw a big lizard with the brightest of blue heads. But the most colourful here are the women. They wrap themselves in cloths with bright patterns – not one wrap seems to be the same – carrying their babies in decorative pieces of fabric. On their heads they balance plastic wash-tubs in colours straight from a kid’s crayon box: red, yellow, blue, green, purple.
And then there is the lake, a mirror of blue. Men are always playing around in the waves, while kids sit in the sand and yell “hello!!”, give a wave and turn their little thumb upwards. It is lovely to walk along the water with the cooling breeze and a view of mountains on a distant shore.
Perhaps the most beautiful colour of all is that of the sky when the sun pretends to leave for the other side of the world. It reminds me of the passoã with orange juice I used to drink as a teenager: pink blending into orange. The red bricks, the brown dirt, the yellow grasses, all are blanketed by a magnificent orange hue. And although this time of day only lasts briefly, the warmth radiating off the walls provides a loving memory of it well after the black of night drowns the colours out.