Stacey reports from "The Orphanage," Pecem, Ceara, Brazil, the World, The Universe, etc.
Posted Thursday 27th September
I've been so busy unsuccessfully trying to remember how to kite (it's been a bad, windless summer in Florida), and putting up other people's blogs, I haven't had time to put up any of my own. And I won't even begin to describe the look of horror and disappointment on Alex's face when he noticed that I was improperly attempting to relaunch the Nemi HP in the Taiba Lagoon the other day. "You're trying to relaunch it like an 07 Waroo. That's wrong! Didn't you watch the Nemesis Promo video?"
"No," I said, to my utter shame, as queen of the website. "I haven't had time." BAD employee, BAD. "Please don't fire me. I promise I'll watch it tonight."
Alvaro demos the new seat harness. Looking hot there, Tiger! This will be the harness-of-choice for our 2008 competition riders.
I got here Sunday morning, and I was supposed to have left on Wednesday, but on Tuesday night (after I'd taken the fins off my board and already had it packed), Alex surprised me with the news that I was staying until Sunday. I don't even want to know how he finagled that one ... mine is mostly a regular desk job, and it kind of burdens other people when I'm not there. But a few extra days in Brazil?? Sorry, people back-there-in-the-office!
Most popular boys on the beach: the kite pumpers:
Only problem: my left knee, which heretofore has been the "good uninjured" one. Due to general old age and being out-of-practice, it was so sore and puffy due to terrible botched landings that I could barely walk on it, let alone kite on it for another four days. After putting the fins back on my board, I walked back to the hotel, looked at my knee, and decided it would be bad to stay and kite on it. I walked back to Alex's house to tell him I was leaving, but I couldn't find him, so I decided the puffiness was all in my mind. I'd ice it all night long, and duct tape it together in the morning. Duct tape holds the RV together. What's a stupid puffy little knee?
Veronika relaxing at the Shack
So, as Brazilian Correspondent Harry Grufter mentioned, the team rider house moved. They'd been in the same house as last year: the blue-painted one that I thought of as "The Bat House," since there were about a million bats living under the roof that would coo softly as you fell asleep at night. (Personally, I'd always found their presence to be a comfort, but when Kristin and Alvaro stayed there last year, they'd erected themselves a fortress out of bed mattresses and took turns sleeping in shifts - one stood guard while the other slept - and then moved out the next day. Princesses.)
Peanut Gallery at the lagoon
Lil'Alex performs for the crowd, and shows us how to do jumping jacks while kiting.
The nice thing about the Bat House, though, is that it was right on the beach, and it had internet. But apparently, there's no such thing as "two week's notice" in Brazil. If the owner wants to come stay at his house, the tenants must move immediately. So, about a week ago, everyone packed all their stuff and moved a few streets away to the new house. It's no longer right on the beach, but it's a much nicer house, in my opinion, except for the absence of the internet. Now we have to sneak around and try to steal Alex's when he isn't looking.
So anyway, I'm fascinated by this new house. I'd been staying at the Isca do Sol hotel, just down the road, but then Bucky and Peter left so I moved over here.
It reminds me of an orphanage, an upscale, small-scale Brazilian version of the orphanage in Dicken's Oliver Twist. We even have our own resident Dickensian waif.
Resident Dickensian waif, wearing a reindeer hat, with liquor-bottle antlers. "Please, sir, can I have some more?" he asked in a small, clear voice. "MORE? You want MORE?" and then all the orphans break out into song ... "food, glorious food, hot sausage and mustard ...."
Well, it's almost like an orphanage, except it's warm here in Brazil, and the house has a pool, which I don't think they had in Oliver Twist. But there are beds everywhere. This place is LITTERED with beds and sleeping spaces ...
... and separate dorm-like bedrooms, which are not connected to the main part of the house where the kitchen, dining, and living room are. If I were going to open up an orphanage, this is where I'd do it.
Bucky's "room." "So," joked Peter. "You have the BIGGEST room of all." (Outside.)
The Dining room, with big wooden orphanage-style dining table
When I first saw the little door leading to Peter's room, which would now become mine, I thought, "Jail cell," but when I went into it, I was shocked. It actually has a mirror! Mirrors are rare here. And a ROUND BED!!! Just like Dudley Moore's bed in Foul Play which probably NO ONE has seen (it was a 70's movie starring Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn), in which Dudley played a loser single-guy whose bachelor pad was designed to impress the ladies ... it had a round bed (covered with leopard print) that came down out of the wall and spun around, to the beat of disco music and disco-ball lighting. He only got Goldie Hawn up there because she was hiding from a murderous Albino, if I can remember properly.
And the bathroom ... I was shocked by the bathroom. Due to the presence of the novel round bed, I'm guessing this (my) room is considered "the master bedroom." because it has the most surprising and amazing bathroom: 1) it (also) has a mirror you can actually see out of ... the mirrors here are usually corroded and you can barely see yourself, 2) it has a bathroom with a HOT shower, and due to 3) the OPEN-AIR CEILING! (if you look closely, you can see the palm trees waving through the slats, 4) it actually has LIGHT, so you can see yourself in the mirror! Usually, the bathrooms are so dark and you can't see a thing. But with THIS bathroom, it's like you're indoors and outdoors all at once! But what I want to know is: how do they get away with the open ceiling? Does it not ever RAIN here? What happens when it does? Instead of turning on the shower, do you just stand there in the rain? But as Alex Brown pointed out, "You're just going to get wet anyway, so you just carry on." (British people like the phrase"carry on," I've learned.)
I guess with all the amenities I just described, it can't REALLY classify as an orphanage ... unless they're rich, trust-fund Brazilian orphans. But I guarantee that it was DEFINITELY an orphanage in a previous life.
On second thought, considering all the roaming, semi-homeless world-traveling staff
and team riders it's housed, the name actually fits pretty well.