The best four days of my life were spent in the little village Remanso, it is a quilombo community meaning that it was created as an escaped slave community. It was full of the sweetest people who were full of so much life and spirit. They worked so hard every day of their lives, and yet they still found time to celebrate and teach and host us for four days. They live very humbly, only containing a school up to the primary level, and travel to the big city for school when they are older. they live in small brick houses, that rain leaks through slowly, and no running water. They have had electricity for about a decade though, but clean water is hard to find. The water we washed with was brought from their one river. And the whole community works together as a whole to create what they need and help one another.
I stayed with my friends Bri and Alice, in a small home that usually housed a mom and dad along with their three kids. The kids were older so they live in the city during the week, and only come home on the weekends. The parents stayed with us while we were there though, and had everything all set up for us. They only had two rooms, and Bri and I shared a bed in one, while one little bed was for Alice and the parents slept on a mattress on the floor in the living room. The kitchen was in the back of the house, and it was one of the best parts. It was a cozy little kitchen, and I have never had such wonderful food! Our host mom, Nice, made us so much good food every day, and all of it so fresh. She also made us so much bolo, and fresh juice with each meal. It was so good.
We learned about the whole community, went to the school, learned projects about the community. My group got to walk through the forrest that they have around them and see and find medicinal plants that the community uses. The next day we also met a really sweet lady who taught us how to make fishing nets. There is a river close by to the community and they use it for everything, washing clothes, dishes, and themselves, as well as for fishing. It was really cool to learn how to do, but much harder than it looked. The lady had to help us out many times. We also sat around a bonfire one night and people took turns telling stories, it was really cool, and appropriate for being close to halloween, since some of them were scary stories.
The last day that we were there the whole community took us out in canoes, and we went to a waterfall, and on a 10 mile ride. Our host sisters who were back from school, took the three of us up and down the river, rowing the whole way. They brought all the food and everything, it was so nice to have a little picnic, and they all shared the food and took the time out of their day to bring us. It was a wonderful day, and it was so peaceful just floating down the river.
It was just a magical, slow moving place, that had a wonderful sense of community that was a great escape. I hope one day that I am able to go back and spend time with my host family there again.