Adventure in Brazil - Midnight in Marumbi

I never saw it on the map.  I don’t know where it is.  But it took an hour and a half to drive to Marumbi, a small village of just a few thousand people.  You can stand in the street and see fields on both sides of the town.  It’s not that big.  And, I was there with my hosts to attend a surprise party.  We were the surprise.

My surprise was how many people I knew at the party.  Hey, I’d only been in Brasil for two weeks!  For starters, four of the people who met me at the airport were in attendance.  Anyone willing to drive an hour and a half to meet a total stranger at the airport simply warms my heart.

One of the painters who showed up on the national holiday to paint my first mural, Esdras, was also there.  I sat down by him for coffee at A Gincana while Bianca, directly across the table, nearly had a stroke that “Phillipe Martin” was actually sitting so close to her.  One hand over her heart, the other hand reaching out to stop me from killing her with my presence.  I don’t normally generate that kind of excitement anywhere.

Midnight in Marumbi with Edras, Lucas, and Bianca
Bianca attended the party.  But, the thrill was gone.  She could talk to me without any fear of a stroke.  However, her friend Lucas had his “Phillipe Martin” moment.  He couldn’t breathe.  He froze in his tracks and blushed.  I heard him repeat my name over and over in shock.  Again, these are moments I’ve never had before and most likely never will outside of Brasil.

If you keep up with my blogs, you’ll know that I had a camera malfunction and lost a big chunk of photos.  There were three portraits that I especially regretted losing.  Hey, I’m always on the look-out for a good portrait.  One young man with a charming smile wore a tie to A Gincana.  He possibly wore the only tie present the entire day, his personal fashion statement.  And, we shared a laugh as he tried to teach me some dance moves.  I’m not a dancer at all.  I have no rhythm in my genes.  But, Ivan appeared to be a dirty dancer.  I just chuckled as he tried to get me to copy moves I couldn’t do.  Then, I took a portrait of him and his tie.

It just so happened that Ivan was also a part of this group.  He was one of the last to show, well after the sun went down.  But, he gave me a hug (which all Brasilians do) and then gave me a two-page letter – in English!  The kid didn’t speak English.  This was a major effort on his part and I was very touched.

He didn’t happen to have the tie on, so Ivan raced home to get the tie and a change of clothes from the previous photo.  Again, I found this to be such a thoughtful gesture.  So, I got the lost photo that I never expected.  But, the surprises weren’t over for the night.
I gave Ivan a portrait I drew from Mexico.  It’s how I thank the people I meet along the way.  I never expect anything in return, but Ivan told me that he had a gift for me.  Then, he took off his tie and put it on me.

It was a very good moment in Brazil.

Ivan’s letter started out with a quote that I’m going to take with me from Brasil.  I’m not really sure if they are his words or something he found somewhere.  Either way, it is a good message.

In life, we take many turns . . .

And during these turns,

We find many people who mark us

And they leave us something special.

Of course, he meant it for me, but I find it is also true for the very special people I met at a party that lasted after midnight in Marumbi.

Ivan's fashion statement of choice