Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000

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Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2000 1:58 PM
Subject: April 22-25, 2000: Recife VII - 500 YEARS...Who Cares??!!

Current Date and Location: Tuesday, May 16, 2000. In Recife (yes, again!)...smile..., Brazil.

Current Itinerary:
I will be in Recife through this upcoming weekend...then heading to Sao Paulo to catch a flight back to Texas (sometime next week).

JOURNAL -

April 22, 2000 (Sat - 500th Anniversary of Brazil's Discovery)

NOTE: I have heard about this day for the past 4 months! There have been count down clocks erected all over Brazil counting down to today's 500th Anniversary of Cabral discovering Brazil for Portugal. I had never known what to expect...guess I will find out. The TV in recent days has reported that some natives (Indians from the Amazon) are protesting...saying that this is not a thing to be celebrated...hmmm...we seem to have had the same issues in the USA during the 500th Anniversary of Columbus discovering the America's, eh? Guess this stuff isn't confined to the USA...good to know.

In the morning, went and spent time with Luciana and her father at his apartment. We found him and his wife on the beach infront of their apartment. We brought them chilled coconuts...ahhh ...tropical hospitality. Luciana was thrilled to see her father, he is also a doctor (highly respected in Recife I am learning), and had just gotten back from a medical conference in the USA (I think the AMA annual meeting...but not sure). After going up to the apartment, we ended up surfing the internet to gain additional information on Myoshi Miopathy (an ailment that Dr. Barretto was interested in researching further). The older I get, the more I realize the power of the internet. It is simply amazing to see doctors accessing the same information in minutes that otherwise would take months or years to disseminate to various parts of the world through traditional methods of information delivery (magazines, books, etc). Thus, computers are truly speeding up the world around us in every way. I was also shown a couple of books of poetry that her father had written. Quite interesting. Of course it is all in Portuguese, so I only read a little (the smaller poems), but it was nice.

That night Luciana and I went and had crepes in downtown so we could be poised and watch the magnificent 500th ANNIVERSARY GALA!!!! ...which never materialized...it was a very unimpressive 500th anniversary. A couple of bands walked around and made some noise, but no one cared much. This was truly a government led event that neither captured the hearts, imagination, or interest of the Brazilian people. (NOTE: I have later learned that the
guy in charge of the festivities for the government was fired...)

We ended up walking to one of the plazas by the dock, and talked for a long time. We both know that if things are going to work out between the two of us, it will take time and patience...it was a good conversation.

April 23, 2000 (Sun)

Went to Gaibu...beach town south of Recife. It has nice beaches and rocky hills that overlook the ocean. I bought us coconuts (of course) and we hiked around the rocks. Now, I must tell you...this was kind of a test for Luciana. I guess at this stage, everything is another test as one tries to learn more and more about a person. Today was the rock-hopping test.

I am from a ranching background...and I love the outdoors. I am not particularly interested in getting to know a girl who is afraid to tread on unmanicured ground for fear that she may soil the tops of her shoes...I want a girl who can hop around on boulders with the agility of a gazelle, one who walks through grass and weeds like a lioness on the hunt, one who looks at a hill or mountain as a challenge to be overcome rather than a big dirty pile of rocks, dirt, grass, shrubs, and stuff to be avoided! Today was the day I would find out the mettle of my lovely Luciana.

We hiked over the hills, walked over the rocks, watched the waves break over the rocky shoreline, looked at fish in the tidal pools, sat and talked on boulders, took silly pictures together, walked uphill through mud, grass, and brush...talked lots...watched a great sunset and headed back to the car.

I am pleased to report the following scores for Luciana in the Category of Nature/Outdoor Appreciation:

Coconut enjoyment Rating - I don't call her Cocozinha (little coconut) for nothing! (10)
Rock Hopping Skills - Like a Goat. (10)
Love for Nature - Like a dung beetle in... (10)
Enjoyment of Sunsets - She enjoys the sun going down more than most vampires I know. (10)
Adventure quotient - Eye of the Tiger, baby! (10)

OVERALL OUTDOOR COMPANION RATING: Like a good hunting dog...but much better looking! 10.00000001 !!!!!

NOTE: I have no idea how I scored on her "Men in nature...discovering the caveman within." test. I hope I got good marks...she is still speaking to me anyway, a good sign, eh?

Needless to say, we had a great day...
 

April 24, 2000 (Mon)-

Internet all day at Luciana's house...catching up on journals, while Luciana worked at the hospital. She got home early about 4pm...we were both feeling a bit under the weather...maybe early form of colds...hmmmm...wonder how we both could have caught a cold...quite a coincidence, eh? The funny thing is that neither Luciana nor I are particularly good patients. Neither of us particularly wanted to take any kind of medication to help. I wanted her to take something because I was concerned about her...but not me. She was concerned about me...but not herself. She argued that she was a doctor and knew better about sickness and that I was sicker and needed medication...I argued that I was a man in a machisto country and therefore (ipso facto) that I must be right! (not exactly the best logic, but I didn't have much else to combat her doctor claim...she has a medical certificate...I figure when you are faced with irrefutable evidence...become irrational, the American way, eh???) Hmmmm...this makes for a difficult problem...which was solved when her mother laid down the law for both of us and made us take cold pills and Vitamin C. I guess the Mother Certificate kinda supersedes all the other stuff, eh?

Anyway, we took it easy and called it an early day.

April 25, 2000 (Tue)-

Again, I spent all day at Luciana's house...trying to get better and ...catching up on journals before catching the 9:30pm bus to Fortaleza.

Luciana took me to the bus-station and I was once again heading out of Recife...not knowing when I would return or when I would see Luciana again...but it seems that every time I leave now, I am feeling a little more comfortable that Luciana will not go away or vanish like a mirage...at least I hope not.

Doug
Texas Nomad