Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It’s Fun to Plan Ahead

We’re still enjoying being back in our house, but there’s so much of the world to see, you know. Fortunately, we’ve had some friends recently give us the excuses we needed to make some more overseas plans. They’re all kind of crammed together, but one of the things we learned last summer was that we can jump from one thing to another fairly quickly.

So first we have a wedding to attend in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in June, and we’ve started planning when to go and where to stay (and who to stay with, since we know several people attending this ceremony), and how long to stay. We probably would’ve given Mexico more of our time—we’ve never been (since I’m not counting Tijuana with my parents when I was in seventh grade) and it looks lovely—except for reason number 2 to travel.

Our second reason to travel is another June wedding, this one in London (you may remember from last summer that our friends, J&C, got engaged between two of our visits? Yep, it’s them!). Now, getting to London, even on British Airways’s comfortable and convenient 9-hour non-stop flight, is more of a haul then getting to Puerto Vallarta on Alaska Air’s direct flight. The time zone change is also more significant, of course, so we decided that, given the choice, we’d rather spend more time on the other side of the Atlantic than just down the coast from home.

Of course, we traveled around Europe all last summer . . . so this summer we’re finally going to take a trip we’ve been dreaming about for years: Cabo Verde!

Cabo Verde, or Cape Verde, is a small island country off the coast of Senegal in West Africa. It’s a former Portuguese colony and the official language is Portuguese, although most people speak a Portuguese/West African criole called Crioulu, which appeared late in the 15th century because of the slave trade. Culturally, Cabo Verde is considered to be more Latin American than African; geographically it’s unique. There is one island that’s still an active volcano—Fogo—some barren islands, some “greener” islands. And it’s in the middle of the Atlantic. It was uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered it (as were the Açores), and the people now are a beautiful blend of Portuguese and African.

Cabo Verde is known (if it’s known for anything) for its music; Cesária Évora is probably their most widely known musician. Ian’s excited about funaná, a style of music that originated on Santiago, one of the islands in the archipelago, and is accordion-based.

The accordion is everywhere.

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