Mirror Reflections – Cape Verde & Russia

I must admit I’m amazed that people from 184 countries have visited my blog. I only joked with my wife that I wanted to reach the entire world. Thanks everybody for your support. I hope you truly enjoy my blog. I always get the greatest pleasure sharing about the new places I’ve learned about. I’d never heard of Cape Verde until someone had visited my blog from there. Whoever you are I hope you are blessed by my sharing about your wonderful island and country.

Cape Verde

Life in Cape Verde

In 1460, at the beginning of their adventurous discoveries, navigators in the service of the Portuguese Crown, landed in Cape Verde. Although there is no actual proof, there are indications that the Romans and the Carthaginians were aware of the existence of the Archipelago. It is also speculated that in the XII century, Arab seafarers may have reached the then unhabited islands.
Two years after its discovery, the islands of the Archipelago were colonized and, soon after, Cape Verde developed a largely mestizo population with its own unique culture that had been influenced by many other countries. Free Europeans and slaves of the African coast intermarried to form their own way of life and their own dialect – the “Creole”. Together these formed the roots of the country’s culture. Consequently, side by side, there can be found the large wooden pestle and the European stone grinder, the drumming sound of characteristic of the African dances and the sound of the Portuguese triangle as well as the West African game ‘banco de ouri’ which is played by everyone.
Since the origin of their history, the Cape Verdeans have been a largely mestizo: 80 per cent of the population is mestizo, 17 per cent black and 3 per cent white. Little by little Cape Verde formed its cultural identity and then began to search for its own political identity. They finally obtained this with the National Independence, on the 5th of July 1975 after a long fight for the national liberation.
On the 13th January, 1991, they finally settled upon the multi-party system with all the institutions of modern democracy. Today, Cape Verde is a rapidly developing country that enjoys peace and social stability.
As far as health services, education and quality of life are concerned, Cape Verde is ranked the 4th in Africa.

Visit: http://www.caboverde.com/ilhas/cve-card.htm


Life in Russia

These winding sand roads run up and down between low hills and colorful marshes, from one lake to another, they cross the streams gurgling under decaying log bridges, run on and on through the taiga to vanish finally in a young birch grove or in a dead village where only remaining chimneys and outhouses mark the locations of houses once standing solidly against the harsh winter winds. The pace of everything in this land is slow — except, maybe, for the water jumping down the rapids that connect the lakes. Population decreases slowly but surely, villages die and disappear, roads sink in the patiently waiting flat marshes. North has never been a hectic place. Its roads have nothing to do with the highways you are so familiar with…

It’s just the right place to spend three weeks of our summer vacation this year, to change the pace and the lifestyle, to try something new. Not a standard wilderness trip, not a white water adventure, not a typical hike — I have no idea how to describe properly the style of this year experience. We went to a village where there are as much as 11 permanent residents, a village on the bank of a small river running through Karelian taiga almost 1,000 miles north-north-west from Moscow (35 deg. 14 min. E, 63 deg. 53 min. N, if you care about geographic precision). Five years ago the friends of ours had bought a house there, so we were counting on it as a home base for relatively short (within 15 miles) radial hikes in different directions to explore this land where a bear’s footprints are as frequent on the roads as tire patterns. But strangely, these empty roads give you stronger feeling of solitude and desolation than some narrow trails……

Visit: http://www.friends-partners.org/oldfriends/asebrant/life/aug95.html

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