Monday, January 12, 2009

Introducing Dona Conceiçaõ...

also known as Mai (mother).

She is a bit camera shy, but she has been our light and sunshine on this trip. Armando's mother is, in a word, FIERCE. At 70 years old, she stands about 4'11/5' tall, and has short curly hair that she has blown out occasionally. As a professional manicurist, she always has her nails done in the bold color of red. She wears platform sandals (3-4 in) on a regular basis, and always has a fabulous ensemble (Saturday: skinny jeans with a red sheer blouse and dangle earrings). Mai owns and lives in an apartment in the center of downtown, right above several gay bars. What is more, she always has a little something for us - she made us each a money belt, bought us key chains made from a Brazilian stone, and always has a little chocolate, candy or a kiss.

Dona Conceiçaõ... as she comes with us on as many excursions as she can, she has the ability to make us smile when she starts dancing and singing; the ability to tell us stories and jokes that we understand, even though we don't speak the same language; and to make fun of her dear son's craziness at just the right moment.

It has been wonderful to have her presence during the trip and I will certainly miss her. She reminds me so much of my 92 year old Nana with her fierceness. I look forward to being as fabulous as these women are in their golden years.

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