woensdag 28 juni 2017

Helena Morley -- 28 juni 1894

• Helena Morley (pseudoniem van Alice Dayrell Caldeira Brant, 1880-1970) woonde als jong meisje in Brazilië en hield gedurende haar middelbareschooljaren een dagboek bij.

Monday, June 25th
I can't go to bed without writing about the scare we had today.
Everybody says it was a miracle, and it was.
Yesterday we went to celebrate S. João's and Uncle Joãozinho's day, in Boa Vista. There was a bonfire and fireworks, but very few people because the new cabin isn't finished yet, and there wasn't much excitement. Today we were sitting in front of the house, the whole family, on some boards that Uncle Joãozinho had put there for benches. We were praying. As there isn't any oratório here, Dindiriha said that we could pray just sitting by the door. She told her rosary and when she'd finished she wound it around her arm. Then she took out the litany and we all gave the responses. We continued to talk and enjoy the moonlight. Dindinha, thinking that the rosary feit very cold, looked to see what it was. She gave a scream and shook her arm, throwing something off, saying, "It's a snake!" The moonlight was like day. We went to look; it really was a snake and Seu Manuel Camilo killed it.
How can you explain that the snake didn't bite Dindinha? It really was a miracle.

Thursday, June 28th
Never have we found so many snakes at Boa Vista as we're finding now.
This is already the second one. My uncle says it's because he didn't cut the grass around the house. We came here before the big cabin was finished, because it was my uncle's birthday which falls on St. João's day. He had two bedrooms covered over in a hurry, with thatch, to put us up. I like everything all mixed up the way it is very much, and think it's very funny.
The old cabin is very small. It only has one bedroom for my uncle and papa and a smaller one for Siá Etelvina, the cook. She does the cooking and we go there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Siá Etelvina is a fury. She's furious when we're here because she has twice as much work. This time, besides the aunts, five cousins came, and Zulmira. She can never make enough food for us. Today even Zulmira stole a can of sardines that my uncle keeps on the beams in his room. The new house is all open and hasn't any doors. My uncle put some boards in the living room for the boys, and we sleep with the aunts, all together in the bedroom. It's awfully funny. The only thing that bothers us is Siá Etelvina who, if Uncle Joãozinho didn't go into the kitchen to look into the pans, would starve us to death.
The new house is in the loveliest spot and near some gabiroba bushes; you step out of the door and there are the gabirobas. Today we were all in front of the house, sitting on the boards, with Ester sitting on an ant-hill. My father, who always has a stick in his hand, was sitting in front of Ester. Without calling any attention to himself, he got up silently and suddenly hit the head of a jararaca that was getting ready to strike at Ester's foot. If anyone else had seen it, he would have screamed, and Ester would have stepped on the jararaca. But because it was papa, who is the calmest man in the world, he struck it right on the head and killed it.

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