I think my visit to Pamaali is finally taking shape. Today I went to see the director of the Rio Negro Indigenous Organizations Federation (Federação das Organizações Indigenas do Alto Rio Negro), Irineu Rodrigues. He kindly offered to ask someone from the school to come pick me up, can you imagine that? I was so joyful! I would have said yes right away, but João arrived in the middle of our meeting and asked Irineu to give him an answer by tomorrow morning because he thought he might be able to find us a ride upstream.
João was so damn right! At the end of the meeting, as we were walking from FOIRN to ISA, a taxi stopped right beside us and the guy at the passenger’s seat screamed: “João! I found you a ride to Içana River!”, “Is there room for one more?”, I asked without even knowing who the man was. João and I got into the taxi and rode back to FOIRN with him to catch all the details.
There is a bango (a boat even slower than the voadeira) sailing to the Içana River on Wednesday. I didn’t exactly understood with whom and why this boat is heading that way, but it has something to do with the health care system. It’s not going to Pamaali, it will stop before, in a community called Juivitera. The idea would be to see if Irineu can ask someone from the school to go pick us up there instead of here in São Gabriel. We’d spend way less fuel like this.
If they come and pick us up here in São Gabriel, Irineu said we’d have to pay:
- 120 liters of gasoline (FOIRN can buy a liter for R$ 2,39 for us) + 2 liters of 2T oil (R$ 12 the liter) used for the voadeira to come downstream to the city;
- 250 liters of gasoline + 4 liters of 2T oil for the voadeira to go upstream back to the school;
- 100 liters of gasoline to take a ride back from the school when the classes end.
This would make 470 liters of gasoline plus 5 liters of 2T oil, that would cost more then R$ 800 for each one of us!
If we take the ride to Juivitera, we’d only contribute with 50 liters of gasoline to the bango. Then we’d have to check with Irineu how much more fuel we’d need to take for the Pamaali boat to come pick us up in this community. Plus the 100 liters to come back on the end of May. Seems much better for both of us!
After we left FOIRN for he second time, we went to ISA. There, Laise said she was just talking to a teacher from Pamaali, Raimundo Benjamin, on the radio, and he said he’s coming to São Gabriel this week and will go back on the next. He’s coming with the school bongo, which is quite big, she said, and I could hitch a ride back to Pamaali with him.
This was the best news of the day because Rai is coming to attend a conference in FOIRN that will take place from Wednesday to Friday. I want to attend this conference as well because it is about how to maintain a website, and I would miss it if I were to take the ride to Juivitera. A conference in FOIRN about keeping a website has everything to do with my research subject. Rai is the main contributor to Pamaali’s blog and also has a blog of his own. He’s the internet guy from Pamaali, that’s why he’s coming to the conference.
If I get to go with him to Pamaali, I can attend the conference and still spend way less on fuel than if I were to ask someone from Pamaali to come to São Gabriel da Cachoeira exclusively to pick me up.
Laise said she’s sure Rai is coming because he told her so today. Earlier, someone said Rai was coming but then had to cancel. I’m going to FOIRN tomorrow first thing in the morning to have Pamaali on the radio and get the facts straight. If Rai is coming to town, I’ll wait for him and we’ll go upstream next week, after the conference. If he’s not, I’m hitching a ride with João to Juivitera on Wednesday.