Chapter 2:. Sal Airport  

“Yes. La nininia. Sim, Sim.” Laninia is the relative through which I discovered my cousins.
“Soa Vicente?”, he asks.
“Sim. Yes. Sim”.

He motions to follow him. I hope that this is the cousin I was to call. I’ve never seen him. I follow him half hoping, half fearing. If it is he, his name is Jack. He says nothing too me. I’ve explained that I don’t really know Creole. He doesn’t really know me. He leads at a distance, and I fall behind him ready to run if need be. When we step into the bright sun outside the airport, I feel the point of no return. If I’m scammed, at least I’ll have a story to tell.

He loads the car with my stuff and drives. I’m devising plans of escape. I can’t see the road past my fear. He takes me to a gas station.

“Um café?” he asks.
“Nao, obrigad. Nao, obrigad.”

I don’t know how much coffee will be. I’m parched, but I only have a little money. I don’t want him to pay; I know wages are low on the island. He gets a coffee, and offers me some. I refuse, trying to be an unimposing guest.

At the gas station, I notice his car. It’s an 8-year-old Mitsubishi. Very clean and dressed up with chrome, tinted windows and custom wheels. It’s a bit nicer than everything else at the station.

After his coffee, Jack drives me to town and stops at his friend’s house. The friend speaks English. He’s carrying a toddler. He explains that Jack is going to drive me to his house. At Jack’s house, I can get a shower and some lunch. I take my first picture in Cape Verde. It’s of the friend and his child.