Walking through the streets of Trinidad with my friend Liz, away from the typical tourist sections, we heard the sounds of bongo drums being beaten not so rhythmically. And a soft guitar accompanied by an aged melodic voice. We aproached quietly so as not to disturb them and found a young boy and his grandfather making soft music in the front room of their home. The guitar and voice belong to Eusebio . . . the elderly Cuban gentleman who immediately welcomed us into his home as they played.
Eusebio, kind and softspoken – until he told us his name which he enthusiastically said EUSEBIO! He introduced us to his wife, the lovely Flora. Flora, beautiful and bent with age and no doubt, a life of hard work, beamed at us. As we all listened to Eusebio play and sing, Flora’s eyes and entire face lit up as she watched Eusebio. She looked at him in pure love – truly the love of a long life spent together. It was beautiful to see.
Children from the neighborhood soon crowded into the windows and doorway of Eusebio and Flora’s home – they had also come to hear the music (and frankly, to check out the foreigners being entertained). We stayed and listened and made a few images. I think we would have stayed the whole day but it was clear that Eusebio was tiring. So we said our goodbyes, thinking we would not see Eusebio and Flora again.
As it turned out, our trip leader Jeremy knew Eusebio and having seen him earlier in the day, arranged for Liz’s husband, an accomplished musician, to play with Eusebio later. Whahoo! back we went that evening. We found Eusebio just as he was earlier, guitar in hand. Flora, fresh from a bath, smelled of roses and lavender. Their daughter returned home from work to pick up sticks and tap out the rhythm with Neil and Eusebio. Of course, the young grandson appeared to join in on the bongos.
Neil played with Eusebio and his family, Rob danced with lovely Flora (her eyes lit up then too!) and Liz and Jeremy and I watched and listened . . .
Spectacular. I can think of no better to way spend an afternoon . . . Lisa