Monday, March 17, 2014

Greenie Alert

Wow. Ok first of all I am blessed to the max. Second of all I really miss cereal. 

Anyways, this week has been awesome. So I arived in praia with probably half of what I had packed when I left home. But I honestly didnt need any of it (so dont worry mom). I spent the first three days in praia until the mission president came back from another island. I went to church and a zone meeting while I was there, which was pretty good but the best part was I got to go out and start teaching. The very  first lesson I helped teach was with a new investigator we had found right then and there. His name was Ivan, and he had been looking for a church to attend for a while (perfect, I know). So we got in there and my temporary companion taught basically the whole thing but I had the opportunity to bear my testimony and then invite him to pray and to be baptized. HE SAID YES TO BOTH! I probably looked like the biggest dork with my mouth hanging wide open, but I was pretty shocked. I got a commitment to baptism on my first lesson ever... whoa. 

When I finally arived to Fogo, I met my companion, who by the way is absolutely amazing, and we headed to the other side of the island to our area of Cova Figuiera. We ride in what are called hiaces (say it like: goss but with a y. Yoss). All the streets are made with stones, and there are no real traffic rules... kind of exciting at times. The houses are just built totally randomly. The area I am in is a small town. It looks exactly like Kenya but the houses are a little nicer. They are made of cinderblock instead of mud, and some of the houses have tile  instead of dirt floors. No such thing as carpet. Only little rugs. 
Our house is pretty nice. For starters we have warm water, which is super special. We also have a washing machine! Yay! Dad, you were wondering if I had to wash out of buckets... I will if we have no water. The water goes out super randomly for who knows how long, but if I ever wash out of a bucket Ill take a picture and send it, ok? ;) 
Our house overlooks the ocean and the island of Santiago (thats where Praia is). On the other side of the house we can see the top of the volcano..... so SICK!!!!! 
I have also made tuna...but for reals. We bought the tuna fish whole, gutted the fish, cleaned it, chopped it up, and cooked it. Super delicious. I have had the opportunity to cescar beans(I dont know what that is in english....). I also helped make flour from corn stalks... take the corn off, put it in this stone-smashing-thing, and boom! Fresh homemade flour. 
Mom I will be pro at cooking when I get home, no microwaves to reheat food so we have to make something everyday.
Ok now for the people. First of all this one lady named Takinha makes us dinner if we are ever over at her house. Super good stuff. Cabo Verdians know how to cook some good meals. Takinha just feeds anyone who is at her house, no matter what. Little kids, adults, members, nonmembers, even some men who get drunk at night. She isnt rich, far from it,but she gives all she has to everyone else. 
I helped teach 27 lessons.... it feels like 4 though, its so strange! Half the time I cant remember what I say so thats a good sign, the spirit is talking, not me. We have two weddings scheduled for this next month! That is a miracle becuase NO ONE gets married here. Even if they have2kids and have been together for 17 years. They say "Im not ready!" Im not ready. Really. Sometimes its frustrating but the spirit will touch them when it is time. The kids here love the missionaries and we always have a little buddy to walk around with.
The language is coming slowly but surely. Creole is hard but I uderstand portuguese pretty well,if they ever talk in it. The Lord is blessing me so much I just want to work harder and harder for Him!!! I love this gospel and these people are really ready for the gospel. I cant wait to find more children of God to share this amazing truth with. 
Thanks to friends and family for emailing! I read them all with a big smile on my face! I dont have enough time to write back to all of you but know I really, really want to write every single one of you! I love you all! 


Sister Taylor Goss

Fun Facts:
Praia (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpɾajɐ], meaning "beach", in both Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole), is the capital and largest city of Cape Verde, an island nation in the Atlantic Ocean west of Senegal. It lies on the southern coast of Santiago island in the Sotavento Islands group. It is the island's ferry port and is home to one of the nation’s four international airports. The city centre is known as Platô due to its location on a small plateau.
Praia is Cabo Verde's largest city, a commercial centre, and a port that ships coffeesugar cane, and tropical fruits. Praia also has a fishing industry and there are resort beaches nearby. It is the seat of the Praia municipality.
Fogo (Portuguese for "fire") is the most prominent island of the Sotavento group of Cape Verde: it rises to nearly 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above sea level at its summit, Pico do Fogo.
Fogo was discovered in 1460 by a Genovese captain António Noli on behalf of Henry the Navigator and the Portuguese Crown, and was first called São Filipe, meaning Saint Philip in Portuguese. It gained its current fiery name before the 1680 eruption, since a madrigal "The Andalusian Merchant" by Thomas Weelkes, who died in 1623, sings "how strangely Fogo burns, amidst an ocean full of flying fishes".[1]
There are now two cities in the island: São Filipe and Mosteiros.
The Portuguese settled the island in 1500. Emigration started in 1850, mainly to North America. The 1910 civil revolution in Portugal drew aristocracy and large landowners back to Portugal and left civilians behind. A small museum on Fogo explains many of these connections.
Volcanic eruptions have occurred in 1680, 1951, 1995 and 2014.[citation needed]


One of the southernmost islands in Cape Verde, Fogo is located between the islands of Santiago and Brava. Practically the whole island is a stratovolcano that has been periodically active: it last erupted on 2 April 1995, forming a new crater called Pico Pequeno, the "Little Peak". The largest volcanic feature is a 9 km wide caldera, which has walls 1 km high. The caldera has a breach in its eastern rim, and in the centre a resurgent dome with an ash cone that forms the highest point of the island: its summit is about 100 m higher than the surrounding caldera wall. Lava from the volcano has reached the eastern coast of the island within historical times.

Two small villages, Portela and Bangaeira, exist in the floor of the caldera (Chã das Caldeiras); the residents were evacuated during eruptions.
The island's main city is São Filipe, near which is an airport. Fogo is largely an agricultural island. It has fertile land in the southwest with a slope of about 10 to 15 degrees. The north and the east are steeper. The island rises abruptly from the ocean, which can be as deep as 5,300 m at a distance of 5 km from the shoreline. The exception is to the west, where the island is connected to another seamount; further west in Brava.
The steep slopes in the northeastern part are green and grassy all-year round. The rest of the mountain is dry and barren, its dry creeks and streams are dry washes.
São Filipe's buildings use classic Portuguese colonial architecture. Mosteiros in the northeast is the island's second most important town.
A violent eruption took place in 1680, forming a new cone that was visible over hundreds of kilometres but lasted only for a few years. It was during this eruption that the island earned its name.


There are various endemic plants on Fogo:


Being one stratovolcano and extremely mountainous, this island has quite a diverse climate and many various microclimates. Along the coast Fogo has a moderate dry tropical climate according to the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system; higher on the slopes (~ 800 metres ASL) it has a semi-arid mild tropical climate (Köppen–Geiger Bsh_ with very balanced temperatures year round; above 1,000 metres it has a cool highland subtropical steppe climate (Köppen–Geiger BskL). The average annual temperature on the coast is about 23-25 °C, decreasing to some 12-14 °C on the highest ground. There can be remarkably cool weather in the interior, with the warmer wet season starting in July and ending in November, with the colder dry season starting in December and ending in May. Drought, the major climate risk of Cape Verdean islands, is much less pronounced on Fogo, due to the mountain's ability to gain moisture from clouds. During the mid-19th century, Fogo suffered from severe droughts. Death from starvation was common in the population as of 1832.

As of 1832, Fogo had an estimated population of 10,000.  The official language of Fogo is Portuguese; yet mostly Fogo Creole is spoken. According to the 2013 national demographic census, Fogo was the fourth most populous island in the Cape Verde archipelago.


The economy of the island is based on agriculture and fishing, with coffee and wine among the main products. In the 1830s, Fogo's wine was described as being "very superior."  Due to its volcanic soil Fogo's coffee also has a good reputation. The island has experienced a substantial diaspora. Many households live off remittances from emigrants in the US and in European countries (Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Italy). Fogo fosters strong connections to Rhode Island and to Massachusetts (US), where many people with Cape Verdean origin live.

Tourism is steadily becoming popular. The volcano (allowed only accompanied by a local guide) is the island's major attraction but many visitors also come to see relatives. The historic city of São Filipe and Chã das Caldeiras in the volcanic crater receive the bulk of visitors. No great tourism facilities exist, but there are small hotels and B&Bs and local guides offer hiking tours 

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