Wow what a week.
I dont have much time because of some internet problems that we have been having but it has been so crazy serving here already. I don't know if the rest of the world is in festa mode right now but there are crazy parites going on for the saints this month. Lots of contacts but little lessons with investigators.
We have a pretty large area with lots of hills and the houses are really spread out but hey, makes for some great exercise. Brava is known for its flowers and plants. We basically are so high up that we live in the clouds so there are always clouds blowing through the area, with all the plants and flowers its really quite beautiful. I'll try and get some pictures and send them next week.
We are really trying to focus on the book of mormon because this is a small place and many fo the people here have a hard time leaving thier comfort zone. We are hoping that the power of the words and spirit of the stories can really help these people act and do somoething a little different than what they are used to.
There are some really great members here that really keep this branch going and it has been a great pleasure to talk and meet with them. The Sisters here are just amazing. Sister M has such a wonderful spirit about her and I know that she will really be wonderful help to the work of the Lord. She only is on her third transfer but wow, spiritually she really has it going.
I will have some stories for next week but I hope you all are well and warm. It's so cold up in these clouds.
Brava was discovered in 1462 by the Portuguese and the first settlement was founded in 1573. The slave trade was common in Cidade Velha. In 1680, the inhabitants fled from the nearby larger island of Fogo after its volcano erupted and lava began to flow and to devastate that island. In the 17th and the 18th centuries, pirates raided the bays of the island and continued until the 19th century when whaling was common from the ships of Europe and North America. Emigration began as American whale ships sailed people from Brava to the northeastern part of North America, especially along the Eastern Seaboard. Most of the immigrants from Brava settled in Boston, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island and New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Practically the whole island is a stratovolcano. It lies in the lee of the enormous Fogo volcano. Volcanic activity on the island has been mainly located along three sets of lineaments, which all intersect at the crest of ground that forms the highest part of the island. Brava has no documented historical eruptions, but its youthful volcanic morphology and the fact that earthquake swarms still occur indicate the potential for future eruptions.
The island's main town is Vila Nova Sintra. The island has schools, a lyceum, a gymnasia, churches, and a square (praça) in honour of the famous musician Eugénio Tavares.
All of the five villages lie north of the mountaintop, which has four main roads including Furna - Vila Nova Sintra and Fajã de Agua and south to Nossa Senhora do Monte and slightly south of the mountaintop. The two large islands north of Brava are uninhabited. The mountain valleys dominate the south, the east and the west. The north has a few valleys.
Precipitation arrives from the trade wind clouds. The island is covered with a leeward cloud so that evaporation is reduced and the vegetation is more abundant. Key inhabited places include the village of Vila Nova Sintra. The village of Furna has a commercial port.
Being highly mountainous this island has quite diverse climate. Brava island has moderate tropical climate (As according to Köppen–Geiger climate classification system) along the coast and semi-arid mild tropical climate Bsh with very balanced temperatures year round in the interior. The average annual temperature on the coast is about 23-23–25 °C (73–77 °F), decreasing to some 17–20 °C (63–68 °F) in the mountains. There can be remarkably cool weather with warmer wet season starting in June and ending in November with colder dry season starting in December and ending in May.
As of 1832, the population was estimated at 8,000.
|Population of Brava, Cape Verde (1940—2010)|
The main economy of the island is agricultural, related to irrigation and fishing (the island's main production). Trading and private households depend on income from Cape Verdean residents from North America. Brava never had a lot of tourism. The island is unsuitable for beach tourism because the steep shoreline allows few beaches.
The airport, inaugurated in 1992, was closed because of the strong winds. The airline service ended in 2004.
Until recently, there was a daily ferry (an ex-fishing boat) connecting Brava and Fogo. However, since January 2011, Brava can now be reached from Praia (and Fogo) almost exclusively via the passenger/cargo ferry, the Kriola. The Kriola is the first of Cabo Verde Fast Ferry's
fleet of inter-island catamarans and connects the Sotavento islands of Santiago, Fogo, and Brava. The Kriola typically leaves Furna, its home port, at 7:30 AM on days of operation and returns between 9:30 and 11 PM, depending on the day. The route is typically BRAVA-FOGO-SANTIAGO-FOGO-BRAVA, but at least one day a week it makes a BRAVA-FOGO-BRAVA run. Travel time between Brava and Fogo is approximately 0:40 and approximately 3:30 between Fogo and Santiago (Praia).
The main harbour of Brava is Furna, on the east coast of the island. Buses and taxis are common, especially when the Kriola arrives in port.
On Brava you can reach the villages by "Aluguer" bus. There is no fixed schedule, as the aluguers wait until enough passengers have come before leaving. A few taxis are available as well.