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Christina Daniels

Gunning for a celebration

Posted from: Maraba

So I turned 35 in the third most dangerous city in Para State. Twenty deaths per weekend apparently. I dread to think what happens in the first and second place town! We were hoping to celebrate my birthday at the local Forro dance. But every time we asked someone where the best forro in town was, they'd shake their head and look away. Strange, we thought. Still, we persevered. We were determined to dance.

At lunch, we got talking to our waiter. We were sitting at a restaurant on the coast, and he told us that on weekends, after 10:00, the streets were full of gangs with knives. It was Sunday. He explained that people turned away when we asked them where we could dance, because there were so few options in such a dangerous town. We didn't believe him. Maraba is a big town, with a population upwards of 200,000. There must be somewhere to dance on a weekend? We asked him where he thought we should go for a dance, "Oh, you mean the Arrisca Facao? That's just down the road", he said. Arrisca Facao means, literally, 'The Stabbing of the Big Knife'. We decided to pass.

Christina, Heron and Keith
Christina, Heron and Keith take a quick break from filming

That night, we ended up at a restaurant, in the third most dangerous city in Para state, with a gun fight all our own. Things got a little out of hand... Still, a water pistol drenching in ice-cold water by the crew celebrating my birthday out here in the middle of the Amazon was, I think, the best present a newly turned 35 year old girl could have asked for.


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