This delayed contribution of student photos from Uruguay comes from Michaela Reisinger, a fourth-generation pharmacist from Austria. Nearly everyone else on this travel photo workshop had been on multiple trips with Julia (and me), but Michaela was new. Smart, witty, and gregarious, a lover of good food and drink, she instantly became part of the gang. You might say Michaela is the Austrian as Italian. 🙂 She had been to Buenos Aires before, where she has been studying tango for several years. When we left her, she had just found her apartment for a three-month stay of further dance study. One night in Montevideo Michaela lingered (with chaperon) at a milonga dancing tango until 5 a.m. She later explained to me the nature of the “come-hither” looks that are both effective and acceptable for a single woman searching for dance partners to cast at a milonga, and those that will have counter-productive, even comical results.
Here is Michaela’s account of her photos of the Umbandan seaside ritual I posted about earlier:
The pictures deal with the goddesses-offerings. There people bring flowers or something to eat, put it into small boats and send their offerings to the sea, hoping their prayers will come true. Also several enlightened people offer their straighter way to heaven. They are easily recognized by their dress code. To get these photos I followed the “boy with a flower” in the ocean as far as I could and was wandering later on.
Of course I could not resist the possibility to get my Aura cleaned and whitewashed again, because who knows what kind of dirt got caught over the years. I let it be done by and Australian woman. Despite that I could not really feel any difference. She gave me her business card secretly, whispering, if I want to know the real thing, I should call her. I really was considering that for a while. Then I saw her with several others consoling a pretty in pink. But to me it was more of an assault. So that’s how I felt being European; what must an American have thought?
To me the feast was very peaceful, despite a group of Brazilian healers, where the upper-upper-healer, looking like a white shrunken cowboy with an impressive black beard, was roughing up the believers a bit but he acted so fast that I was not able, despite all my skills I learned from Julia, to get one sharp photo. He is also one of the suspects I connect with the headless chicken I found the next day on the beach very nicely decorated. There was no blood-letting nor self-sacrifices, sorry.