A skyscraper among trees, Myreia Barbarella Anthoniete Lavarro, is a beacon of light and s/he knows it.
When I asked Myreia to describe herself, Myreia responded:
I am a people person. I am important. I am simply me.
Where do you live?
In Porto de Tras (behind the harbor) where I was born and raised. It’s a Quilombo where families live and support one another. We share everything plus trade goods and services just like the old days.
What do you do in Itacaré?
I work as a part-time public employee at the Camara Municipal (City Council) building next to the Mayor’s office. I also do massage therapy, babysit, and teach dance to children at the community cultural center.
Pretty astonishing for someone who doesn’t have a telephone or internet at home.
How would you describe Itacaré?
Magnificent. It’s a wonderful city … mystical. It’s a place that requires living. You gotta really LIVE in Itacaré… if you live it, magic will happen.
Describe your favorite type of day?
I like when it rains. Everything is much calmer. It fully demonstrates the existence of God.
I really like your style, from where do you get your fashion sense and inspiration?
Myreia blushes then confidently states: Life mainly…. just knowing that we exists inspires me. I also adore fashion magazines but I don’t buy them. There are various friends who give me clothes and I create my style from these hand-me-downs. In my neighborhood, I am the “go to” person when it comes to fashion. Both men and women ask for my advice whenever there is a party or something … It’s about the small touches … a belt, the right jewelry. I’m always adjusting; it depends on the mood and the occasion.
Tell me about your family.
My family is GREAT!! (with an emphasis on “great”) My mother is wonderful for many reasons. And my father was too. He passed on six years ago. They had five children, 3 girls, 1 boy, and me. I love my family.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
To Africa … the Ivory Coast. I would like to volunteer for the Red Cross there.
What do you like to do on the weekends?
Dance at the Jungle Bar. I love pop music, rock, electronic, dance, samba and pagode.
Who are your favorite music artists?
Madonna, Cher, and music by Relicário (I love the song Cassia Eller).
You mention that you rarely sleep or eat. When you do eat, what do you like?
Pasta with garlic and olive oil or
caruru that comes with Acarajé. I love them both equally.
Where is your favorite restaurant in Itacaré?
I usually eat at home but I sometimes go to Tia Zinha, it’s near the Rodoviaria (bus station). I order the grilled chicken, salad, beans, rice, and pimenta.
What is your favorite beach and why?
Ribeira. It has that native feeling and I enjoy going to the nearby waterfall.
What do you want people to know about you?
I want people to simply get to know me if they so choose. Any one can ask me anything!
Should I refer to you as a man or a woman?
Physically I am a man but spiritually and mentally, I am a woman. I have no desire to change my body; I accept it; however, I feel more feminine than masculine.
Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?
No, I prefer to be single and free. I have “friends with benefits” (paqueras).
I’m convinced that there are many benefits to getting to know Myreia. It took an entire evening to complete this interview because Myreia knows EVERY ONE in town. And each person, had a question to ask, a hug to give, or a smile for the glamorous one from Porto Atrais.
P.S. I found this film from 1984 called Quilombo, feel free to watch here.
By Lala the Sunchaser.