A week ago, I think it was Thursday, my chef Tieta didn’t show up. The next day she reappeared with that milando look of hers.

She said:

“Someone has painted our door with a green cross. Nobody else has the same mark, so I am really upset.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I complained to the chefe de quarteirão and we went through the area and couldn’t find another house with the same green signal.”

My dear chef has a bad conscience. She has reasons to fear…

“So the green cross means?”

Xicuembo!” she replied.

Saturday she popped in for ten minutes she used to show us her body covered with swollen patches. Xicuembo works fast in this part of the world! She went to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a food allergy. Notwithstanding, her fear has been palpable. She talked about dying and disappeared for three consecutive days.

She returned with much less patches and much less fear. Even after hospital, diagnosis and injections, for her it’s still xicuembo.

Xicuembo for her, milando for us!


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