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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Memories - Jade da Rocha

Several years ago, when I was just a teenager I lived in Governador Valadares a city of eastern Brazil. During that period my family had a financial crisis and as a consequence to that, I used to walk for about 40 minutes to go to school every single day. One of my favorite spot was “Praça Serra Lima”; One of the most traditional praças (square) in town, with a fountain in the center.  On Sundays after church I used to seat in a bench with my friends and watched the Capoeira group dance and sing with a berimbau (percussion instrument). We had so much fun hanging there for awhile.

 Around the “praça” was this wrought iron structure mixed with terracotta bricks of a 12 floors unfinished building. So, every day throughout several years the people’s town passed by around this giant skeleton. Evidently, an expression of fragility on the profitable business of the hospitality industry of a small town; there might have had other reasons for not having completed the construction of the building.

In middle of the Seventies, with the creation of the trade association the businesses had heated and the city started to grow again and eventually they had started the construction again. It was no small challenge and investment for this audacious project at that period of time.

In 1979, they were willing to change the atmosphere of a small town to a sparkly hotel as in a metropolis, completing the construction of the hotel and named it “GPH Hotel” offering an extensive selection of professional services with an upper class shopping center and a night club that became a sensation back then.  After that was stimulation for investors to invest in the civil construction resulting a boom in the financial scale of the city.

The old, unfinished building marked so many people’s life; ones with hopes of a better life, others enjoying a satiated life; many dreams. The modern construction brought the evolution, the progress, a new beginning for so many residents.

Many years had passed and every time I go to Brazil and visit Governador Valadares, I remember the old times and in those moments, that grotesque structure always returns to my memory.

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