“Sing, Jandaia!” Every time I speak the name of this sand-drenched place, I’m giving a command to its parakeets. The name of this state in Northeastern Brazil is Ceará, which means, “Sing, bird!” The native bird of Ceará is the Jandaia, a parakeet whose shrill call sounds much like its own name: Jan-dah-ya. The little bird’s yellow, red, green and blue feathers mimic the sun, as it sets over endless desert sands leading to beautiful sandy beaches.
On Saturday morning the ceaseless rain wouldn’t call it quits. It wouldn’t even take a break for the lonely hour of noon, so people braving the soaked city streets could enjoy the midday meal. My expectations were not high. But as I strolled down these streets I’ve known all my life, I noticed something unusual about the way people were behaving, something the rain could not explain.