The day i met Eduardo Galeano

April 15th, 2014, 9pm

From a certain age, I acquired the habit of reading. Read a lot . The enormous amount of time on buses at Rio de Janeiro gave me plenty of time to exercise this habit. So, as anyone who knows his work, I became an admirer of Eduardo Galeano. The Latin vision, political vision , poetic words, philosophical belief , taste by football… Everything about Galeano inspires admiration.

I knew he would come to Rio. Date: Today. April 15, 2014. From that day forward, I searched in all my contacts somehow to reach to Galeano and get something from the author. Anything. An interview, a conversation, a photo, an autograph.. Anything that I could take in memory. I reached a Uruguayan. This Uruguayan is a Galeano’s friend for over a decade, works on a media founded by Galeano. In a small space, and being seen directly by Galeano, he made sure we could have a few minutes with the legend.

I came to University where Galeano would be. Met a friend who would accompany me in this venture. We got the passwords and entered the auditorium. We were waiting. But Galeano is not an unknown author. Besides brilliant and inspiring, is popular. Led a crowd to that university.

Insane crowd outside. Event moved to the sports hall of the university to accommodate everyone who would like to see him and hear him. Good, because everyone who wanted to be able to hear the words of wisdom from the Uruguayan. However, the approach we wanted with him has been lost. We still tried get closer. But the bad mood that Gabriel noticed from Galeano and the vehemence attested when he said to his publisher “I will not give interviews!” ended any hope of contact with him.

After that, we sat down and listened. We laughed, thinkd, doubted (everything needs to be questioned, after all), we applaud stand up and absorbd everything what was possible.

And when I came out, the surprise. That was what I was looking for: something to remind me of meeting an idol, with a mind to admire. When I went down stairs, some people just closed my way to pass. Galeano was coming. After he went, I went down. At the end of the stairs, two girls who smiled from ear to ear said: “Muchas gracias, Galeano”. He turned quiet. He smiled, took the hand from the first, gave her a hug. Repeated the ritual with the second. He did the same with me. Laughed again. Thanked. And took his journey.

It may be silly of me. Excessive idolatry. But getting a hug and a handshake from a guy who wrote works that shaped my mind and so many others … For me, it was something I will not fail to remember. The laughter of a man who wore a semblance so moody before receiving the warmth of those admirers, all the thanks and sympathy … I’ll always remember.

Shu and Chris said thanks.

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Caio Renan

exploding and burning inside

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