Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare

The rugged landscape of  the island of Fogo came to my mind immediately in response to last week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare by Krista StevensI related to the word as meaning sparse, however it can also mean 2) additional to what is required for ordinary use, 3) elegantly simple, or 4) to refrain from harming.

Although some areas are populated, farmed, or forested, much of Fogo, which is part of Cape Verde, an island nation off the west coast of Africa,  is dry, rocky and barren.
20150506-DSC00184-2-fogo-cape-verde-movel-barren-rocky-mountains-men-carrying-bags-terry-boswell-wmEven so, people can be found dotting the most seemingly remote places… along… with… occasional… advertising.20150506-DSC00184-2cp-fogo-cape-verde-movel-barren-rocky-mountains-men-carrying-bags-terry-boswell-wmNotice the billboard for CVMóvel, a cell phone service provider, standing alone behind the two workers in the middle of acres of sparsely populated mountains. The placement of the sign, way out there, seemed impossibly optimistic.

Later in the day I got a closer shot of another lonely sign waiting for a viewer.20150506-DSC00574-001-2-cv-movel-wmThis one sits on the edge of an area destroyed by the November 2014 eruption of the volcano, Pico do Fogo. A lunar landscape now stretches for miles. I imagine this sign was less lonely before the eruption when people traveled to and from the two towns that are now buried.

When my friend and I went to hike up Pico do Fogo in May of 2015, we were told that it was the first day that a path for vehicles into the area had been opened to the public. Our hired taxi was the only car making it’s way boldly out along the “road” which oftentimes was only two tire marks in volcanic ash. The provisions store, a box-like building of cement blocks, which marked the beginning of our guided hike, was being rebuilt and had cases of water, soda and snacks, but there was nothing else there. Portela and the neighboring town, Bangaeria, the vineyards and coffee crops, were buried. Everyone in those towns lost their homes. All industry was destroyed. The only things that were spared (here is another usage of that word) were things that could be loaded into vehicles or carried out in hand, in carts, or on livestock. I have read that the towns were evacuated before the eruption and no lives were lost, but I can only imagine that everyone’s life was shattered and changed. No one may have been killed, but it seems to me that lives were lost. These lonely signs make me wonder about the one-thousand to two-thousand people who were displaced. I encountered so many optimistic, welcoming, and friendly people in Cape Verde. I can only hope that there is hope for the people of Portela and Bangaeria.

I’ll end this post with another ad for CVMóvel that I found on Vimeo. I may be going out on a limb here because I don’t speak creole, but…  judging by the music and smiles, I think this video shows the optimistic aspect of Cape Verde life that I also experienced.

CV MOVEL “Somos Cabo Verde” from Victor Castro on Vimeo.

To see more of my photos from Cape Verde, click hereherehere, and here.

Thanks for reading and looking 🙂

Vibrant Growth, Fragile Hope

deep destructive ash                                  d
    lava frozen thick for miles                      r
        what was, is no more                        a
           still hope, though buried, remains       w
                             Vibrant life pushes   up

copyright ©2016 Terry Boswell
A castor oil plant triumphs, vibrant with life and color, growing through volcanic ash near Pico Do Fogo, Cape Verde despite massive destruction a few months before. Photo: May 2015.
Rebuilding after Pico Do Fogo’s eruption that lasted from November 23, 2014 until February 7, 2015. Photo: May 2015.

To view another post about the volcano on the island of Fogo, Cape Verde, click here.


This is my response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant, and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pink or Magenta Flowers.


Earth spews rock fumes fire.
Black crust miles covering thick.
Awareness of life.
copyright ©2015 Terry Boswell

In November of 2014 Pico do Fogo, a volcano in the island nation of Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa, erupted spewing lava and ash from a crevasse about two-thirds down from its summit. The lava effusion and explosive activity finally ended in January of 2015.
The devastation spread for miles, obliterating two villages and the surrounding coffee crops and vineyards, although here and there, bright vibrant vines still stand in contrast to a dark, stark backdrop.
It was reported that all inhabitants were evacuated before the eruption and no one was killed.

By May of 2015, when I took these photos, a few tenacious souls had returned to dig out their stone or cement block homes and rebuild; a testament to the indomitable human spirit and hope victorious.

To view another post about the volcano on Fogo, Cape Verde, click here.

This post is my response to three photo challenges:

Jennifer Nichole Wells’s One Word Photo Challenge: Weather – Pick Your Own,

November’s Tech Of The Month Challenge: Be Generous with Open Space, by perelincolors and Lucile de Godoy,

and the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory.