Monday, July 16, 2012


                                 THE KING AND THE NAVIGATORS
In 1498 Vasco da Gama, a famous navigator from Portugal, went to Asia by ship. He and his men were the first people from the west in India. They came home with many interesting things from that country.
The king of Portugal, Manuel I, was very happy with the things from India. He said, "I am going to send  a lot of Portuguese ships to this new land." He looked for a navigator for a new voyage. The navigator's name was Pedr'Alvares Cabral.
"Pedr'Alvares," said the king, "I am sending you to India with thirteen ships and 1,400 men. It is a long and dangerous voyage. Bring me interesting things from India. And find new land for Portugal, too."
Captain Cabral and his men worked on the ships for months. They wanted to start their voyage early in March, 1500. In his office, the navigator looked at an old map. There was a land to the west of Africa. across the Atlantic Ocean. The name of the land was "Terra Papagalis," the land of the parrots. Pedr'Alvares wanted this land for Portugal.
        A Drink, a Fight, and a New Life
"Silva, I am going to the bar. Vicente and Marcos are going to be there," Afonso Ribeiro said.
"OK, Afonso. Don't be late, my love," Silva said.
Afonso walked to the bar near his house and had a drink with his friends. They were happy young men.
They liked their town, their friends, and their families.
Afonso loved Silva and their three children. He worked for then every day.
'It's late. Good night, my friends," Afonso said to Vicente and Marcos.
Suddenly there was a lot of noise. There were five men with bottles and knives at the back of the room.
They started to fight with the men near them.
'Let's go-now" Vicente said.
The three friends went quickly to the door, but a man hit Afonso.It was not Afonso's fight, but he did not think.. There was a bottle on a table, and he hit the man on the head with it. The man was on the floor-he was dead.
The people in the bar said, "Afonso Ribeiro did this. 
He hit this man." 
The police said, "Afonso Ribeiro, you cannot live in this town now. You are going  to live there."
March 8 was a beautiful Sunday in Lisbon. The sun was hot, and the river was green and quiet. There were many people near the river. They wanted to see the big ships and the king. Manuel I was there because this was an important day for Portugal. There was music and dancing. little children played with their friends.
But some people were very unhappy on this beautiful Sunday morning. Afonso and Silva Ribeiro went to Lisbon with their three small children. The voyage to India was important for their country, but it was an unhappy voyage  for the Ribeiro Family.
"Father, when are you going to come home?"
Afonso's daughter asked.
'May child, I do not know," Afonso said.
"But father, the ocean is big. Can you find us again?" one of the little boys asked.
"Yes, my son. I can find. And, remember, I love you. Be good for your mother and think about me every night," Afonso said. Silva looked at Afonso and cried.
Afonso went on ship. He called goodbye to Silva and to his children. Slowly, the ship went down the town were behind him now. A new life waited for Afonso Ribeiro. He said quietly, "I am going to see my family again one day."
                                            Life on the Caravel
Afonso Ribeiro walked onto one of the king's ships on March 8, 1500. He was twenty-five years old. It was his first voyage on the ocean. He said, "Every day I am going to write about my new life."
March 8: I am on a caravel in the Atlantic Ocean. Where are we going? Why is this an important voyage for Portugal? I am very unhappy. I look at the ocean and think about my home. I want to be with Silvca and my children.
March 15: Today an interesting old man talked to me.
He writes about the caravel and the voyage in a big book. This morning he said, "You are a writer, too.
what is your name? Why are you here? What is in your book?
We talked about my story. Then he talked about famous navigators and their ocean voyages. His name is Pero Vaz. He is a  good teacher and an interesting man.
Now I understand about our voyage to India.
March 20: The thirteen caravels went south from Lisbon, near Madeira and the Canaries. The wind is usully good, and we are moving quickly.
One day our captain, Pedr'Alvares Cabral, said, "We are not going to go south. We are going to go west across the ocean. We are going to make a voyage to a new land."
"Where are we going?" the men asked.
"I do not want to see India. That is Vasco da Gama's land. I want to find Terra Papagalis. I am going to find this land for our king," Cabral said.
Across the Atlantic Ocean? A new land? Does my family remember me? Am I going to see Portugal again one day?
March 23: In the night there were strong winds and heavy rain. It was a dangerous time. One ship, with 140 men, went down under the water. The rain stopped in the morning, and we looked for the men. We did not find them. They are all dead now. They are not going to see their families in Portugal again. This is a difficult life for for us.
April 3: There are a lot of men and boys on the thirteen caravels. There are a lot of  men 100 people on our ship, but no women. Our life is very difficult. We get up early and work all day. Every man and boy has a job.
The boys are strong. They do the heavy work.
The food is not very good, and we only have a little water. We can drink the water, but we cannot wash. A lot of the men get sick because they cannot wash. 
There is a doctor on the caravel, but he does not understand every problem on the ship.
The twelve caravels moved across the Atlantic Ocean for forty-four days. Early in the morning of April 22, a man called, "Look! Birds! We are near land!"
"Is it India?" Afonso asked Pero Vaz.
"No," the old man answered. "It is a new land for us.
It is on Cabral's map. Remember, we went west from Europe."
The caravels stopped in water, and the men looked at the land. They saw white beaches and tall green trees.
In the morning, a small boat went to the land.
'Afonso," the captain said, "you go with these men in the boat."
Afonso and six men arrived on the beach. They were in a beautiful green place. Suddenly, there was a lot of noise.
"What is that?" Afonso asked.
"Look in the trees. Big parrots live in this land. This is Terra Papagalis went with Afonso  and the six men to the ship. their names were Uira and Raoni. They had gifts for the captain. He wanted to talk to them, but they did not understand him. He had gifts for them, too.
After two weeks in the new land, a caravel went back to Portugal with a letter to Manuel I.
[To Manuel I, King of Portugal From Pedr'Alvares Cabral, His Navigator This letter brings a happy story to my king and my country. Your caravels did not go to India. We went west because we wanted to find new lands for Portugal. We arrived in Terra Papagalis. It is a big country and the Tupiniquim people are friendly.
These people are strong and have long back hair. Terra Papagalis is a hot country, and the people do not have shoes or shirts or dresses, but they have a lot of good things. I am sending you gifts from Uira and Raoni. They are important Tupiniquim men. They visited one of our caravels. We cannot talk to them in Portuguese, but we talk with our hands and faces. They are good men and do not want to fight with us.
I am not coming back to Portugal now. I am going to India with eleven of your caravels. I want to find there, too, for you, my king.
Life with the Tupiniquins
May 6: The caravels went away from Terra Papagalis today, but I am studying here. I watched the ships and I cried. Uira and Raoni looked at me and cried, too. 
They are my friends, but I want to be with the men on the caravels. I want to go home. This is an unhappy day for me.
July 30: I can talk to the Tupiniquins now. I know many things about their lives. They are a people of the Tupi-Guarani family. They often move to a new place because they look. In one family there are sometimes many children and mothers, but there is only one father.
August 7: My life with the Tupiniquins is very good. We are one big family. I am teaching the children the names of animals and fruit in Portuguese. They can say "hello" and "goodbye," too.
I work with the men every day. It is hot in the afternoon, and then we swim in the river. At night we play music and dance.
I have a house, food, and many friends. I live in a beautiful place with good people. But I am not happy. The Tupiniquins are not my people. This place is not my town. I think about Silvia and my children every day. Do   they remember me? When can I go home?
Home Again
Early one morning, after two years in Terra Papagalis, Afonso walked on the beach with Raoni and Uira. They talked and looked for animals. Suddenly, Afonso stopped and looked at the ocean.
"What is that?" he said to Raoni and Uira. "Look!" "It is big ship," Raoni answered. Is it a ship from your country?"
The ship came near the beach. "It is a caravels! Maybe it is from Portugal. Maybe I can go home with them," Afonso said.
After some time, a small boat came to the beach with four men. "Hello," Afonso said. "My name is Afonso Ribeiro. I am from a small town in Portugal." The men talked to Afonso in Portuguese men and talked to the ship's navigator. His name was Amerigo Vespucci. He was from Florence, in Italy. But he worked for Manuel I of Portugal, and his men were Portuguese. Amerigo had a lot of questions for Afonso:
"How is the land?" "Who lives here?" Do the people have boats?" "Are they friendly?"
Afonso answered Captain Vespucci's questions and talked about his life with the Tupiniquins. But he had one important question for the navigator.
Please can I go with you back to Portugal?" Afonso asked. "I want to go home."
"Yes, Afonso," Vespucci said. "Your king is going to be happy with you now. The story of your life here is very important."
In the morning, Amerigo Vespucci went to Terra Papagalis with Afonso. The navigator visited the Tupiniquins and went into their houses. He had gifts for them from the king of Portugal. In the evening, the people played music and danced for the navigator.
Later, Afonso said goodbye. He looked at Uira and Raoni and smiled. " Thank you. You are good friends." Then Afonso and the Tupiniquins cried.
Afonso finished his story at home in Portugal.
June 10, 1502: Today I visited Manuel I. The king said, to know about Terra Papagalis." I talked to the king for a long time about the land, the people, the trees, the fruit...
The king said, "Afonso, you know a lot of things about this place! Thank you for your story. Now you have a new job. Teach my navigator about this new land!
December 15, 1502:  Now I have a big house and a lot of money. I do an important job for the king, and I am happy with my family. Silvia is going to have a child in the new year. I see my children every morning and every night. But sometimes I think about the Tupiniquins, too. Where are Raoni and Uira now?
Am I going to go back to Terra Papagalis one day?

No comments:

Post a Comment