February 16 - 22, 2014: Issue 150

 Adriano De Costa 

by Lucinda Rose 

Adriano is a most diligent, passionate, enthusiastic and talented seminarian. At first, during our meeting with Tamara and two other priests-to-be about finding him sponsorship to continue his studies, he appears very quiet and serious. By our last dinner on the beach he is laughing at me across the table, talking unstoppably and we soon see he is not shy at all… rather cheeky. 

We can tell Adriano will absolutely be a priest. He just has that look about him. 

He has the passion, the will to persist and most of all, a generosity that puts others before him and really cares. He tells us a bit about his life – how he is from this very village of Soibada – and on our last night there, we wander the dusty roads at dusk, stars appearing above in a rose-quartz sky, to take some photographs of his house – creating a sense of authenticity for when we show them to potential sponsors. 

Adriano is one of the conductors of the choir during mass, and as we are not exactly sure which house is his – we have been given a vague idea by a few locals – we end up imitating conducting movements and pointing to various houses around the one that ideally ‘should’ be his, with villagers laughing and giving us the strangest looks as we wave our arms about and point. It was worth just taking photos of this!! 

We end up finding the house that is his, and photograph it. The next morning, Adriano tells us that the one we think wasn’t actually his house, and he decides to take us there himself, where his home is far behind the other one, past some mud and garden and goats, babies running about in between. We never would have found this. And if we did, it wouldn’t have felt right to walk right through this maze of raw living – right from the land herself. It is one of the most touching and humbling experiences, walking within a community within the community. 

Adriano’s family is most welcoming. 

His conducting is extraordinarily powerful, confident and sharp. Yet his hands move like ink in water, as if his limbs are somehow separate from bones. Being a ballet dancer for 15 years, I feel his arm movements go right to and past the sensitivity required at the highest levels. He is already there in heart and soul.