Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Brasil Update...


Brasil is here and now.
As I write i am baking in the midday heat. It is about 44 degrees celsius in the sun.

I arrived after an adventure of a journey that left me humbled by my inability to communicate and amazed by the generosity and kindness people shared to help me make it to my destination. In moments of doubt, I was thankful for the honest smiles and eye contact from people who barely knew me but somehow cared to help...

Since arriving in Brasil I have travelled north from Sao Paulo to Chapada, a small town of about 15 thousand at the height of land between the Pantanel and Amazon river basins. NOLS (the school I'll be working for down here - www.nols.edu) rents a beautiful oasis here where we are presently preparing to head to the river.

On this property (like most others in Brasil) outside is inside, inside is outside. We all sleep in tents, there are barely doors on the buildings and cold showers outside are the best thing on the mid afternoon plan. It is also the end of the dry season so we have running water for a few hours a day, outside of that time we need to haul water from the well. Amidst a busy schedule of preparing for our expedition daily living here reminds me of the things i often take for granted in the ease of my life.

The oasis also has mango, tangerine, lime, pomegranete and coffee trees - among others i am sure. We pick fruit that is ripe to add to meals. These gorgeuous tropical trees are also the homes for toucans and parrots fly that fly by regularly during the day. Each morning I wake to the songs of the hundreds of birds I don't see but hear and know they are my neighbours - the sounds of this dense tropical forest is another foreign language that will humble and teach me on this journey.

We are here for a few more days finalizing details of the long river trip ahead. I often find that the days leading up to expeditions busier and longer then the travel days themselves - so, needless to say, it will be nice to be paddling....

Beginning Saturday we will drive for two days northwest to the Jurena river...and from there we will paddle 600km through the Amazon to the Transamazonicas Highway. We will not see a single road for the entire journey. We will pass by some indigineous lands and many layers of this diverse jungle ecosystem.

And where really will this journey take me - likely deeper into myself, away from a mind that is so easily cultured by consumerism and productivity towards a playful sense of what it means to be alive, what it means to breath, what it means to be interconnected and live fully in this world. I think??

'What is it you want to do with your one, wild and prescious life??' Mary Oliver


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