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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

our personal carnival

This year we varied our Carnival experience a bit. We have in prior years gone to the Sambadromo, sitting in the bleacher areas, jumping and dancing the whole night long. One year as a tourist, I participated in 'the choris line,' at the Sambadromo wearing a headdress of red feathers and marching in the rain at 3 in the morning with four hundred or so strangers. With 'legal' tickets to the Sambadromo now ranging from US$57 to US$ 259.00 in the open bleacher areas, and 'special' tickets ranging up in the thousands, not many real Cariocas get any closer to this celebration than their TV set. After witnessing the line of cars exiting the city the Thursday before Carnival, I am not sure that they have any wish to get any closer to the touristy Carnival.

This year we joined Paulo and Rosa Lopez in the Blocos BABALO, a Santa Teresa street celebrations for the people, and by the people. The blocos are making a come back. For many years, you could not find a street parade. Now there seems to be an abundance of them. I think that the 'blocos' of Ipanema and Copacabana are still to be avoided. Put on for tourists, by the tourist, these media driven blocos miss the flavor of the block parties of the interior that we enjoyed this year.

In bloco Badalo that marched down a main street in Centro, the majority of the participants were neighbors. They know each other by name. They know where their neighbor lives and the names of his children. They dressed in costumes, 'fantasias', made for the children by their mothers, or aunts or a neighbor. They had their own Samba called 'Meu Rio de Janeiro". Composed by, you've go it, some of the neighbors. This is the real Carnival, this is the real Rio. I loved it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Aggressive Greens and other colors

It is true that the seasonal changes in Brazil are very subtle and that the green during all seasons is very aggressive, but I wanted to show you some of the patches of color that appear throughout the year within this prevailing green. The majority of my photos are taken from our veranda, or along the roads around Nova Friburgo. I have thousands of photos of flowers cultivated and otherwise, and no I won't show them all to you, for now the photos are only of the flowering trees that grow in the forest locally. Whenever the blossoms appear, I can't help but stop and take a photo - well many photos - the shock of the color variations is so profound. I don't have a good reference guide for the names of all of these trees, but I know that the tree with the pink flower that blooms in June is commonly called a Faux Cherry or Cerejeira-ornamental (Prunus Serrulata); the deep orange blossoms (January) are Espatodea, Bisnaqueira (Spathodea Campanulata); and the yellow (nearly all year round) is Falso-barbatimao, canafistula (Cassua leptophylla)

Monday, February 12, 2007

photos of tree cutting - FINALLY the photos

Sorry there seemed to be a technical problem with me posting the photos but I think I have it now!