La paz verdedera siempre es posible

Trip Start Jan 04, 2010
Trip End Mar 29, 2010

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Where I stayed
Fazenda Da Iracambi

Flag of Brazil  , Minas Gerais,
Monday, January 25, 2010

Aunque requere fuerza y practica, sobre todo en tiempas de gran dificultad!  

I was so relaxed yesterday.  After the epic adventure of Saturday and my emotional breakdown (which I think really needed to have) on Saturday night; I felt completely weightless and void of thought yesterday and I kind of floated over to the hammock within 'o centro', flopped myself down in it and didn’t move all afternoon!  I am reading a book by a Japanese monk about acquiring internal piece and helping others to acquire it – it is very inspiring and interesting, so I just read and whiled away the hours swinging in the hammock and appreciating the view from the window between chapters.  Everybody seemed very chilled out yesterday (Bill perhaps a little too much) and the boys made popcorn, so we watched a film, Bossa Nova.  We never made it to the end before the pan banged for tea, but it’s a Brasilian movie and it’s very clever; I really enjoyed it! 

By the time tea had finished though, the pressure of how much I have to do tomorrow had crept back into mind and I began to feel stressed!  This happens to me EVERY Sunday in England and I have been desperately searching for a way to stop it happening, to no avail!  Sunday nights are unavoidably (in my current job anyway) a struggle.  Lisa made me really smile in an email she sent today from England – she was struggling with the motivation of a certain group of people and she said she has no idea how I coped on my own for so long because it’s enough to drive you mental and she takes her hat off to me!  Really made me smile!!!  I know I was quiet on Skype to Craig today and unanimated and he soon gave up on me in preference for bed, but I stayed online to begin some of my work of the next few days and make a bit of an action plan, so that I didn’t feel totally ‘out of control’ – I have my work for Interserve, both responding to emails and my work for the sustainable development project, then I’ve got to implement the strategy of communications for Iracambi and various paperwork to do for them, including a presentation on my time here about what I have done and achieved; that isn’t even including the nursery! 

On the Interserve Sustainable Development side of things I have decided to focus on two aspects – Corporate Responsibility and Environmental Education.  If I learnt anything from Iracambi it is that companies like ours have a lot to learn from organisations like Iracambi and as a way of driving corporate responsibility, support of ecological projects such as Iracambi and similar organisations would have so many positive implications.  Also, regarding environmental education, I am realising fast here that there is a massive opportunity to use the Iracambi ‘experience’ to make nature ‘real’ to the staff of Interserve who may not ever get the opportunity to see anything like this and reconnect them to what is so important and precious in life and give them a reason to make conscious decisions to limit their environmental impacts by choice.  I am now sure, also, that the one-way communication method we use at Interserve regarding environmental issues can never work and that we need to adopt participatory learning that engages peoples’ experience and encourages debate.  I know that Interserve wanted me to investigate and identify Interserve’s holistic impact upon Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest, but in truth a massive part of it is our people!  We need to take really positive and decisive steps now to raise their awareness and drive change.

I think all of this was on my mind as I headed for bed last night because I just couldn’t switch my mind off and once again tossed and turned all night, completely unable to sleep.  Only I could come to the most peaceful place on earth and suffer from insomnia!  It is awful!  The night seems eternal and the constant shifting around makes the heat unbearable and the frustration of being just unable to make everything go black burns!  It is not just work activities that are worrying me, but other work related issues I suppose (and have touched upon); I don’t know, maybe I do just have too much time to think or as Lisa implied, Manchester Arndale has actually driven me mental!

I have felt absolutely terrible today.  I worked on the computer until a storm hit, unable to pluck up the strength to even consider the nursery and feeling really sick from the lack of sleep and therefore unable to eat!  I don’t know, I’ve suffered from insomnia before, but never this bad, or for this long!  I don’t think I’ve managed to sleep properaly since the day I arrived at Iracambi; perhaps on the rare occasion that I have had a beer and that’s an awful thing to admit…  If anyone can recommend a way to remove the hamster running around the wheel of my brain before I end up delirious, it would be gratefully received!  Not sure how much (or how less) sleep I can survive on…

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Bill on

Hi Clare !

I love your blog, you express your feelings so very clearly; feelings & experiences that I too shared, tears are streaming down my cheeks with the memories.
When I left Iracambi, I said I did not know why I was there. Now I do.
I´ve just walked 8 days on the and around the Estrada Real, a walk advertised as beautiful, historic & impressive.
The walk was hard & hot, but most impressive was the absence of original flora. Even in the National Parks there were no trees, only bushes, dust and heat.
I´ve given up on walking the whole Estrada, it is too depressing.
The message of Iracambi is clear in my mind & I know why I was there.

Thank you for your smiles, friendship and above all for your efforts to make the world a better place.



braziladventure on

Hey Bill!

So good to hear from you and I am glad you have come to the conclusion you have x x x It's funny, it isn't until you come away from Iracambi that you realise how precious it really is, not just the place, but the people!

I am sorry the Estrada was a let down in that way - it is shocking they have let it get that way with so many tourists passing through, you'd think the money could go to reforestation or something?

I hope your onward journey is more gratifying and that you keep well and keep in touch! You were a good friend to me in the days of Iracambi and your words have touched me a lot!

Maybe our paths will cross again one day in the future, maybe in La Cambalacha!

Take care Bill, thoughts and best wishes,


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