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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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feet, serving this as a source chute. As shoemakers polish the leather, so these bones are cleaned from all the sand and they float like pumice stones in the Santo Antonio River. Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain perfect bones; but still the teeth, whose cortical layer is already worn almost completely with only the cellular substance left, measure six to eight inches, indicating the gigantic size of the animal to which they belonged; In the course of the trip north of the province, we had the opportunity to observe the remains of bones, which undoubtedly belonged to a mastodon; The legend, which surrounds said large teeth, does not confirm, however, whether the antediluvian bones found in this region came from mammoth or mastodon.

The village of Rio das Contas must have 900 inhabitants, and the entire diocese, governed by the vicar general of the region of Jacobina, a resident here, has 9,000 souls. As climate favors little agriculture, mining and trade are the most important industries of the population, which, by education and wealth, is distinguished from other inhabitants of the interior of Bahia. The Latin teacher, a man of truly classical learning, shows that the fruits of the spirit also ripen in the stupifying climate of the tropics.

In addition, the climatic conditions of this region are closer to Tejuco, in Minas Gerais due to their high situation compared to those of the temperate zone, and particularly Tejuco, in Minas Gerais. In the morning we notice a temperature of 14 ° R.; one hour after noon, 23 ° R.; and in the afternoon at sunset 20 ° R. The rainy season seems to settle here more regularly in October and November than in the lower places. Reigning diseases show rheumatic and inflammatory features; pleurisy, hemoptysis and tuberculosis are more common; rarer than in the Sao Francisco River, are the diseases of the abdomen, and the terrible floods of that region do not spread beyond the Serra da Gameleira, or at most in the rainy season, to the valley of Vila Velha;

Vila Velha

On the other hand, this area has already suffered from hunger due to sterility and lack of timely measures. Accordingly, some 500 people died as a result of the famine in the 1807 and 1808. The storage of groceries has never been considered, and perhaps their conservation is very difficult due to the deterioration and voracity of insects. Unfortunately, syphilis is also widespread here, and its manifestations, bearable under the favorable action of the tropical climate, sometimes become dangerous due to barbaric treatment causing mercury poisoning.

On October 17 we left the pleasant little town that, due to the education and hospitality of its inhabitants, reminded us of

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