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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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the further we went. Instead of the tall, dense forests, we now had, in front of us, alternating plains with gently sloping hills covered with a few tree groves and grass. The plain, although partly very swampy, belongs to the most fertile region of Sao Paulo. In particular, the tobacco thrives here excellently, and its cultivation is one of the main works of the inhabitants of Lorena and the village of Guaratingueta, a distance two leagues, where we spent the night. As the humid heat especially favors the secretion of the specific substance in the leaves of tobacco, which determines its excellence, this plant is grown along the coast of the sea and in the hot valley of Paraiba, distinguishing itself by the name of " navy tobacco ", of inferior quality. The most appreciated, however, is that of the Sao Sebastiao islands, transported out of the province as rape. It is very simple to treat the leaves, which are harvested several times a year. After drying in the air, they are gathered in large bundles or twisted into rolls, which is one of the most important articles of exchange with the slave ships of Guinea in exchange for slaves.

Guaratingueta, province of Sao Paulo

Guaratingueta is located in a large field, not far from the Paraiba, bordering some foothills of the Serra da Mantiqueira, on a happy hill, surrounded by banana and orange trees. The indigenous name of the village is the good proof of the early inhabitants' argument; the long name means - "place where the sun comes back". In fact, the Tropic of Capricorn passes only one degree south of the village, which, for its simple and affable aspect, and for manifestations of more civilized life, greatly pleases. Since our departure from Rio, we have noticed here the first glass windows, which in the interior of Brazil always mean wealth and even luxury. On the other hand, the traveler is very surprised by the lack of system and order that exists in the exercise of professions. Thus, it is found, as everywhere, in the interior of Brazil, except for the populous places, very few offices organized in associations. On the other hand, it cannot be said that there is freedom of profession, since there are no official offices yet. Only rich farmers can employ workers profitably, and the poor are content to supply their needs with their own skill. The first usually assign to their slaves all the necessary services in the running of a house. As a consequence, police and administrative supervision of the professions is difficult. We are not surprised, then, that even in a village of a few thousand inhabitants, we had to settle for the frugal meal of an armadillo (Dasypus septemcinctus) we had killed on the way. The meat

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