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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Since the manual labor of gold-washing is performed exclusively by black slaves, the wealth of whites also causes them to dismiss as dishonorable any service, even farming and cattle raising. There are so many here unemployed, they have been assigned their own class: - that of the loafers. Here, therefore, the traveler observes, beside the greatest opulence, the saddest pictures of human misery, indigence and depravity. The inhabitants, whose needs the soil though rich and fertile, does not satisfy, are therefore always unhappy, comparing their region with that of the northernmost counties of Minas, sending foreigners there, searching for a true Eldorado, where, with the enjoyment of greater wealth, they would already find the European customs, culture of spirit and pleasures of life, while they themselves were very disadvantaged.

We left Vila da Campanha the next morning, after giving in to our bored runaway slave so that we would not risk losing him again to the local judge, who, precisely because of a mountain crumbling in his mine, had lost several black slaves.

The rainy season then seemed to have passed almost entirely (February 14) at this latitude. This fact, as well as the activity of our brave guide, a Paulista from Jundiai, who cared for by himself the cargo animals, with the necessary provisions. His good disposition in the loading of our boxes, greatly increased the pleasure of the journey through these regions, whose beauty and interest seemed step by step to grow. In Minas, it is customary to complete the day's march without stopping. So we rode daily from 6 or 7 am until 2 or 3 pm; then the troops were unloaded on a ranch, more rarely in the open, where there was water; After the feed of corn was given to the beasts and the health of each was examined, they were sent to the field; We prepared the same meal as in the morning, roasting the birds and the fallen monkeys, and we made sure that we stored them propery, so that we could be better protected from the rain. When the jaguar attack was feared at night, the camp was surrounded by bonfires on all sides, and by day it was necessary to gather large supplies of firewood. During the march, we had the opportunity to observe the area in which we traveled, and everything that existed near the road, regarding minerals, plants, animals, etc.

Jaguar hunt

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