When I was preparing for this trip last spring, I would stare at the map of Brazil and become consumed with curiosity about what the countryside looked like in any given spot. I noticed that there was a *whole* town called Pernambuco, named after the native tree. I have heard of this amazing tree since I was little, because it provides the best wood for string instrument bows. They are endangered and there are all sorts of strict rules about taking the wood out of the country. I desperately wanted to see one. In conversations with Felipe, I would revert back to these trees with tenacious questions. He would tell me about how slowly they grow, which is perhaps why the wood is so dense. He promised me that he’d take me to the zoo, where a really old one was growing (perhaps 200 years old??). We found it in all of its magnificent splendor, next to a growling female lion’s den! Here are pictures of its bark covered by little spears, and its breath-taking immensity!
Thursday night, Durval and I performed our recital in Joao Pessoa. I’ve included photos taken by a professional photographer (!) and also, at last, I figured out how to upload these lovely pics of the cello classes:
With Fabio’s class in Natal, taken after the Nov. 17th recital
With Felipe’s class after the Nov. 21st recital.