January 19, 2009

This and That

A few tidbits from our trip:

- Our pilots, Carlos and Leandro, have been wonderful. Highly skilled with great English—and they have helped us through a number of situations. Carlos says: “A good landing is one you can walk away from. An excellent landing is one in which you can fly the plane again!”

- Meat is always on the menu in Brazil. The churrascaria is their version of a barbecue restaurant. Meat is cooked and served at your table on skewers—pork, chicken, sausage, beef—you name it, they grill it. The waiter slices off a piece while you hold onto the slice with tongs. Throughout the meal, waiters are bringing by different meat choices—and sometimes even grilled fruits or vegetables. You indicate your desire for more by flipping a card on your table. The green side up means “more meat, please.” Red means “No thank you.”

PHOTO: On John Carter’s ranch (as well as in other areas of Brazil), we have seen fields filled with termite nests.

PHOTO: Infrastructure and logistics are a challenge in this part of the world. Believe it or not, this is the federal highway near the Carter ranch. Ruts and washouts make for slow traveling.

PHOTO: Carter ranch employee Julian checks out the broken tie-rod on one of the vehicles taking us to our plane.

PHOTO: Put a farmer in a field and he checks out the soil. Randy Uhrmacher and Dave Merrell inspect a field in the Xavante Indian Reservation.

- The
hotel in Cuiba did our laundry, and for a “brief” time they feared they had mixed up everyone’s underwear. While the problem ended up not being a problem, we were all anticipating a Fruit of the Loom Frenzy as the team sorted through a pile of unmentionables. Talk about getting to know each other intimately! Thankfully, we didn’t have to go through that adventure.

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