Odds & Ends for November 12

Recife had two kids chosen as youth ambassadors from the same school, ABA – the BNC there. We invited them to breakfast, along with their teachers, who after all helped create success. We are making it policy to meet with current and former YA in the towns we visit. Make new friends & keep the old. 

Planting Trees

CAPES celebrated 60 years of existence by planting some Ipê trees at the headquarters of ENBRAPA. Ipê is a very pretty tree with yellow flowers that thrives in Brasilia.  I attended the ceremony, so I had dinner with Jorge Guimarães, the head of CAPES and then just a few hours later met him again at the tree planting. Tree planting is a good way to mark transitions. The tree will usually still be alive long after the people at the ceremonies are compost, me included. A tree is a living thing that links the past with the future. BTW, They gave me a blue shirt like that too.

EMBRAPA, BTW, is a great organization.  Someday EMBRAPA will help feed the world. Already is. 

Strange Fruit

I have a little tree in my yard called a Jabuticaba. I thought it was just the usual round topped tree, but it bears fruit in the strangest way. The fruit grows right on the branches, instead of in bunches hanging down.  It tastes like a grape and supposedly has anti-oxidant properties. IMO, the berries look a little better than they taste. The tree is above. Below is my watermelon plant. I had a very good watermelon a few weeks ago, so I planted some seeds. They came up. I have no idea how to grow watermelons.  I figure they need lots of water, which they will surely get around here. The plants have flowers. Maybe I will get melons.

Getting to Work

It is only around four miles from home to work, but there are a few choke points along the way that make it less pleasant to ride my bike. I have to cross a narrow bridge, for example, climb a grassy bank and ride across a field at different points.  It takes about 25 minutes to ride to work.  The choke points and the necessity to walk just about double the time needed.  I have my car here, finally, and the drive is very easy.  It takes less than ten minutes to drive. My system is that if I don’t have something especially heavy to carry and if it is not raining when I leave, I take the bike.  Since it can rain after work too, my system is not perfect. If I take the bike in the morning, I have to take it back in the evening, rain or shine.