segunda-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2012

Pantanal: a tough loving place

Esse texto foi escrito em inglês. Assim que for possível, eu o traduzo!

Now I know why the Pantanal has been preserved after 200 years of Western-style cattle rasing and exploitation like fishing, hunting and so on. Mosquitoes. It is hell on earth. This is my first winter here. I had never expected that it could be so wet, that it could rain so much, that there were so many species of mosquitoes, that life of pantaneiros could be made so miserable. In the subject of mosquitoes, there is one that is all white, fast and looks like a white shadow and worse, it is not a friend of diplomacy. When it stings, you feel. There is a variety that is heavier than the shadow and that swarms into people's skins by the hundreds.

Last January I walked 12 kilometers on the Pantaneira Road, with, anytime, 400 of them following me, landing over me, buzzing around my head. There were so many of them that my nose started to itch and I ended up developing a sneezing crisis. One day, I had prepared lunch for four of my mountain bike tourists from Japan. Lunch, I phantasized, had to be by the paradise-like Abrobral River area where I once spend one whole Pantanal summer camping out. It had to be perfect and unforgettable. Unforgettable it was. No one ate. No mouth could be opened. No one dared to think of sitting down. I lost US$ 15 per person right there and later on I had to give money back to my hungry tourists. That is called money back guarantee.

There are all sizes of mosquitoes too. There is a huge one, nealy half an inch long. Good biter, too. But the one that really irritates me the most is a tiny one that has developped the ability to fly without leaving the place. Flies without going anywhere. When you look at it, it is there flying with a buzz. Then you think it is easy to just slap it down and off the area. A mistake! They react and fly sideways, up or down while keeping the wise distance of always being about a foot from you. I think the world military would love to have an aircraft or flying object like that. It would be able to fly and hover over enemy position, bombing the enemy and defending itself by just flying-sliding sideways. Besides causing material damage to to enemy positions, it would leave the enemy forever traumatized, and sick of war.
You have got to love the Pantanal to stay here, live here. This is tough land and I am glad I have had this privilege. Even though I have become forever traumatized by the white shadow mosquito and his sideway-flier-slider friend.

Written in Miranda, March 14, 1996
Somewhere down the Avenida J.Pedro Pedrosian

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