|The Zero Impact Brazil sawmill|
|Tiled floor under the kitchen sink|
Karim introduced us to everyone – the fellows who ran the mill and – most importantly – the man who cooked us an incredible breakfast of locally grown food and sawmill-raised eggs. I think the pineapple we ate that morning was the sweetest one I have ever tasted – and that is saying something. Breakfast was complete with tapioca crepes, fresh cheese, scrambled egg, fresh fruit juice, fresh rolls, sweet bananas, grapes and locally made jams. Everything was delicious. Later, our cook-for-the-day prepared an equally delicious jungle lunch – pink beans, rice, meat from a sustainable local farm and salad. We did not go hungry. After breakfast Karim gave us a tour of the sawmill – it is an impressive operation and reflects a great deal of thought on the part of its owner, Rick.
|A beautiful piece of hardwood at ZIB|
|A rooster struts his stuff at ZIB|
|The water tower in Belterra|
|Checking out the fire hydrant in Belterra|
After touring Belterra and enjoying its small museum, we drove out to Rick’s forest. We parked at his next-door neighbor’s farm and met the family. The farmer is a charming, small-scale manioc producer who, unlike many of his neighbors, did not sell his land to the big soy producers. Like Rick and Karim, he respects and protects the forest. One of his sons works at Zero Impact Brazil and another son was our guide in the forest. He seemed to know everything there is to know about the properties of the various plants that grow there.
|Rick's swimming hole in the forest|
|Buttresses on a giant kapok tree in the forest|
|A wind blown down tree in the midst of harvesting|
Our guide showed us large seedpods that he and his family use to attract wild animals. Part of their livelihood comes from hunting.
|The outdoor kitchen where our delicious lunch was prepared|