: Brazil :

an excerpt by Richard O'Mara

 

Brazil is an immense country. Much of it is forest and desert only superficially known. It is greatly misunderstood, full of secrets beyond the reach of reason. It is a civilization and a state of mind, which is more tightly binding than a nation is, or what we understand by that term. It has a wide variety of topography and climates within its borders. For that reason, but not that alone, its people, who are as racially varied as their land, find it encompasses all of their needs. Its extent far exceeds that of their imaginations, at least that of most of them. But for many outside of it, unaware of its complexity, Brazil is a huge afterthought. This is in keeping with its beginnings, for it was discovered by accident on April 22, 1500, and its discoverer, Pedro Alvares Cabral, who was really on his way to India via southern Africa and had drifted too far West of the Cape Verde Islands, spent less than two weeks here before he sailed away, never to return.