The Journey Begins

Come on this journey and learn more about Meli’s work with communities in Brazil!

Author: Ana Rosa
Leia em português.

This end of the year I am starting a long working journey in Brazil, meeting (sometimes for the first time in person) communities engaged in our Network, strengthening partnerships and projects. My first station was in Belém do Pará, the capital of the state where I used to live and from where I will continue the journey by land.

Belém is a magical city, where I have the great pleasure, even though I have never lived there, to have many contacts that make me feel at home. I was hosted by friends with great experience in agrarian reform and working with cooperatives, having super interesting conversations between meals.

The surprises of the meetings are always beautiful. On the very first day in town I learn that the Tuxati, leader of the Tokurykti Jõkrikatêjê (formerly Printi-Pàr) village, and part of her family were in town. What a wonderful welcome. It was hard to remember that we had not met in person before. Our strong embrace only came on this journey. But our connection and work together goes back much further.

Tuxati and Ana Rosa at Mangal das Garças, Belém

Tuxati was crucial in the Meliponiculture and Cultural Support in the Printi-Pàr Indigenous Village project, a partnership between ACT-Brasil, Meli Bees Network and the Mpaja Mar Kaxuwari Parkatejê Indigenous Association. But only now have I been able to meet her in person. It was beautiful to be able to connect, to take the time to see our common values, to listen carefully to testimonies about what has already been done, and to plan even more projects together.

I remember that during my youth, Belém marked me for being the first previously unknown city, without close relatives, where visits were enough for me to develop a feeling of connection. A rehearsal for what would be constant in adult life. On this trip, there were two other encounters that reminded me again brought me this same feeling.

I was able to meet again with Gabriel Costa, who showed me how friendships can be born over long distances. How fortunate I am to have him as a friend on this journey! It was the presence of friends like him that made Meli’s birth possible. I take this opportunity to congratulate him on the beginning of his journey working at iCMBio, I am sure that his work will richly strengthen the Amazon voices in such an important work for the region.

I was also able to connect with Carlos Augusto Pantoja Ramos. It was a mutual effort to see each other in person for the first time: I met him at the airport during strong rain and then he took me to the bus station, from where I left for Marabá short after his arrival in Belém. The first time we meet someone in person can always be a surprise, we still don’t know how (or if) we will connect. But the surprise I got was how my admiration for him can increase even more! A magnificent person and what an honor it was for me to finally meet him in person!

I hope the rest of this journey continues to be as full of such magical encounters!
Follow more about this journey here!

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