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goiás interiors III

“Due, maybe, to the fatalistic roads or to the shimmering quality of light in the high, semi-dry savanna of Central Brazil, we were quickly entering a mystic nation within a nation.  The first premonitions were in Pirenópolis, another historic gold-boom town like Goiás Velho, only more spiritual.” – To Belém […]


wonder kids 3 2

Grade school kids perform for parents and teachers, here in the heart of Brazil.  As poet Elizabeth Bishop observed, speaking of Brazil where she lived for two decades: “And children are really loved more than any place else…” ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]


wonder kids 2 2

Freed from waiting in the parade line, the kids take to the demonstration fields…  Kids being kids, they fool around, spectate, cry, hug, and hear speeches, while teachers help out, here in the interior of Minas Gerais. ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]


wonder kids 1 4

I was invited by my local church to document a recent Family Day of its grade school called Betuel, at the church’s retreat in the interior of Minas Gerais. The charm of Brazil’s untouristed interior is in full flower here.  As American poet Elizabeth Bishop characterized it a 1957 letter […]


goiás interiors II

“When we departed Minas Gerais for Goiás that day, we left the more developed Southeast for the wild Central West which used to be called Mato Grosso, or Dense Forest.  Dense forest it is no longer, but then a good part of Goiás was always a relatively treeless grassland called […]


goiás interiors I

“If the state’s major tourist attraction was just a little too tacky, the economy of robust pink alligators too up and coming, the state of Goiás itself was fast growing on me.  I felt as though I had found an older and simpler Brazil, untouched and undisturbed by oceans and […]


mineiro backroads

Minas Gerais is famous for its rolly-polly tropical highland hills and extensive number of backroads, many in dirt. The state is the size of France or Texas, after all, and a country unto itself: with different landscapes, accents, customs, and cuisine. In Minas “what developed was a distinctly Brazilian (as […]


manaus, the unique city 2

Truly, Manaus is other-worldly.  I visited for a glorious week a number of years ago.  It is the safest large city in Brazil to carry around an expensive digital camera: as no roads connect Manaus to anywhere, and the jungle is forbidding, the only escape for criminals is by boat […]


signet society reading, cambridge, ma

You’re cordially invited to the first post-Rio Olympics reading of To Belém & Back, recently given one of Publishers Weekly’s coveted ★ Star reviews. Author Ben Batchelder intends to give a brief reading, present the short film “Tiradentes2Belém,” and answer any questions at the Signet Society, in Cambridge, Mass., on […]


ariaú, amazon

One visits the Amazon to visit the jungle.  But how?  The most accessible way for the casual visitor are jungle hotels.  This one, the Ariaú Amazon Towers, is a two hour boat ride up Rio Negro from Manaus, visited some years ago.  They say it was Jacques Cousteau’s idea, back […]