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Koi Pond in Small Park
-Image courtesy of Colleen

In our explorations of the city, we obviously saw much traffic, but we also saw street vendors selling their wares, many small shops selling delicious food, and familiar stores: drug stores, grocery stores, gas stations; we even found a thrift store! In all of this people are walking, moving, buying, waiting for buses, and chatting with friends. I find myself exhilarated by the whole experience!

However, among all of this excitement there are places of quiet. In our wanderings we found two beautiful parks. The first we found was smaller, just a couple of lots that have been converted into a beautiful green space. There was a koi pond in the middle, walking paths, and work out equipment – something that we do not have in any parks I have been to in the States.

Koi pond with theater in the background from the second park
– Image courtesy of Colleen

The second park we found was slightly larger and had a main gate with an attendant.

Inside the Theater
– Image courtesy of Rebekah

When we first found the park we thought we needed to pay to go in, so we asked the attendant how much it cost and he told us it was free to go in. This was a happy accident, because we almost did not go in, but then decided it couldn’t hurt to ask, and it would give us an excuse to practice our Portuguese. I am glad we did, because the park was beautiful! The flora was amazing and so different from what one sees in upstate NY. In the park there was yet another koi pond – I learned later it is the largest in the country – more exercise equipment, and the best part of all, a beautiful outdoor theater!


French Garden (Versailles)
– Image courtesy of https://www.french-gardens.com/design/frenchgardendesign.php

As we were exploring Colleen mentioned something interesting she observed when she has taken her friends from big cities out hiking. They said that they had never been in the forest before. As we walked through the park, we finally realized what they meant; while these are green spaces, they are very much designed and not organic like the forest. There are trees in these parks, but nowhere near as many as one would find in nature.

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This is the first time this difference has made sense to me. I have always understood conceptually the difference between a city and a rural area. But, this is the first time I have realized the benefits and costs of both. In a city one gets life! But at the cost of nature. In a rural area one gets nature, but at the cost of the bustling life of the city. As I reflect I find that I agree with author F. Scott Fitzgerald as he is talking about city life “I find myself both enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”

~David T Wilkinson

Categories: Brazil 2018


Vi · May 12, 2018 at 11:36 pm

Great article. Glad you are finding new ventures and beautiful nature. The exercise equipment in the parks is different. Vi Price

Kathy Wilkinson · May 13, 2018 at 11:29 am

I really enjoy reading all of the blog posts. Everyone seems to be taking away their own unique lessons from being in Brazil. The world is so big and varied, but we are all so much alike. God created this beautiful world in all its grandeur, from the small and colorful koi, to the Massive redwoods, to all the diverse cultures.

Avis Hooper · May 14, 2018 at 1:31 am

Ah, the mind-expanding beauty of travel and the many “happy accidents” along the way. What a marvelous experience you are having!

Lisa Torrell · May 14, 2018 at 1:10 pm

We have koi in our pond in Rochester. We have always heard they were not good for the pond and an invasive species. I always think they are beautiful! It’s good to know that in Brazil they seem to be a part of nature and celebrated! 🙂

Rebekah Distaffen · May 14, 2018 at 4:45 pm

This is so insightful, David! I loved reading it, and I am definitely still reflecting on it– as I plan to continue to reflect on it as this trip, and my life, continues. Thanks for sharing! (And you’re welcome for the photo)

Pastor Gail Swanson · May 16, 2018 at 5:51 pm

So glad that you found a “place apart” in the midst of explorations and adventures; certainly, as F. Scott Fitzgerald would say, an enchanting one! And I imagine there are still many adventures to come…and a lifetime of stories to share. Blessings upon each one.

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