It's been so long since I've had this experience that it's hard to write about the details.
I am very late in the activities and I feel I need to give an explanation. The recent events in my country have been extra ordinary and have consumed my time.
You in the US understand the setback in every way that Trump represents, and here in Brazil we have just elected something even worse than the Trump.
Today in Brazil, there is an increased climate of uncertainty and fear of the future.
This is particularly true for teachers, artists, black people, women, indigenous people and environmental activists.
I represent many of these categories and I'm afraid. And I have lost nights of sleep and I have had nightmares, seeing that the place I live, not only Brazil, but Goiàs, state where I live is at risk.
There have already been reprocusions. There have been increased attacks on members of the landless movement (a social movement that fights for the rights of small farmers and families that work the land), teachers are being filmed and accused of indroctination for giving critical classes or even for talking in critical terms about the military dictatorship of 1964 to 1985, leaders of indigunoius tribes and quilombos have killed, their lands are more threatened than ever, increased attacks on the LGBT community, etc...
I am talking about these events, because they are part of thr scenario that we face today and it is a scenario includes an increased threat to the already precarious ecological balance of Brazil. This balance is of importance not only to the country but also to the world. In a country that is already racked first in assassinations of environmental activists, declarations of ending protections and opening up vast areas (including the amazon) to commercial interests have only worsen the situation. It is very worrying and the world needs to know what is happening here.
With regard to colorants, prior to the elections, I practically reused the fabric dyes and reduced them for a few hours to get a concentrate of the paint.
The eucalyptus got a little weak and the avocado did not work. It was weak and very rusty. It has raised the question of how to preserve these inks.
I used coffee and the blackberrys (as they are in season) to make new inks and I think they were the best results.
The process was the same, reducing them until they were thicker.
I would very much like to have use fruits from the cerrado, but when I was making the reductions it was not fruit season yet. I did try using the peelings of fruits like mutamba (it is used by the traditional people to make juice and also wash hair) but it did not work.
Later, i was distracted by the political events I described and could not focus on much else including, unfortunately, the course activities.
I am learning to deal with the situation and hope to return to these activities now. I do not know if I can still teach in Brazil, but I keep my excitement about education, the defense of the environment and the search for new solutions.
The following is a link to a companion explaining our political situation in English to anyone who is interested.