The wrinkled Brazilian landscape passes below me, brownish green through the haze. Every so often the disordered mountain ridges grow crisp and straight, in parallel, like ribs.
Then the land flattens, consumed by endless trees to the horizon. As jungle overtakes the soil, no variety strikes the eye except for rivers: one, two, three, four, five veins of muddy brown lifeblood, traversing the sleeping green chest of the Amazon.
Beside me sits my traveling companion, my mother, who was born and raised in Brazil. For the first time in many years we’ve managed to match our schedules to travel here together from the U.S. She’s eager to show me parts of Brazil I’ve never known.
Above this seemingly interminable forest, who would believe the rate of Brazil’s growth – skyscrapers sprouting, small villages exploding into cities, cars crowding the highways – into the 6th largest economy of the world?