1999 at the Bleistein/Armstrong House, Page 1

We usually prepare our newsletter in time to distribute in the December holiday season. This newsletter this letter was prepared a little later, because Norm, Judy, Kevin and Clare spent Christmas/New Year’s Eve in Brazil.

Around Christmas, we were at Iguaçu Falls, among the world’s largest, on the same scale as Niagara and Victoria. Other than the overwhelming magnitude and scenic wonder, a real highlight of that visit was a moonlight stroll to a catwalk on a ledge between two levels of falls, featuring a lunar rainbow by the light of one of the most brilliant full moons of the century! For Christmas Eve, there was a sumptuous buffet banquet at our hotel. We ate on the veranda, starting out with the setting sun, hearing the rush of the falls in the background, with the far end of the falls visible over the veranda ledge.

After that, we traveled with the Tygel’s, Martin, Clarice and their four year old twins, Gabrielle and Milton, friends in Brazil. We went to Pariti, a fishing village with 18th and 19th century Portuguese architecture on Brazil’s Costa do Sul, between São Paulo and Rio. We took boatrides along the coast, jumping off to swim ashore at various small beach coves and just enjoying the views. Norm and Judy had the attic room with the two windows facing the water from the peaked roof to the right of the church. After another wonderful hotel banquet, we celebrated the new millenium on the beach, in a warm gentle rain, music playing, 5000, or so, people dancing, lighting candles in the sand and throwing bouquets in the water as tribute to the merged personality of Saint Mary and Iemanji, the Bantu feature of the mystic synthesis of godess of the sea--a unique Catholocism and African Candomblé.

This trip was on the back end of a semester’s visit by Norm to the University of Campinas in Brazil, where he taught a graduate course, collaborated on research with Martin Tygel and worked on his book. As part of that visit, Norm traveled to Rio, Salvador do Bahia, Juqueihy, Belem and Marajó, among other places. Each had a special charm and beauty. The family is ready to return to Brazil, anytime--sometime in 2001 is a real possibility!

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