Day 108

Terry spoke today on a bit of history of Brazil. Pedro Cabral claimed it for Portugal in 1500 and established a colony in Sao Paulo. Slavery was a part of the indigenous peoples’ lives because of inter tribal rivalry, so the Portuguese just expanded upon this. Sugarcane was a major crop and desired in Europe, and many workers were needed on the plantations. After awhile the natives were dying from European diseases, so slaves were brought from Africa. They were good workers, used to tropical weather and resistant to diseases. This ”triangle of shame” had sugar, tobacco, and cotton shipped to Europe; textiles and rum shipped to Africa, and slaves shipped to South America. 35.4 % of all slaves were sent to Brazil to work the sugar plantations. This was in the millions from the 16th to 19th centuries.

Napoleon had put his brother on the throne of Spain and then set his sights on Portugal. The royal family fled to Portugal and began to rule there. Prince John became John VI after his parents died, and built 2 medical schools, a fine arts school, and established the bank of Brazil. In 1821, after Napoleon died, he returned to Portugal, leaving his son, Prince Pedro, in charge. He later became Emperor Pedro I. After a period of debt, inflation and decreased productivity, Pedro abdicated in 1831 in favor of his 5 year old son, also Pedro. Pedro II began ruling in 1845 at age 15 and reigned for 58 years, making slavery illegal in 1888. European migration was now underway and Brazil became a melting pot for many cultures.

Mike Scott followed with Sao Paulo and Santos information. Sao Paulo is the most populated city in South America, very cosmopolitan and a major contributor to Brazil’s economy. It has the usual problems of a big city, so be careful. He showed many pictures of museums, cathedrals, and architectural structures that we might see or want to visit on our excursions. The climate is moist and damp usually.

Santos lies on the ocean, while Sao Paulo is 47 miles inland. It is the largest seaport in Latin America. He showed pictures of museums, aquariums, beaches, promenades, Pele monument, and coffee museum. There is a 500’ Monte Serrat with a railway to the top for a terrific view of the city. He had pictures of many birds that could be seen on a nearby island sanctuary. He closed with a special overview of wild life he has seen on this segment from South Africa that his wife Sue had photographed. He was very proud of the multitude of birds and animals he had seen on some of Regent’s excursions and some of his private tours.

There were no noontime games today because Jamie was involved with the show crew on a rehearsal for a special performance tonight. Art, Harris, and I went off to ping-pong time before lunch. Another player, Manuel, showed up and gave me a couple of games. After about seven games and a good amount of perspiration, I returned to the stateroom, changed, and cleaned up to go with Pat to the special Galley Lunch Buffet.

Everything was so elegantly displayed and delicious. I had fish and chips and Hungarian goulash. There was just sooo much delicious looking food!

We played darts at this afternoon’s game and won points. My team won, but Mac came in with the highest individual score. We did well in mensa, but came in 4th again in trivia.

The early show tonight starred the Regent cast performing a James Bond show, complete with movie theme songs, dances, and some explanations. There were 6 different Bonds through the years. I was surprised to learn that Roger Moore did more movies then Sean Connery, my favorite. It was a terrific show and was completely choreographed and planned by our cast.

We had a very nice dinner tonight at Sette Mare with our friends, Shirley and Harris, fellow world cruisers. With less than a month left, we are all trying to get together with friends as often as possible.

This evening’s headliner was Reuel, a wonderful pianist currently living in Vegas. He played All of Me, Circle of Life, some Beethoven, Adele, Michael Buble, and Edward Grieg (In the Halls of the Mountain King) with his unique arrangements. It was a lively performance.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac