Yesterday was our last day in Sao Paulo. Last yes, but certainly not least. First, we had the grand come back of Markus at breakfast and then we were informed that Mohib would join us at the airport to depart for Santarem at the end of the day. So it seemed like everything was in order…but everything in Brazil in an adventure. In fact, our next adventure in the “Where is my Passeport” saga happened right after breakfast when we were all ready to get on the bus to go visit the Natura factory. As we are packing our suitcases at the bottom of the bus, it appears that Allan, Sid N. and Kelly have all “misplaced” their bookbags. What actually happened, unfortunately, is that while we were eating breakfast, a group of us had piled our suitcases and bookbags in the lobby with one person taking turn watching everything. But no one was actually actively watching the bags and so a skilled thief stole three bookbags. So after Markus losing his passport in Rio, we know have Kellie and Allan losing theirs at breakfast! Fortunately they went to consulate while the rest of us were at Natura and got an emergency passport. The lesson has been learned for the whole group though, ALWAYS keep your passport on you where you can feel it.
Natura is an organic cosmetic company local to Brazil. They use a direct sales technique much like Mary Kay does in the U.S. One of their product line, EKOS, uses exclusively ingredients from the Amazon. We had the privilege of touring their manufacturing plant just oustide Santarem and it was absolutely breathtaking. The whole plant is built on a sustainable model. For example, they use the sun as their source main source of light, which means that the buildings are built with glass walls. They also recycle their water in their own water treatment facility to reuse in the manufacturing process. In addition to having a sustainable building, they also make sure they are taking care of their employees. They offer free day care on site and banned fried food from the cafeteria. Their product is also developed responsibly. One of the takeaways for me was that while they have many product lines and many products, they never put out a new product unless it has surpassed the older product’s environmental friendliness. So they are constantly trying to reduce their footprint.
After Natura, we all hoped on the bus and re-joined, Allan, Kellie, Sid N. and Mohib at the airport. We are finally a complete CAP team. Everyone seems in good spirit while we wait for our flight to Santarem.
We arrive in Santarem at 1AM, we can’t see much as it is dark, but I can already feel the 100% humidity weather and see the shadow of the dense vegetation that surrounds us. I can’t wait to see what the city and its surroundings looks like by day.