We had three couples to dinner here last Thursday and, whilst at the table, the conversation turned to Brazil and my having grown up on the Fazenda Tres Barras, a ranch in the Ribeirâo Preto district, some 300 kms north of Sâo Paulo. Imagine my amazement when David Dicey announced that he had visited the same farm in 1975 when a friend of his was the manager there. There was much oohing and aahing over this incredible coincidence, but it all seemed like nothing when, early next morning I received an e-mail from Carl Pohl who had also been present at the dinner, sending some scanned photographs that his father had taken of the farm when he visited it in 1955 (he was the SA Ambassador to Brazil at the time). We had left there in 1949, when we came to South Africa, never thinking that there would be any further contact of any kind. Well, I was completely bowled over to think that of eight people sitting around the table in Hermanus, South Africa, four had something in common with a farm in a remote area of Brazil. The fourth one was, of course, Renée, who visited there with me in 2005.
It makes me wonder if there is anyone else out there who may also have had something to do with the Fazenda.