Many people assume wrongly, when hearing the word “Brazil,” that all of Brazil is jungle.  Brazil is as large as the United States and has as many varied landscapes and climates.

Abadiania is located in central Brazil in a countryside of gentle, rolling hills at about 3,000 feet altitude.  During the rainy season and for several months after, the vegetation is lush and green, as shown in the above photo.  During the several dry months, the area can look much like New Mexico in the summer. Cattle wander the countryside, and visitors can see many different kinds of birds when strolling the country road outside of town, including the occasional wild toucan, scarlet or blue macaw, and emu.  Colorful hummingbirds come and go, as do the rare and delightful large, Blue Morph butterflies (usually seen near the sacred waterfall of the Casa which is located in the lush valley in the above photo) and other smaller, multi-colored butterflies.

Early dawn and evening are especially wonderful for listening to the many birdsongs echoing through the valley, and for capturing the magnificent sunrises and sunsets.

During the day, the citizens of Abadiania, population about 13,000 at this time, go about normal small-town activities and commerce.  Between the Casa and the highway – about 8 blocks – there are numerous shops catering to visitors and selling white clothes for wearing at the Casa’s Wednesday through Friday sessions, as well as other clothing and items for souvenirs.  There are also a small number of wonderful health food cafes that serve fresh fruit drinks, smoothies, the wonderful and energizing acai (pronounced ah-sah-eee) drinks, pizza, ice cream and other snacks and meals.

All of these cafes and all hotels and pousadas catering to Casa visitors are very aware of the Casa dietary restrictions, and serve nothing with pork, alcohol or hot peppers.  So visitors can relax and not only enjoy the local flora and fauna, but also the local culinary delights without concern!

All in all, Abadiania is a fairly friendly town, now accustomed to the never-ending influx of foreign visitors.  Nonetheless, just like anywhere in the world, we advise visitors to use common sense and not go flashing wads of money and expensive jewelry around when out in public.  In the evening, it is safe to stroll the main street that passes by the Casa and on which most of the hotels and pousadas are located.  There are roving security officers and patrol cars keeping their eye out for our safety.  We are simply asked by John of God and the Casa staff to be back in our hotels by 10pm each night, both for general security and in order to get plenty of rest during our stay.