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  • From: "Ron Iles" <roniles@eircom.net>
  • Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 09:29:43 -0500 (CDT)

Dear Eduardo,

Thanks for stopping the dream become a living nightmare.   So its back to
Thailand and Bali unless they too become no-nos.  One does not realise just
how the hugely the problems of getting wild collecting in Tropical Americas
have escalated over the past two decades.   Unless I can get residents of
their indigenous areas somehow to send me wild Spathiphyllum then maybe I'll
go with the tide and like other dedicated Aroiders grow Amorphophallus and
other fragrant plants from safer parts.  There seem to be so many available
already in cultivation .     That will applaud your salutory reminder to me
that both
Peace Lilies and giant phallic symbols have mystery and beauty.  But my
horrendous thrust to get a comprehensive
Spathiphyllum pool here is far more difficult than in the 80's.  If it is
the embryo dream is to become reality I would welcome as much exchange as I
can possibly get.  Please, please, no matter how "common" do you have ANY
indigenous or other Spaths that I could beg, buy or exchange and which you
could send even without health cert (I can get special permission here
probably as I did in UK)?  Else I will go and revel in my love of Tropical
luxuriance in SE Asia which is one of the places people with a variety of
motives have suggested I should go..... !  What specially should I look out
for there to
bring back for others?  My #1 interests are aquatic
plants,"aquarium" fishes and terrestrial Arthropods.

Thank you for your wry realism and may you long survive against the odds in
trying to safeguard natural diversity.  Great to
hear from Brazil.   Please, do you know good Collections of Aroids including
in Brazil that I could (safely) visit etc?



----- Original Message -----
From: "Eduardo Goncalves" <edggon@hotmail.com>
To: "Multiple recipients of list AROID-L" <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001 5:58 AM

Dear Ron,

      I have a different story to tell. It was that I was in the same
wonderful jungle place, but it was being deforested as fast as your eyes
blink. There were too kind of Government people: Those that just don't care
about you (if you keep paying the taxes) and those that think you are some
kind of enemy. If you are foreign, they may think you are stealing their
plants to produce bioactive drugs that will be sold back to the natives from
the same country for expensive prices. If you are a native yourself, they
may think that you are collecting plants to sell to the foreign labs, so the
suspicious is the same. They protect the plants from being collected, but
everybody can destroy them! You can go collect without any authorization,
but you will be arrested if someone opens the mouth. If you ask for the
authorization, they will ask you a mountain of paper, including a detailed
project (saying exactly WHAT you will collect and HOW MUCH of each species).
You fill all the forms and it may take five to six months to have an
authorization in your hands. It has to be done by all the participants of
the Team. Remember: To bring plants (or animals, or rocks, or whatever) back
to your country, you will need a different authorization. Ok, lets continue
our "dream". There are also two kinds of local people: those that think you
are completely crazy (wise people) and those that want to steal your
expensive camera. Both kinds are poor and are probably suffering from many
of the "Third World Diseases", like Cholera, Schistosomosis and Yellow
Fever. Did I mention Malaria? Well, it is almost impossible to have all that
group together, because some of the specialists have their permission
denied. Some only had permissions for the next year. Some just gave off.
There are also the people from the narcotraffic, which will shot you if they
think you are from the Federal Police. Did I mention the guerrilleros? Yes,
they will kidnap you as a vengeance against the Capitalism that you
represent. Usually, they are even worse than the narcotrafficants, because
they won´t accept money! Does it seem like a nightmare? Oh boy, welcome to
the real world!!!
     Collecting plants in the 21st Century isn't that easy. I know I seemed
somewhat negative-minded, but I am only being candid about the facts. I have
to face these problems everyday here. I really think it would be great to
have such a group and I would love to be a part of it. However the reality
is much harder than the expedition of your dreams. The plants we usually
find in the field worth well the previous "Via Crucis", but the price is too
high yet.


Eduardo (an aroid-lover from Brazil that thinks that Helicodiceros and
Spathiphyllum are equal in mystery and beauty - stinky and fragrant are just
human sensorial illusions)

P.S. Tomorrow I am leaving to the field again! :o)  Try to understand those
crazy botanists...

>From: "Ron Iles" Reply-To: aroid-l@mobot.org To: Multiple recipients of
>Sun, 29 Apr 2001 21:25:32 -0500 (CDT)
>Dear Aroid Collecting Friends,
>During a nightmare about gigantic Amorphophallus ravishing my Peace Lilies
>I had a wondrous Dream. I will tell you the story!
>It was that I was in Team that had gone to this wonderful Jungle Place
>never visited before, a bit like Roraima with waterfalls and swampy rivers,
>and we found huge numbers of new kinds of the amazing plants that we all
>love. In our Team there were also a few Ornamental Fish Collectors,
>Butterfly, Moth and Bug Enthusiasts, Snake lovers, Bird Fanciers and
>Anglers that we knew before or got quickly to know. They were all wowing
>about in the water, the mud, the trees and the glades. It was a great time,
>and it was a place where the Government people liked us being there as
>Naturalists and willingly gave us permits to take back home some of the
>things we had found. Everybody mucked in, and it was enormous fun. It was
>much like I used to do in the woods of Somerset near where I was borne but
>hotter with everything so much more brilliant and bigger like I'd always
>dreamed about before. An Aladdins Cave of colour and fragrances, surprises
>everywhere. And although we split into various little groups we all shared
>what we found. Because there were a lot of us it made everything cheaper
>and allowed us to stay even longer. Because it was such an important Team
>Organisation, we got all the support we needed from the locals and the
>officials. In the dream it became a regular thing several times a year
>going to different places each time the same way. People in the Botanic
>Gardens sometimes came and they advised us each time as to the best and
>most worthwhile places to go so that they could share in what we found. It
>was easier for them too I thought during the dream how amazing it was to
>have teams of keen Naturalists joining together to do their collecting. Far
>far better and more efficient than people going in ones and two's
>uncertainly to places on DIY trips and collecting only the plants they want
>when people back home might like so many things that didn't interest. And
>maybe even better than some of the ecotourist holidays with the same old
>find a monkey itineraries. In the dream with so many eyes and ears sharing
>everybody got far more of what they wanted and together the Group could
>look for everything that those who stayed at home wanted as well.
>Then I woke up and thought about it. I wonder if we could get together with
>other eGroups and go on expeditions like in the dream to help everyone
>whether they came or not. The Botanic Gardens, and Animal Collection
>specialists would advise us and suggest the best places to go and even if
>they didn't come along we could look out for everything they were
>interested in. We might even get grants from Horticulture or Universities
>or Government agencies or even Airlines if we became THE Tropical Rain
>Forest Study and Collecting Group?
>Just a dream which we maybe could come true. I was thinking of spending the
>Northern Winter in Tropical Asia on a DIY trip but I would be just as happy
>to help organise something anywhere useful and best for everybody and maybe
>help film and sound record it. Or do anything as part of a team. That is if
>fellow members have keen eyes for new Peace Lilies.
>Are there enough people out there to make a team for the first of many
>tropical wonder trips? If so when, where and what for? Perhaps the people
>who are very experienced in Jungling could advise? Would you like to send
>any suggestions to Ron Greenman in time for Winter 2001 travel, all offers
>of special expert or general help appreciated. Or perhaps you know of an
>expedition of people with very varied interests who are going already. I'm
>cautious about commercial "Nature Tours" there are so many and maybe some
>are more suited for people who are just Nature Spectators rather than
>growers as well?
>Whether the Team comes true, the Dream was great.
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