Pond Family in Brazil

Pond Family at Fazenda Prainha, western Bahia

Ty, Burke, Kit, Dale, Roby, Kali, Gertrude, Pierre and Holly Pond

There are many years and events to cover in this bit of history of our family and that portion of western Bahia. There are hundreds of photos and documents to scan. This page will be edited from time to time until it is either completed or we get tired of it.

Some Introductory Perspective -
There are countless Americans living happily in Brazil - including my brother and his family. If people wish to locate there I only wish they would check things out for themselves before they make the big move.

We left northern Virginia and went to Brazil because our Dad discovered the NWO movement to destroy America, there were four of us male kids in our teens and the Vietnam fraud was raging full blast. Good time to make an exit. (Are we having deja vu?) Many many American families emigrated to many countries during that time, including all over Brazil. We were one of many - small wonder Brazil thought there was an invasion - all thanks to the Neocon/Zionist headlong plunge into insanity.

In the early 1960s Brazil was moving to become a communist country. In fact Brasilia was designed to be the "Pilot Plan" for colonization of the totally undeveloped interior of the country which was about 80-90 percent of it. The government was becoming communistic and those who ran things from the dark were pushing for it. In fact the then president (Quadros?) was traveling from Rio (the old capital) to Brasilia by plane to formally declare the country would henceforth be communist. The wonderful Brazilian women got wind of this insanity and they LAID DOWN ON THE AIRSTRIP thus preventing the President of the country from landing. He had to detour and land in Annapolis over 100 miles away.

The military then came in and seized control of the government to prevent further movement toward communism. The communists were hunted down. (Actually, as with most stories this is not the total or complete inside real story.) Communism is about a fascist monopolization of resources by international for-profit corporations - masquerading as communism so as to sell the enslavement to the future slaves. So there was a populist movement to rid the country of these fascist corporations which movement was taken over by the communist, etc. etc. Anyhow these populist people were hunted down and jailed. There was a subsequent and low-key resentment to that everywhere one went. A powerful faction of communists centered themselves in Salvador, Bahia. Which eventually became the trouble to us in western Bahia in the western plateau area. While cultural envy was a source of difficulties, this was but a part of the issue. Brazil, believe it or not, still operates their small communities as fiefdoms. Not as a point of formal government but as part of the mindset of the local peoples who were brought up in a feudal kingdom until 1887 when that ended and Brazil became a republic. Some of that old mindset persisted. I saw this in small town after small town all over the country. So there is a strong Alpha male in every community who may or may not be the elected mayor. You want anything done you MUST go through this guy - regardless of the law, titles, or anything else. Pay him off and you get what you want.

We didn't understand that in those easrly days nor did we have any cash. When we demonstrated the land had much worth a large corporation from the Salvador area put its intent and focus on our ranch ignoring the totality of all the rest of that region, ignoring us and our legal titles. We were targeted for removal. With their money (Penquin supermarkets) they bought all the Alpha males in all the local communities especially Barreiras and Correntina. Then began the "grilheiro" (squatter) days for us. Nightmare city. Of course there is always much more to this story than we can post here.

1965, May - Family left America and arrived in Brasilia where we were met by John Mauger who helped us travel directly to Annapolis, Goias where we acquired supplies. Traveled three days by bus over dirt roads (BR-010) to Alvorada, Goias. Several days later we moved by truck to a ranch within one day walking distance to our Fazenda Bocaina at the confluence of the Bacuri creek and Rio Santa Teresa [12 44' 23.22"  48 49' 58.19"]. Mom and Dale rode horse back while the others walked a loaded ox cart to the location. Worked there to build a home, pictures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Ran out of everything and moved to Annapolis, Goias.

1966, April - Purchased Fazenda Prainha as a subset of the total western Bahia Plateau region.

1966, May - Kit and Russell Metras build grass hut on the Rio Pratona grass range maybe five miles east of BR-020 which was all sand and mud in those days.

Relocated house site to Rio Grande headwaters [13 16' 22.81"  46 01' 38.01"] on Fazenda Prainha in western Bahia in 1966. A house was begun and we proceeded to farm the land. As we had 250,000 acres of land with good title there was much to look forward to. The western region of Bahia is a huge plateau of approximately 3,000 feet above sea level. The altitude did help with cooler temperatures but it could get quite warm in the summer (our winter). The western Bahia plateau had approximately 30,000,000 acres on it. None of it save tiny one acre native gardens was being farmed.

1974 - The land, we came to discover was poisoned with aluminum toxicity. This we did not know then - no one knew for years and years of miserably failed farming efforts. Then one day we discovered the secret. A tiny tiny bit of magnesium carbonate per square meter was all it needed to neutralize the aluminum. Then things would grow and the dangers of insects and parakeets became paramount. Harvester ants cleaned out 7 acres of rice overnight and we had to replant. In 1974 my brother and I, with our family, planted and then harvested the first real farmed (7 acres) of beans ever produced in that area. It was a magnificent breakthrough.

View photos here.

As I also mentioned earlier the Brazilians considered the plateau region as a desert. They didn't want it because they didn't know it could produce any crops. So they gave absolutely no value to it and of course thought we Americans were all crazy. All that changed and changed dramatically when we showed how to produce an actual crop. Then, all at once, the Brazilians wanted ALL the land. Taking over the 30,000,000 acres was not enough - they wanted our little piece too. Through this harrowing and horrific time period not everyone survived. Two of our American neighbors were murdered (Leonard Earl and Earl Teeman; some say Lester Smith was murdered but others claim he has had no problems of this nature). Those few Brazilians who supported us were harassed and one was murdered (Arlindo of Rio Galeao Pesao).

1980 - My family survived because of an intuitive hunch that occurred to my brother and I simultaneously during the frightening escalation of hostilities. We felt we needed to leave the ranch and leave RIGHT NOW. We did. In four hours we had the truck packed up and we pulled out leaving a Brazilian manager to watch after things. We moved to Brasilia. We learned later from our manager that a jeep full of men arrived at our ranch house one and half hours after we left and they had machine guns and were, according to the manager's report, exceedingly hostile. This is scary knowing it was a six hour drive from Barreiras to our place.

If my Mom were alive and she saw people getting itchy to move to that location she would be all over this. She suffered more than anyone else - with young children and trying to make things work when there was so much hostility and so little resources or basic conveniences. I will be posting more here about our time in Bahia as I can. We were there before anyone else and we saw it go from nothing to what it is now. Only by the grace of God did none of us get buried there. Oh, one did, my great grandfather (Robert M. Buck died at age 85, May 5, 1968) is buried on that ranch...

More photos and history will be posted as time and opportunity permits.

View photos here.