terça-feira, setembro 05, 2006


Aqui, uma versão em Inglês da carta da Dra. Christiane, que também é uma especialista em produtos florestais não madeireiros na Amazônia, assim como Vanessa era.

It is with both shock and great sadness that I received the terrible news about Vanessa’s violent death. It is hard to believe that such a thing could happen in Acre, a place where so many of us have worked in great tranquility over the years.

I have had the privilege to work with Vanessa. She was a marvelous person, full of life, with a passion and thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand the state of Amazonia and the world. I saw her struggle with her research, always forcing herself and her work to be of the highest quality and the most relevant for the people of Acre. I also saw her fight for such causes with the instincts of a lone female warrior. I am immensely saddened that such a marvelous person was abruptly taken away from this world in such a cruel and violent way. It is the incarnation of any researcher’s worst nightmare.

Since very young, Vanessa embarked on her life’s journey-- working in Northwestern Brazil, India, spending much time in Puerto Maldonado/Peru, Costa Rica, and finally Acre. Her life was a life rich in both experiences and adventures. She did this even though she was far from her family, under a tight budget (with no thought of retirement investments), and with the great difficulties that arise when trying to maintain long-distance relationships with loved ones.

I know how difficult this can be, because I myself live with the same tensions with my own family in Switzerland and the constant guilt associated with being away from them. But I know one thing: Vanessa had a passion for “tropical” life, and had a very strong commitment to the rural producers in Amazonia, the conservation of the rainforest and making the quality of life better for its inhabitants- despite the personal sacrifice and the distance that this meant.

I know that the road to a Ph.D. was also not easy for Vanessa, who always felt divided between the concrete action of an NGO and community organization, and more theoretical, academic work. Some time ago, she gave up and had a general crisis about which path to embark upon. But she came back and decided to pursue her doctorate and her research in Acre. I suspect this will be very difficult for her parents when they think about how she almost didn’t return to Acre, and how she could have opted for another life.

Abraços com grande tristeza,

Christiane Ehringhaus

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