Sunday, May 19th was a “choose your adventure” type of day. A few people decided to stay behind at the hotel and do some local shopping in Piracicaba. I decided to go with the majority to find an American cemetery that was nearby. We ended up getting lost and turning around at least 3 times because they had changed the roads and the maps we had did not reflect that. We lucked out when we got there because the family that lived on the land and tended to the plots were there to let us inside. I was immediately overtaken by the obelisk that stood alone in the center of a field of grass- to me, it looked like a miniaturized Washington Memorial. I was thankful to be able to walk around the cemetery in my own solitude to read many of the gravestones. Some of the Americans had been there for close to 150 years.
I was most struck by the graves of many babies and children. Being an Auntie to two wonderful kiddos- and knowing how much they mean to me made this even harder for me to see. I could not imagine what it would be like to flee America because you want to continue your Southern way of life- only to be struck by the sudden tragedy of having your baby taken away from you. I guess that it was just a way of life back then. Towards the end of the visit, the brother and sister were telling us the story of their family- that some Confederate Generals fled the South when slavery was abolished because they wanted to continue their way of life with slaves. The family proliferated while in this small commune- There were hundreds of grave sites there.