Ipe Amarelo

Amalia Rowan

September 17, 2012

Driving through coastal Ecuador en route to Puerto Lopez,  we saw hills covered with brown scrub brush and nearly leafless trees.  Three rainy days later as we drove that same route, the hills had transformed into a vibrant yellow as the trees burst into flower.  I later learned the tree, known in Ecuador as Guayacan, is actually a very impressive organism. It blends in, is a rugged survivor, but given a little water—a little nourishment—and it blooms without fail.   

I am now living in a very small town called Capão, located in the National Reserve of Chapada Diamantina in Bahia, Brazil, and was thrilled (both at the sight and of my unusually vivid memory) to see an almost identical tree on the walk back from one of our workshops. After some research, I discovered that the inspiring tree I saw in Ecuador a few years ago is actually one of several varieties of the Tabebuia, the Native flower of Brazil and a virtually indestinguishable flower of the Ecuadorian tree.

Just like this tree that I found blooming both on a barren road in Ecuador and beside an unpaved road, covered in a thick layer of dust and dirt in Brazil, I hope to use this time to blend in, but with a bit of adaptation and “watering” I will soon bloom bold and establish my roots.


Amalia Rowan