Brazil – Bernie

African greetings to the Brazil Bonsai Community

I would like you to communicate this message to all bonsai artists attending the event.

This is from the bottom of my heart.


It was the first time for me to be exposed to an International event. I received a call from my late friend, Louis, on Christmas day, 2010, telling me that Mario is urgently trying to communicate with me regarding an invitation to his event. The rest as you know is history…

I received the invitation with a lot of mixed feelings, a little fear for the unknown, a little self doubt, but a lot of expectation as this was new and a big challenge.

At last all the paperwork was done, all the traveling plans in place and I was on my way, alone, without Louis…

My plane was delayed in S P, so I arrived 2 hours late in Preto, with Mario waiting anxiously.

Dinner, he said, before welcoming me. He actually woke up the owner of the guest house to serve me a cold beer and a meal. I instantly felt as if I arrived home to family.

We had a late night and got up early to have coffee and  a smoke, this would become a habit within 3 days. People started arriving and I was introduced, not only to the people, but to friendliness, warmheartedness and your unique hospitality. I was also introduced to your schnapps, beer and food which I found absolutely delicious.

Then came the trees, species and names, too much to comprehend in a few short days.

I met great artists, a lot of talent between so few people and and an attitude amongst you that demanded  respect  from me.
It was easy for me to interact and communicate with you and I enjoyed all the discussions about our common passion.

I realised that we had a language problem, but fortunately I met Charles who did a super job as interpreter.

Next up was my presentation and demonstration, which I knew would shock you. I did this on purpose to capture and keep your attention and as I said, the product of my demo is not important, I tried to bring Africa and its trees to you. THINK OUT OF THE BOX. There is a new bonsai world out there in need to be discovered. I hope you found it interesting and that I left behind some food for thought.

With the presentation, demo and barbecue, our style, I tried to be an ambassador for Namibia, but also to convey myself  as an artist and friend to you.
This event again made me aware of the fact that, as with bonsai, we need to constantly care, not just for our inner self, but also for family friends and relationships. Let nature and the trees be our teacher.

From 2012, my annual event, a bonsai exhibition to the benefit of people with cancer, will be known as:

I invited Mario to be a guest and demonstrator at this event to be held the first week of Feb 2012 as part of International Cancer Awareness Week.
I pray that this will become a reality.

Too soon it was time to go home again and I did so with sadness because I had to leave behind new brothers and a new family.

With joy, however, I packed a little of each of you into my bags to take home and enjoy later between my trees.

Thank you all so much for every present, every smile and every gesture of compassion.




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