On a recent morning, Mr. Vieira de Vieira, 33, and Ms. Monteiro Vieira, 20, had just prepared their room for the team’s arrival, a ritual that consists of folding up the sofa bed where they sleep and stashing the pillows and bedding in the utility closet/boiler room. The couple rent the room from a friend of Mr. Vieira de Vieira who lives upstairs. They have their own bathroom, and share the upstairs kitchen and living room with the friend. The rent is $1,200 a month.
“We just wake up, stretch, shower and start working,” Mr. Vieira de Vieira said. “This whole year I’ve hardly gone outside during daylight hours!”
This was not, he admitted, in keeping with the life balance goals that he and Ms. Monteiro Vieira have posted on a chart — the better for daily monitoring — above their bed: reading, reflection, harmony, rest, stretch, exercise, eight glasses of water.
Their L-shaped basement space includes the utility closet, a clothes closet and the narrow stone courtyard outside, which filters wan light into the room. It is bathed in soft lamplight throughout the day and suffused by the smell of incense and soap, a gentle woodsy odor. The stock, much of which is Brazilian, includes dozens of baskets and mats woven by the Xavante people, Yawalapiti hammocks, a pair of 5-foot-tall Mehinako masks, two elk-skin drums and a bow and a clutch of hand-hewn wooden arrows.
The room has been given over almost entirely to business, leaving space for only a smattering of personal items perched on the window ledge — a carved jaguar with a broken paw and copies of “The Portable Voltaire,” “The Pocket Dalai Lama” and “The Little History of…