Monday, December 14, 2009

Life on the Farm!

To the Farm!
"The Shitter"
Papa Pig
Steve washing his clothes
the house
Dana and Jolle cleaning olives
Dana with eighteen layers to stay warm and her wacking stick
Baby pig....oh and Dana
Three not so little pigs
Early morning fog

We arrived in Pedrogao Grande by bus. After a few unanswered phone calls, Mane came to pick us up and took us to his farm... we weren't worried. We were given a tour of the house and grounds once we arrived. We were shown the garden, our room, the rest of the house, and cellar. Dana noticed that in the tour we were not shown where the bathroom was... hmmm. Well, there was no bathroom! Outside there was the "shitter", guess what that is for and to go number 1 the whole outdoors is your bathroom! You just had to make sure you didn't go somewhere someone would find you. They are almost completely self sufficient; they have solar energy, vegetable gardens, 70-80 goats, chickens, pigs, fruit and olive trees. The only running water comes from a pump which is outside. The house is heated by the open fireplace or from cooking using the wood stove. Mane is a cheese maker (mostly busy during the summer months), which he sells at the local market, and to those who stop by. His son Jolle (yo-lay), Jolle's girlfriend Gillian (from the US), and Mane's girlfriend Sabilla were also there helping on the farm.
Our typical day would start when the rooster crowed at 4 am, but we would try to go back to sleep. Next the rooster would crow around 5 and so on until it was time to get up for breakfast. We would have breakfast around 7:45am, then pick olives from 8-12/1. We would have lunch, then the goats would get milked by Mane and Jolle, Gillian would feet the pigs (which just had babies), and after that we would help clean the olives we picked in the morning until 5pm. We had a little time off before we would help prepare supper and eat around 8pm. Everyone would go to bed around 9:30pm. It was quite rainy and cold during the week, so our shoes were usually quite soaked and our hands were also cold. But don't get us wrong, it was a really great experience. The whole family was very nice and it made us appreciate certain things quite a bit more to say the least. On our day off we went to visit the town of Pedrogao which is quite cute. It was Mane's birthday on our last night so Sabilla had a small party which was fun with good food. We met some of the neighbors and everyone was up later than 9:30! We left the next day by bus to Lisbon to catch a train to take us back to Madrid. There were some minor complications but, we made the train in time and that's all the matters!

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