Friday, August 31, 2012

Save the Cerrado

August 31, 2012
Experimental stage. I have just created this blog - there will be many changes in the coming weeks. I hope to post at least once a week and to include many photos. Below is a posting that I wrote two weeks ago. I expect that Guy and I will publish many photos, such as this one that shows him clearing the area where our first house will be built. Behind him are babaçu palm trees.

August 19, 2012
Today is our anniversary – Guy and I have been married for 17 years. The week we got married we signed the lease, and during the following months we set about preparing for the opening of the Green Café.
In something of a parallel, this coming week we hope to contract with Joaci and Ariston to build our first house, and then we’ll prepare in the next months, before the rains arrive in full force, to occupy it as our new home.
Despite the extreme dryness of the season, for it doesn’t rain here from mid-May until mid-September, life flourishes around us in many manifestations: two new calves, born about a week apart, follow their black mothers about on wobbly legs; a large chestnut horse that waited at the gate yesterday until someone let him in as they passed through, is keeping company today with the farm’s mare (the one that gave birth to a filly on our anniversary five years ago); the mango and cashew trees flower copiously;

and at night the chorus of frogs, crickets and nocturnal birds echoes as loudly as ever.
The wind blows continuously, too much for comfort, slamming doors and raising dust clouds, so that a fine layer of dust lies atop the piano. But I like the loud whisper of the wind in the swaying eucalyptus trees and well as its rustling in the fronds of the babaçu palms near our little piece of land. The wail of the wind in the plains of Montana scared me and made me think of lonely women who felt life wither inside of them as they listened to that howl day after day with no mother or sister or friend to comfort them. This wind is gentler and more friendly, though it can get tiresome, like a friend who goes on too long.
We’re staying in Victor’s house for a few more days, until the 31st, which is our deadline to be out of here. Then we’ll sleep and cook and wash up on our own place, in and around the straw hut. Part of me is excited – it will be an adventure and we’ll be living practically in the outdoors – but I feel cautious as well because it will be uncomfortable and might be somewhat dangerous. The recent spate of theft means that there are unscrupulous people in the area, who will take the opportunity to steal what they can given the chance. If they also enjoy the sport of scaring and hurting people that could be horrible. But fortunately that hasn’t been the case in this part of the region.
I work at spreading peaceful energy and thoughts of kindness and goodwill around the house and the whole farm. I took a walk up the road to where I could see the hills and valleys of our Rio Areias headwaters, and I stretched out my arms asking for  blessings for all its inhabitants.     
May nothing evil cross this door …
and, though these sheltering walls are thin,
may they be strong to keep hate out
and hold love in.

Breakfast – coffee and oatmeal
Lunch – rice, beans*, pan-fried sweet potato, fried eggs, guacamole
Supper – angel hair pasta with homemade tomato sauce, lettuce salad, avocado dessert**
*Brown beans – Usually we eat black beans but in Goiás pinto or brown beans are more popular. Some Goianos believe that black beans, which are eaten in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia, make men less virile than the brown beans, though no statistics would suggest that the population in Rio or Salvador is increasing at a lesser rate than in Goiás.
**Avocado dessert – Brazilians eat their avocados with sugar, either in smoothies with milk and other ingredients, or mashed with lemon and sugar, which is what we had for dessert this evening. We’ve been eating avocado twice a day because of the abundance; they’re rotting by the dozen under the trees in the orchard.