Bazil In Brazil
House-Sitting In Gramado: A Snapshot
“Ola, tudo bem!?”
I have arrived and am on the property Pousada Arc-en-Ciel with two very cute little stray dogs the owner rescued called “Marie Madeleine” & “Blanche” for companionship, the young bull “Benedito” mowing the grass, and around a handful of hens laying my breakfast with gusto. The owner just left yesterday, but before leaving he introduced me to a few people (with varying ability at fala Ingles – “speaking English”). My Portuguese isn’t outstanding by anyone’s measuring stick yet, but we manage with a certain degree of pointing, “umm”, “ahhh”, & “haha”-ing.
Evidently, it works. I have a game of Football (soccer) organised for tomorrow night with a Polish guy, Julio, and he is excited to take me – a true-blue fair-dinkum English-speaking Aussie – along with him to his English class on Thursday night as well. It astonishes me how slowly the Polish age: He told me he is 49, but I would have guessed 25. Perhaps I scaled his age back subconsciously because I still think I’m 18?
The property is awesome, and I feel so free now to focus my attention on writing, learning Portuguese, researching stories, and getting a feel for the country that will be home during this new chapter of WSBD. I still need to do the odd bit of work on Bamboo Textiles stuff, but worrying about drumming up enough teaching or other work to pay the rent and bills isn’t really necessary for this house-sitting stint. I could almost live here for nothing. There are a bunch of citrus trees here at maximum capacity, with branches literally weighted down to the ground with fruit that pests don’t seem to bother with, and the hens are pumping out eggs quicker than I am gobbling them up. The water is drawn from a naturally spring-fed well and is some of the finest H2O to have sustained my life – delicioso. And finally, there is only me here, so I don’t have to wear pants if I don’t wanna… And I don’t wanna! (Video at bottom of page, or on the Vlog feed tab^^)
I am between Gramado and Nova Petropolis in Southern Brazil – two beautiful little towns. They look like they’ve come to life straight out of a Christmas movie (minus the snow). Traditional old German village looking places with masterful stone and brickwork, wide streets with friendly people, and those over-sized light globes that sit on low poles and are positioned closer together than they need to be to illuminate the street. A few people had already told me that the South has a strong contingent of Germans & Italians. This myth: CONFIRMED.
Not only are the towns beautiful, friendly, and welcoming, and the property abundant, tranquil, and comfortable (& #free), but the surrounding countryside cannot be left unpraised. Looking on GoogleMaps, the whole region is a maze of hills and valleys like the topography of the surface of one of our brains (probably mine): a mass of squiggly, deep valleys snaking between rolling hilly ranges – and many areas are covered with a thick blanket of forest. Perfect for setting out on foot to blaze some trails and explore (A chore for the coming weekend!).
Tonight has mostly been about running errands, activating the new credit card, sorting emails out, setting up notifications for further housesits, and writing a real to-do list of proper chores. Trying to knock a bit of admin stuff on the head.
I’m in the library/reading room now, getting busy on a To-Do list. So far, it reads like this:
- Collect & eat many eggs from the hens
- Find a sunny spot for the hammock
- Locate best mountains to climb
- Find ripe mulberries & eat them
- Write, research, read, and write again
The puppies are trying to take advantage of me by sneaking into the foyer and settling themselves on the doormat tonight. You can see on their faces that they know that they’re meant to be outside in their kennels by this time. They are just like a new class of students testing whether the new substitute teacher (me) knows the rules!
It will take all of my heart-muscle to nudge them out the door back to their kennels – but “If you give them an inch, they’ll run a mile!” 😉
Boa Noite, Tchau (I have been writing it Ciao all this time like the Italians. Oopsie)
This Is Where I’ll Spend My First 6 Weeks In Brazil