I praise the practical, rational side of things in life and when Geraldo – my guide to Fazenda Buritis – invited us to visit the farm where his old mother lives in almost total isolation, like in the 19th century, I immediately accepted and thought to myself: what a good opportunity to learn how the locals solve everyday problems when faced with limited financial resources, poor infrastructure and practically zero government assistance in any sense! Anxious to visit the property, we left early the next day.
The access to the distant farm was made for a horse not a large pickup! The crossing of a small wooden “bridge” – see photos enclosed – made my heart bounce more than the structure itself and a second stream – this time with no bridge – posed no serious threat. After many kilometers on a bumpy dirt road, we finally reached our destination where all the problems were readily forgotten: the glorious landscape, savage and unexplored makes you speechless. The majestic buritis offer a unique scenery with mountains in the background and the myriads of Encholirium in the rocky slopes of the campos rupestres is an unforgettable spectacle. What a privilege!
The house and surrounding grounds are modest but well tended. The land is generous, thus the old saying is confirmed: “Such seeds he sows, such harvest shall he find.” Around the house I saw the fruits of several cultures: banana, coffee, corn, sugar cane, orange, tangerine, pumpkin, yam, etc. Cattle and poultry provide milk (butter and cheese), meat and eggs, sources of proteins and vitamins.
Geraldo built a small shack far in the woods to treat the cattle, and just before our arrival, a new born calf had been treated. The shots that follow tell a lot of Geraldo´s ingenuity in the construction of the hut. Pay attention to the details. Faced with so many challenges, not only he basically used raw materials available in his property – saving precious $$ – but each item has a functionality carefully devised. His skill and imagination proves that one can dispense many of the industrial artifacts we believe we can not live without. And how naïve we are to let this false idea rule our lives.
Living in the wilderness has a cost, possibly nothing compared to the social isolation that afflicts modern societies. One thing called my attention in this visit: the doors of the property have no lock. Can you afford this luxury?
Thanks, Oscar – Rio, 27/Nov/2010
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