Week three

We started this week in Canela to buy some more tools and try and sort out some Internet options for the land. Candido’s mother has kindly let us stay in a house of hers that is being done up which is a great help. The bathroom’s in a bit of a bad state, and the kitchen is non-existent – and we sometimes have some workmen turn up early in the morning dripping paint on our heads while we’re in our sleeping bags, but apart from all that it’s excellent being able to stay in Canela as long as we need to each week without having to worry about finding a cheap room that we can all stay in each time 🙂

Our planting area is now all fenced off and protected from roaming cows so Beth’s now busy planting vegetables in it. She’s marked off the planted areas with construction tape so that Joe and I don’t accidentally step on the wrong places! The first things she planted were the poor plants we’d brought with us from our vege patch in Curitiba which were in bad shape after the trip down, we brought mint, peppermint, spring onion, peas, oregano, basil and spinach. We also got many already developed seedlings of letuice, cabbage, kale, beetroot, parsley, capsicum and aubergine from a store in Canela for only R$1 for 12 seedlings!. Here’s a picture of her planting some sunflower and corn seeds we’d saved and sprouted.

Our next project is to get our first dwelling built which will be used for sleeping, storing tools and also as a workshop until we can eventually build some more smaller dwellings for private quarters and then make the first one into a shared area for working and socialising. We’re building using as much of the readily available materials as we can such as fallen wood on the land and spare materials like pallets. The first step is to put some foundations down.

We’re using a method similar to a pole house except that the poles are short and will only hold up the floor since we don’t have logs long enough to also work for supporting walls and roof (we’re avoiding chopping any trees down and trying to use only what’s already available). We scorch the ends of the logs that will be buried so that they won’t rot (a trick we learned from The Barefoot Architect). It doesn’t matter if the lengths of the poles are a bit out because we’ll be bolting and nailing 6×4 planks onto the sides (we’ll probably have to buy these), not the tops, that way we can ensure we have a perfectly horizontal floor regardless of the unevenness of our poles. During the process of boring holes for our poles, Joe accidentally chopped the tail off a scorpian! this is a bit of a worry because we thought the only dangerous creature in our area would be the Jararaca snake and that there were no scorpians at this elevation or this far south.

This week we were finally able to relax a bit and explore some of our land. The natural bush area is amazing with many secluded areas, interesting bugs and colourful birds, we’re still finding it hard to believe that this amazing place is really ours! I haven’t yet been able to get any good pictures of the birds or other exotic creatures such as snakes and armadillos (we know there’s a snake around because we saw a freshly shed snake skin yesterday morning!) but we’ll no doubt get some good pictures as the weeks go by.

Amongst all the hard work we had some time to enjoy the sun and little beach and do some meditation. We set up our small tent in the bush out of the sun for our temporary meditation temple 🙂 it has a nice view of the river and has crystals on the floor which we’ve found in the ground and in the river – the whole area seems to be filled with these crystals!

Week three ended on 11 Nov 2012 which is the anniversary of our move to Brazil 🙂 thanks to our friends who sent nice messages and reminded us of this important day, especially as it’s very hard to keep track of time on the land and we almost forgot! Here’s a couple of pictures from that last day in New Zealand. The third picture is from a few months ago when I finally made it through the huge bureaucratic labyrinth and obtained my temporary Brazilian ID, which is the main part of the process for getting residency in Brazil. The rest of the process involves the federal police coming to check out our living situation to ensure that we’re a legitimate couple, but since we’ve moved to another state, we need to go and talk to them again in Caxias and explain our new situation which we’ll be doing soon.

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