Week four

We started the week this with a change of plan – it’s been too difficult getting work done having to come in to Canela every week and try to get things done in internet cafes and bakeries, so on our first day in Canela this week we rented a room in a pensão so that we have a permanent base here that we can work from. A pensão is kind of like a flat but it already has all the facilities and you just pay on a month-by-month basis – but you don’t get to choose your flat-mates. The place Beth found is in a really nice neighbourhood with lots of trees and cobblestone roads and it has a secure area behind the house where we can put the car. She came to a deal with the owner whereby we can have a room for all three of us for the same price as two since we’re going to be away at the land for a good portion of each week.

Getting a net connection has been a bit of a problem because the excellent 3G/Wifi/Lan router I bought is now broken after it fell out of a window onto the concrete! so we’re temporarily using Joe’s Android phone in Wifi hotspot mode using my Vivo Sim card.

On Tuesday, Beth and I took the bus to Caxias today to notify the federal police of our change of location so they can come and visit us at the pensão to assess the legitimacy of our relationship to finalise my residency. We found a nice cafe there with Internet, a great wine selection and excellent food – the mushroom quiches were perfect! we ended the day with a cold bottle of Opa Pilsen which is a local beer made in Joinville where we bought our Lada Niva from 🙂

When we got back to the pensão we went to the talk to the women next door to ask if it was her wifi connection we could see and if it would be ok if we could access it. Not only was she and her husband happy for us to use it, but it turns out that he’s in to IT as well and is looking for English speaking people to teach some PHP, javaScript and networking which would be excellent for Joe while he’s still getting his online work rolling! I’m connected to next door’s wifi now as I write this, the signal’s quite weak, but it’s much better than using 3G. Next week I’ll bring my 200 milliwatt wifi router which they said they’d be happy for us to plug in to their LAN which should give us a much better connection, so that’s our Canela net connection sorted! now we just need to get a solution worked out for the land connection.

Beth and I went back to the land for a few days by ourselves while Joe stayed in the pensão. We had some trouble with some cows led by a particularly stubborn “alpha female” who insisted that our tent area was the best place to feed and she even came to visit in the middle of the night a few times sniffing our things and drinking from our buckets! we decided it would be a good idea to finalise the demarcation of our territory and get it fenced off sooner rather than later. Apart from that it was an uneventful relaxing few days exploring the area and finding new exotic creatures. I got a few good photos of some very strange looking caterpillars that Beth spotted and some more butterflies, and I saw some awesome humming birds, hawks and the armadillos but couldn’t get any photos of these unfortunately.

I found a spot on the nearest hill where I can pick up a weak 2G connection which means I can go up there each day to check emails and do other text-oriented work. It’s too slow for Skype (even text) but fine for email and adjusting wiki pages – and I even shelled in to a server and fixed some issues that I got an email about. This is good news because it means that we should be able to get a reasonably useful connection using a small tower with a 2G router, antenna and amplifier which shouldn’t be too costly or difficult to set up. Here’s a photo of my new office and a strange looking bug I found there 🙂

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