Food. One can not do otherwise than loving Indian street food, in particular the dishes available at truck dhaba’s. The inventiveness of African mom’s is not to dismiss either. They cook up delicious meals with leavy vegetables and home-made palm oil. A delight for a cyclist on sandy roads through the few patches of virgin forest. I vividly remember my breakfast at restaurants lining the streets in Sana’a, though busy with clientele I would eat in quietness. Fresh fish perfectly fried, while goat heads would simmer next to where I sat. In the far away past I would wander the streets of Bangladesh and Pakistan in search of a restaurant mentioned in the Lonely Planet, sometimes it took me hours to find such place, not seldom wandering off forgetting to eat. Though my own prepared sugary tomato paste pasta in the desert was tasty and bread fried in olive oil whether at a soppy wet Patagonian patch, the hostile windy pampa or a sweltering Argentinian yerba mate grove was always good enough. Food mixed up with sand in Mauritania, quick decaying beef in warm sunny Bolivia and constipation enhancing dishes in Paraguay, it all had its charm.
I’d like to say I live a slow life. A slow life in the sleepy countryside. We are relatively detached from negative influences and time does not have a play in our lives. A slow life.
My new experience of a winter in Hungary, for The ‘Farmer’ I feel, was challenging, to say the least. There was no soil to turn over (well… not that I knew of). There were no weeds to discover (well… not that I knew of). There was no comfort for a tour, not even a little one. I tried.
Nearly a year earlier: ending up at a farm in Paraguay I met another traveler, Geo, whom I have married. Very unexpected we decided to move away from the farm, somewhere else in Paraguay. But we kept a promise: to replace the workers at the farm when their mom from Germany would visit them, so they could go on a little holiday.
More than a year ago: I had lessons in cheese making in mind, where I would portray the newly made foodies with elaborate photographs. The harsh Chaco sunlight filtered by the mosquito screen would make for classy pictures, probably more beautiful than the end result.
More than a year ago: Baking whole grain bread on a camp fire needs a bit more practise. It takes me 20 kilometer to find a supermarket selling rye, barley and spelt and see who I make happy with it! No better face than a happy face! And I get to see more happy faces: I exchange goat Emma for a human person.
This post has bloody images. This post shows photo’s not corresponding with the farm I worked on. The farm I worked on, and the farm where some of the pictures come from are not unnecessarily cruel to their animals as far as I have been a witness (slaughtering went professional).
Previous post: I am at a big farm, 20 kilometers away from Filadelfia, the capital of the Chaco. I met Marilyn previous year in the supermarket where she asked me whether I wanted to stay at her house. I wanted that, and we have kept contact. Now I can work on a Work Away basis for as long as I want.
I am at a big farm, 20 kilometers away from Filadelfia, the capital of the Chaco, a province far from where the action of Paraguay is. In this town I met Marilyn previous year in the supermarket where she asked me whether I wanted to stay at her house. I wanted that, and we have kept contact. Now, when I am tired of cycling, in need for some good rest, I can work on a Work Away basis for as long as I want, on her farm. ‘Let’s start working!’ is every’s Mennonite motto, this means no rest whatsoever. I start working the day after I arrive.
When raising the word Amish or Mennonites one might be inclined to think: ‘Devout hard working people, women in dark ankle length dresses and men in similar old-fashioned style clothing. They are pious, quiet and live an utmost simple life without pleasures as many of us know them whereby avoiding modernity and social jumble with outsiders.’