The farm is special to me because I did not grow up with my massive extended family. The attention my sister and I got, and still get, when we travel to Brazil is remarkable. It feels good to be loved by so many people. And what I want you to know about this place is how much of a working system it is. When I say I go to my grandmother's farm in Brazil, I don't mean that I go and hang out with the few people that work there and play with the animals all day. There is someone who comes and cooks, another to clean and do laundry, my uncle takes care of the cows and makes cheese, other workers come to help him, and there are people who come and do maintenance/outdoor work. Can you imagine how many more people must have been working when there were 16 kids living there?
People are in and out of the house all day to do business or simply to say hi to whoever is there or visiting. When my grandmother was alive, she meant to much to everyone in this town that it was hard for people to drive by without stopping to have a coffee with her.
I was so excited for Kevin to get to experience this. However he reminded me that he still got to experience everything she created, and he was right. I know she would have welcomed him with open arms.
So here is our recap:
We landed in Belo Horizonte after our week in Rio and Bahia and met up with my parents who had flown from Boston. My dad stayed in the city for about 2 days to spend time with my grandfather. My mom, sister, Kevin and I got a taxi driver to drive us the 5 hours until we got to Materlandia, where my family's farm is. I used to love this drive but it was honestly so exhausting this time around, I think because we hadn't slept that much the night before and we were kind of crammed.
We stopped at my aunt's house on the way and then got to the farm around 9 pm. I had been dreading the arrival knowing that my grandmother wouldn't be there waiting. Instead, we pulled up and the lights from the upstairs varanda came on and a bunch of my family members came out. Aunts, uncles, cousins who had all spent the day there waiting for it. It was emotional but I am so thankful that they were there. My aunt even hung up a sign over Kevin's bed that said "Make yourself at home, Kevin"!
The next morning Kevin woke me up at like 6 am. I am so used to the cows, chickens and dogs that I can sleep right through it but he has never experienced this before and took it as a sign to get up super early. Obviously, I made him go back to sleep :)
Some things to know about the farm: There is no internet, the TV is small and has very basic cable, and we also did not have a car of our own. My dad came with a rental later, but it was a stick, which neither of us know how to drive. A lot of people get extremely bored on farms like this but I always loved it. It was a way to disconnect and be present. People are also in and out all day and I just love to talk to them!
Then again, I had never brought anyone with me before, let alone a boyfriend. Kevin loved it and all the attention he got but I didn't realize how ansty he might get. Because he isn't fluent in Portuguese, it wasn't like he could just have a conversation with people who were in and out all day. Also, since we started dating, we really become more adventerous and he was having a hard time accepting the fact that we couldn't just take the car and go exploring. I realized now we should have probably rented our own car, and we are definitely doing this next time.
Regardless, he pretty much met the majority of my family and really felt at home. We did end up going out a few times to visit family that lives in other places, go to waterfalls, and then to Belo Horizonte for the last three days!
Since two weeks is hard to put into words, here is the recap in the form of photos and captions: (Enjoy!)