Saturday, 16 July 2011

When the rodeo came to town...

Last week saw Quirinopolis's annual rodeo event at the lake.

With this comes music, the fair, horses, and crime. This year the event started off with a shooting (and of course subsequent death) the night before it launched. Why  the night before? I'm not really sure to be honest, perhaps the people of Quirinopolis were just very, very excited.

Anyhow, the rodeo came to town and for a while it made everyone happy. Every night last week there were

Friday, 27 May 2011

A weekend back on the farm

The cow after the deed. Yep, that's all from
one of them.
It was only my last post that I mentioned that people here in Quirinopolis like wanton animal slaughter, and alas I must fulfil that stereotype again. Carlinho wanted to kill a cow, so therefore Cristina, Daniel and I headed to the farm with Ed Carlos and (the heavily pregnant) Shinayda for the weekend.

After arriving and helping them milk the cows (with surprisingly little excrement sprayed by them this time - it appears as though they've got used to me) I listened to Ed Carlos talking to his mum about the pros and cons of killing the new litter of 5 kittens that had been born. Apparently she had been waiting for his arrival so that he could do it (I'm not sure if it's seen as some sort of honour or not). He wasn't too fond of the idea however and hasn't as yet taken on the task.

So, whilst Daniel was off riding horses and calves

Friday, 13 May 2011

Bovine CSI... In Quirinopolis...

Now that we're in the sleepy town of Quirinopolis I'll be honest and say there isn't a tremendous amount to see or do. That being said, I thought I'd take my camera on a trip up to the school I'll be teaching at and see what kind of things I could take pictures of along the way.

Now, I've been slated a few times about my involvement in wanton animal slaughter, so I see this post as somewhat of a justification in the peer pressure sort of way ('But everyone's be doing it). Please see exhibit A, B and C below. Each of them taken at various points along my exciting trip up the hill.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Andre the loverat and the destruction of a toilet

The farm...
I've mentioned Andre and Diana (the latter pronounced Dee-an-a) in passing before, but now I've decided that they both (Andre in particular) deserve their own little historic background.

After Mauricio left (not entirely on friendly terms) about four months ago there was a bit of a handover period while Carlinho and Euda looked for new people to help on the farm (somehow I didn't seem to be top on their list. Mind you, Cristina was happy about that). After a week or two of waiting for applications, one of Carlinho's brothers (Paulo) found a possible candidate. A guy had walked into his mechanic shop and asked for a job for him and his girlfriend. There were none going, but Paulo referred him to Carlinho. Now, these two apparantly had no experience of working on a farm, came from Mato Grosso (a more northerly state), and were desperate for a job as they were to be turfed out of their home by the end of the week. I don't think either party was too enthralled with the idea of them working on the farm, but

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Inexplicable footage of the gents toilet of a bar

After browsing my videos on my camera to find the footage of the gourmet frog meal, I came across some additional footage. Footage of me in the gents (not in the act of using the hole in the floor). Now I can only hypothesise why I took the footage, but I seem to remember using the ladies on a previous visit to expel

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

UPDATE: Roasting the frogs! Erm... That's not the French by the way...

What the frog looked like before
its' heinous murder
Remember back in November 2010 when Ed Carlos, the Frogfinder General, and I went hunting for frogs? Well at that time I was unable to eat the 'delicacies' as I was going to the farm the next day... Drat!

As it turns out, the Frogfinder General had been keeping all of the frogs in his freezer. After receiving quite a few threats from his wife about them, he decided that he was fed up with 'holding onto them for a friend' and dumped them in our freezer. Well, last night we decided to finally crack them out and give them a try!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Carnival - more of a fantasy than a Brazilian reality?

We've all seen the Rio and Sao Paulo carnivals on TV - the splendour, the party, and the dancing - but what's carnival like when you are actually in Brazil?

Well, for the most part, in the smaller cities people appear (to my layman's eyes) to find it a bit tedious and a good excuse to stay at home. Mind you, I don't tend to mix with the young and single crowd. Wikipedia for example states that 80% of all the country's beer sales are over the five days of carnival.

In Quirinopolis for example many people (mainly between the ages of 18 and 25 I suspect) had a big party at the lake. I didn't opt for this option as I value my life, and the chances of getting into a fight and shot are relatively high. Add to that, with all the drinking, and the lack of any worthwhile police force, afterwards the roads are particularly hazardous.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Take that you dirty swine... Are pigs the least useful animal on the farm?

The pig pen... Tailing off to the infamous
'alligator river'
I recently accused pigs of being the least useful animals on the farm to my wife. This statement was based around the idea that all the other animals on a farm had multiple purposes. For example, with cows you can eat them and milk them, chickens you can eat their eggs and eat them, sheep you can use their wool and eat them, but with pigs all you can do is eat them. Don't get me wrong, I love a good slice of pork now and then, but in terms of what you have to put into it (lots and lots of rubbish and fat food which it eats incessantly) you don't seem to get a lot out of it. However, I may now have to reassess my judgement based on new information gained from helping to slaughter one...

This sow was fairly old (five years) and Carlinho had decided she was plump enough (at just over 200kgs) to make a fine dinner (and many more after it). So four of us headed down to its' pen (not the most luxurious of quarters, but I guess that's why it's called a pigsty). Now if you were under the impression (as I was) that killing a pig is less dangerous than killing a cow, I think you are sorely mistaken.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Curiosity killed the cat... and scared the bejeezus out of Daniel

Daniel - no longer mixes with chickens...
Carlinho, Euda, Cristina, Daniel and I were at Dejaneir's farm (a neighbour who rents Cristina's aunt's farm) to check over his new milking machine and to borrow some vaccination guns. He was showing us through the intricacies of his 'pit' (where he attaches the milk pumps to the teets of the cows) and showing us how well his four year old son could shovel up cow manure, while Daniel feigned interest. We were about to leave so had removed ourselves from his hole and were making our way to the car in the normal Brazilian fashion. That is, walking a couple of feet, stopping to talk about something, moving another couple of feet, stopping to talk about something else, Dejaneir pleading that it was too early for us to go... etc. etc.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

A weekend on my horse...

In which I learn that the best way to get a male horse is to whore out a mare, it bloody hurts when a horse stands on your foot, and sometimes you shouldn't willingly jump off a horse...

My horse (Peter Jr.) has, for all the time I've been here, been living the life of Riley in the field behind the house with two mares (one of which is his mum, but he still tries). As we were going to leave the farm soon and I still hadn't ridden him I asked Carlinho whether it would be possible to take him for a ride. Carlinho looked a bit reluctant, but eventually agreed.

So, after we'd finished milking the cows on a Saturday morning Carlinho, Euda (mother in law), and I headed up to the field to go and get him. I was on another stallion and was tasked with herding all three of the horses towards the bottom of the field and the gate. Once there Carlinho and Euda would spring the trap on Peter Jr.

With the plan set Carlinho urged me to go and find them.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Average farmer or Brazilian Ray Mears?

It takes a certain type of person to live on a farm in Brazil.

It is not just because of the 3:30am starts, and the long working days that I say this, but also because you can spend weeks, and sometimes months with only yourself and one other person as company. It is a lonely life out there in the sweaty heat-blasted fields where you put your body through torture each day (there are no weekends on a farm).

Take Carlinho for example, he grew up on a farm with his parents and his six brothers who all started milking cows by the age of seven.