Thursday, March 28, 2013

Granja (Farm)

The kids' school owns a farm some ways outside the city (I believe I have mentioned this before...!) and a few Saturdays ago they had Parents' Day there. Just parents, no kids, so not everybody was able to come due to work or not having other child care. Terry stayed with the kids and I joined the van caravan out of the city.

This area is just gorgeous.

 They have a llama! Named Pepe!

And a dog! Named Luki!


 After touring the property, we were put to work in small groups - two groups built foot-bridges to go over this small creek running through the property, two groups planted heliconias (aka false bird-of-paradise), one group created a tile mosaic, one group tied up bean plants, and another painted signs to label different kinds of compost and plants. (I painted signs)

 The kids have a field trip to the farm about every two weeks throughout the school year, except when it's very rainy - then they take them places in the city. But the school really invests a lot in the farm, with gardening and reforestation projects. I'm guessing it's around 40 hectares? of reclaimed pasture (although some of it is still kept as pasture for the two cows and llama).

It's so nice for the kids to have this quiet, fresh, green place to spend time. At the same time it was really strange to me to be there with this group of city people - they were so enraptured with every green leaf it was almost comical. If you've spent any time around farms and farmers, you tend to lose that romanticized notion pretty quickly (am I right, Vince?). It was also strange to be in this group of upper-middle-class parents who are so insulated by their wealth from the violence and displacements going on in this country, the fierce battles over land... one couple casually took down a phone number listed on a "for sale" sign for the adjacent property, talking about how they'd like to build a weekend/vacation home outside the city. So separate from the people that we support through our programs here, yet it's all connected.

I think it's incredibly valuable for our kids to learn about where food comes from, to interact with the "natural" world, soak in these quiet green spaces. The air was so fresh and clean. I'm glad I got to see it so I can ask them better questions about what they do and see there. About all I got before was that there's a rooster that goes "Kok! Kok!" In September there will be a family day for us to go with the kids, too. I'm really looking forward to that!

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