We've been up at the farm in Chiquinquira for the last few days helping out Diana's parents by doing a major spring cleaning. I spent three full days painting the central patio and it's turned out quite nice. But, by the end of the third day, my knees, back, and wrists were killing me. I'm happy with the results but even happier to have finished the job. Diana's been systematically moving every single item in the house and cleaning it and the space around it. It's another big job and she's been sneezing the whole time even while wearing a dust mask. Being a farm, there can be quite a bit of dust at times. We're hoping to finish later today.
Stopping for lunch and enjoying checking out the locals:
Apart from the cleaning, I've been acting as the family donkey, which if you know me, you know that it's not a tough job... Anyway, Pepe, the family burro has an infection in one of his front hooves and can't walk very well so he's out of commission for a few days. So, I've been waking up at 4:30am and loading the milk cans and other milking equipment/supplies into the car and moving them over to where the cows are milked. About an hour-and-a-half later, I move the milk back to the house. The process gets repeated at around 2:30pm. The reality is it's not as much work as actually milking the cows, which I'm still not very good at but do enjoy:
What's been nice about waking up so early is watching the world and the farms in the area come to life. I've never been much of a morning person (actually, not at all) but, already today, I got to see some cut-it-with-a-knife fog while it was still dark out and then, as the sun came up over the hills, the fog burn off. After a bunch of coffee that Diana's mom made for me and some scrambled eggs that came from some chickens that walk through the farm everyday (talk about free-range!!!), I got to learn how to trim the hooves of a donkey. Like a dog or even you and me, their "nails" need to be trimmed too. After that, it was off to the center of town so that Diana and her mom could go to mass and I could drink some coffee and write this story at a cafe next to the cathedral.
It's been nice to be at the farm for so many days in a row as most of our visit to Colombia this time's been a combination of work and doctors' appointments. I'm glad that we've finally been able to "relax" a bit!