When I woke up this morning my first thought was ¨how exactly do you milk a goat?¨. An addendum to said thought was, do we think it´s different in Spain? (Sometimes I refer to myself in the royal we. Just go with it.) Now, it´s not as if I´ve ever had anything against goats, per se, but I have to admit I´ve never been so actively concerned about them until today. Why is that, might you wonder? Well, today was my first offical day as a volunteer on an organic farm in Southern Spain, a space-time paradigm away from not-Yale and all it´s considerable charms. Hope and change indeed, eh, Mister President?
Let´s backtrack. While Monday morning saw me atoning away in Temple, Monday evening saw me seated in the Philadelphia airport, breaking my fast with a glass of Merlot. As I boarded the plane to Madrid I realized a few things. One, it´s worth paying for more leg-room on Trans-Atlantic flights even if you ARE five foot nothing and never growing again. Two, airplane wine is delicious if you can get it in bulk. And three, life altering choices to pack up and move to an organic farm in another country seem a lot less scary when you first chose them 6 months ago. Additionlly, The Proposal? Not worth seeing. I know, your mind, it´s blown.
Figuring I couldn´t actually ask to turn around a fully packed plane halfway through the flight to Europe, I went to sleep. When I woke up, cramped and cranky, we were about to arrive in the Madrid Barajas Airport, which may be a lovely building but appears confusing and uncomforable when you are carrying two bags which way aproximatly twice your body weight around it. After a stressful and frantic subway ride from the airport to the train station (three transfers, 4 flights of stairs, 500 regrets that I wanted to save money and didn´t take a cab) I was seated in Madrid´s Atocha Train Station, a beautiful building with a high arched roof and a giant tropical garden right in the middle of the main concourse. Having asked at least 5 people, all who responded with different advice, you HAVE to love the Spanish, really, I finally figured out where to get my tickets and where my train would arrive, and settled down with a nice cup of coffee and and a heaping pile of anxiety. There really are times in ones life when law school feels like the easier option, I swear.
6 hours later I was being shown around an 88 acre farm by Sue Lust, a charming and frankly hilarious English woman who owns and runs Viva Iberica, a horse stud farm with 45 horses, 20 acres of olive trees, 15 acres of almond trees, 4 square acres of grapes, 8 chickens, 4 dogs, 3 geese, an unknown quantity of peacocks (I have NO idea) and one goat. I met my fellow wwoofers, a cheerful array of German girls who look like they stepped out of an Octoberfest poster, unpacked my things, and feel into a deep sleep unencumbered by bags, planes or anxieties, Itá amazing how your body shuts your brain off when you need it to.
I didn´t have to milk the goat today. I did have to feed all the horses twice, pick almonds, groom and excersize a fair amount of the stallions, muck all the stalls and clean the barn. So all of that I´ve got down pat. If only I could settle this milking issue I´m sure I could be running the farm by the end of the week. After all, what more could there possibly be?
No pictures yet, I will post some as soon as I can access wifi on my computer. I did, however, see a dog kill a rabbit this morning. So I´m sure that´s just as good.
Winter Must Haves
1 day ago