Monday, August 19, 2013

Palmeira Real - Brazilian Home

(Click all photos to embiggen)

Now that I'm looking into leaving Bonfim in the next week or so, I thought I would give you all an overview of my digs here in Bonfim.

I've been staying at Pousada Palmeira Real. A pousada is kind of like a cross between a hostel and a BnB. It's like a BnB in that it's an extra room in a family's house. It's like a hostel in that it's no frills, no additional services (whereas a BnB comes with breakfast, or a turndown, or room cleaning etc).

There are three houses on the Palmeira Real property: the main house where the family lives, and then two houses on top of the hill with extra rooms. There is also an outdoor kitchen. I've been staying in the house furthest up the hill, and have been using the kitchen to cook my meals and as a sort of office, and the living room of the Big House as another workplace (that's where the internet is).

Here's a little walking tour from the street up to my room:

First you go through the gate. 

These puppies guard the gate:

On the right is the big house:

Straight ahead are the stairs:
About halfway up this flight of stairs, you can pause and look to the left to see the pool. The pool is a natural rock cleft, filled with water diverted from the nearby river. The water cascades out the other side in a waterfall drain. I've used it twice, because it's winter here and I can never feel my feet.

Looking straight ahead, my kitchen/office is at the top of the steps. 

The rounded room on the side of the kitchen is the sauna. I've never been able to get the "sauna" above 40 degrees, but on rainy days that feels nice enough. Mainly, I use this as a warm reading room. Recently it's picked up internet capabilities, which opens up a whole host of potential uses.

This is the view out towards the pool from my kitchen/office:

Here's a better view of my kitchen/office looking back from the next staircase.

Turning back around and continuing along the stair pathways...
You see this lovely sight straight ahead...

and to your left you can see the first guesthouse. I use this hammock to "study" in. (My kitchen/office is down the hill to the left)

Wrapping around the right side of the first guesthouse are more stairs. I go up these, because stairs are fun.

At the top you get the first glimpse of my house! But we're not there just yet.
After the steps I follow this winding path for about 20 meters...

And then finally arrive at my destination!

That's my window you see. The other side of the house is a room currently occupied by a pregnant couple that I think are vaguely related to my host family. In the front is my koi pond. There are 2 koi that live there, in constant danger from the heron. There are also 540984093598230493 frogs that sing me to sleep every night with such lovely harmonious voices that have never once kept me up at night.

So there you have it, where I've been living since the first week of July. My time here in Bonfim is winding down, and I'm trying to fit in a trip elsewhere in Brazil. I was going to go visit the other MDP students on their second field placement in Amapá, but I don't think I can afford the plane tickets. Anyone else have a suggestion for a Brazilian destination (that's not Rio)? 

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