I started writing a few weeks ago and realized this was going to take a while because it’s been way too long since last time. So I will update you in parts or episodes (even though my life is not as exiting as a good series)
Last year was a bit special in that it was the first full year without pandemic interruptions. Personally, this meant spending much more time in Carmelo because I started working normal teaching hours and also because I decided to take care of most of the delivering and picking up of the kids so that Magnus could get more time to work on the house. Once the school year and kids’ activities finished I just enjoyed the absence of pressure or responsibilities other than my own chosen ones, and the holidays.
This year could be different since my boss seems to know me better than I know myself and therefore decided that my work schedule would be different this year. Now I don’t have the main responsibility for English language teaching for one grade but rather teach only natural sciences at three different grades. In practice this means I go to work less hours and get to work with different kids at different levels. It is much more challenging because I don’t have a book nor a program of any sort and have to adapt my teaching to different ages, but I think it is more fun and I don’t have to take all the main responsibilities of being one of the two main teachers for a grade. All in all this means I get to spend much more time at home working with my own projects. I was also lucky enough to get all my hours put into the one day so I only work once a week (plus the preparation time before, but that I do at home)
So in theory I should have much more time to work on the vegetable growing part of my life and hopefully can have a go at trying to sell some produce. Last year I only managed a few basics and only because I got help. My goddaughter and a friend of hers were here in June and they transplanted lots of onion seedlings that did take a hold so we have some onions now. I also managed some garlic and quite a good crop of potatoes though these were harvested a wee too late because I was away so I am not sure they will keep too well. I also managed to plant some sweet potato shoots in November and the harvest is looking really good. It is so good that I am thinking maybe I should become a sweet potato grower.
This is a very summarized version of last year. One thing I did not mention is drought. This summer was so hot and so dry that we spent most of our mornings watering, then inside the house from 11 only to go out again at 5 to do other things or water some more. We have drip lines installed in the vegetable growing area but not on all the fruit trees so Magnus had to do long watering sessions otherwise it made no difference. This drought is not a one year thing, it has been going on for at least three years. Rivers like the Uruguay are running low and many water wells (in homes) have gone dry. Our running theory is that the cause of the lack of precipitation is amazon deforestation since the rains that used to get here were primarily due to all the moisture collected in the amazon rain forest further north. That is apparently not happening anymore. I am not sure how this is going to end and I believe the consequences for the country’s economy will be stark since a big percentage of this years’ crops was lost and many farmers are making bales out of their soy and corn crops instead of selling the seeds. This will probably also have quite an impact globally because as far as I know the same thing is happening in Argentina, which is a BIG grain producer and those grains are primarily used as animal feed or to make fodder (for fish, cows, pigs, chickens…) But I will not think too much about this nor write because it is not such an informed opinion and also, last year I decided I was not going to let myself get depressed about the state of the world anymore.
That is another thing that happened last year. The combination of working too much (which involves having a little too much to do with a society and ways of the current lifestyle that I don’t like), and thinking too much about the gravity of the climate crisis really got to me. It was not until someone very close and dear to me told me she wanted me to stop talking about how bad everything was, that I did not get my act together. It was almost magical: I took up my yoga practice again with a new teacher training program on more meditative forms of yoga and stopped talking about it all. That was also when I decided I would take my long delayed trip to Oslo.
After almost 8 years I went back to the city where I spend the first 16 years of my adult life. I moved there when I was 23 and there I studied biology, worked as a gardener, a sales girl at a flower shop and finally got my first job in biology as a lab technician. I met Magnus, had my twins and finally decided enough is enough of this life and we packed everything and left. I was 40 then.
I made many friends during those years and I had not seen and barely talked to most of them so it was now enough since last time and I got on that dreaded flight and made it to Oslo. It was perfect. I can write a whole entry about that so all I will say now is that I got to meet all my friends (except two, whom I met later here and in BA), spent decent amounts of quality time with them, went skiing, walking in the forest, indoor climbing, ate masala dosa and thali at my fav Indian corner, walked the city, saw art and had an excellent time. I even got to walk on thin crunchy ice!!!!!
Another thing that happened last year (many things can happen in just one year even at my age) was that we moved our bedrooms to the straw bale house. We have been sleeping there since October and it is SO nice. So nice to sleep there. Now Magnus is finishing the kitchen and soon we wont have to go to and fro from the bale house to the container house for breakfast anymore, which is good because after some scorching months, it is now getting chilly in the mornings.
The having more time for veg gardening is looking both good and bad. I have quite a lot of seedlings coming along, problem is every time I transplant them a skunk (or maybe something else) comes along and destroys whatever is left behind after the ants attack. It is not easy, but I just keep sowing and sowing, I guess eventually something has to take right?
Next on the blog: autumn harvests and seedlings, the straw bale house sleeping experience and maybe something else. Promise to try not to let another year go by.