Friday, October 19, 2012

Well...that was quick

 Leaving Jade Farm was a very sad event. On saturday we had an end of the harvest/going away barbeque, and then monday morning I said my teary goodbyes to everyone. They gave me small gifts. Zubeta gave me some beautiful, traditional socks, as a joke because I was constantly barefoot even during the cold mornings. I love them immensely though and they'll be great to have during the cold winter.

 I wrote them a letter, with the help of Berin, saying that I wanted to come back to see everyone soon. Then Berin and I set off to Adapazari where I took a bus to Istanbul and then another bus to the second farm.

I would look out the window and describe the new farm to you....except the view outside looks suspiciously like Jade Farm....because it is. I was at the dairy farm for less than three days. The owners and the german milkmaid were all very nice people, and were very kind and accommodating to me. It was the atmosphere of the working crew, the complete absence of warmth and happiness, that I found rather unpleasant. Their lack of compassion for the animals they worked with was also rather disturbing. The farm is also industrialized.

When you work with cows it's necessary to be a little rambunctious, raise your voice, clap your hands, give some rump slaps. They're slow creatures and not in the hurry, nor have the real desire, to do anything. They meander, then stop, you give a loud "Allez Filles!", they continue, then stop, a thigh or rump tap "Allez!", they meander forward, then stop. This is how it is working with cows. Yet, the workers take their aggression with the cows too far. Last morning, I reached my breaking point.
I wasn't very happy at the farm to begin with, but i though that maybe I could just tough it out for the 11 days I would be there. Yet, one morning when I went out to feed milk to the calves with one of the other workers, two of the little guys had escaped from their pen. They came up to us though, hungry for milk, and with the excitement one of them knocked over the bucket with the milk bottles in it. A mere two drops of milk were spilled but the worker turned in anger and hit the calf, who was probably barely two months old, on the face and then kicked it. I was furious at the guy and voiced my anger but he didn't understand my english cussing. He pointed to the overturned bucket as if to justify his brutality. The calf didn't know what she did, and beating her wouldn't help her understand, it would just lead to a traumatized animal.
 Yet that was it, I refuse to work in a place where animal abuse is taking place. I told the female owner of the occurrence and she seemed shocked and unaware of such things were going on. She is in charge of finance so she is never on the milking floor, and she loves the cows dearly, so I very much hope that she will see the abuse stopped.
Even so, I could not be persuaded to stay any longer. Within a couple of hours I was on a bus back to Istanbul.
I make no mention of names or places to leave them with their privacy.

I realize that was a rather heavy and photo-free segment. So, here's a picture of Mr. Mallo:

  I was so mad this picture was out of focus.

I'm now blissfully back on Jade Farm. Berin is on vacation by the sea but will be back soon, so I ate at Caramille's (aka caramel's) place with the family.

I would also like to thank the shuttle drivers for coming to my aid in figuring out what shuttle to take. I asked one for help and all seven of them circled around to read the address to Berin's farm to try and help me. Thank you four random strangers who let the odd american person borrow their phone to call Berin for directions. Also a huge thank you to the bus driver who, during his break, hopped into his bus to drive me directly to my bus stop, and then drove back. Never have I met people so willing to step up to try and help someone. Thank you absurdly nice turkish people!

Anyways, that's the thing about traveling, you put yourself out there to have new experiences, and those experiences might not always be good ones. That shouldn't stop you from traveling though, for every one bad experience there is a world of great and amazing experiences.


  1. wow - such amazing experiences. And good for you voicing for the rights of the poor cows!!

  2. Always great to read your adventure.
    The pics of the cat is even more funnier out of focus. I love it