Thursday, November 22, 2012

But I'm not dead yet!

Yes, yes it has been a coon's age since I wrote. I was rather hesitant to post because I'm unable to upload any of my photos onto this comuter.
My solution: steal my photos from two summers ago, and just tell you all to add a bunch of snow in your heads. Which I would do...if we could find the USB that holds all my pictures.
The Fates aren't working with me on this one
I'll try and add photos of the Alpes once I'm working with another computer. But for now, sadly, this post will be photoless....dissapointing I know

Oh, except for these, these photos are the only ones I could find that I took that summer
 ya, ugly right? Now imagine this area piled high with snow.
one of the cows

Soooooo, I'm in the Alpes in a little town village thingy called Cervières, visiting the Brunet family whom I WWOOFed with two summers ago. It's an awesome organic milk farm in the high alpes where, during the summer, the cows and goats get to romp all over the mountains eating as they please as Julie Andrews romps around with them singing The Hills Are Alive. True story.

Anyways, I help feed the goats and cows and clean up after them, and I get to help Myrtille make cheese! Weeeee du bon fromage de Cervières!

*Side note*
While I work on farms I keep a mental list of animals and plants that I'm going to have on my future farm/property
my list:
                   pintades (guineafowl)
                   water buffaloes  
                   fig trees
                   bamya (okra)
                   dogs and cats of course 

but I also keep a list of things that will not be on my farm
                   goats (sorry dad, you'll have to convince another of the kids to have them because I refuse.
                             They're a pain in the ass)
                   geese (because they are evil)

*End of side note*

Coming back to the Alpes I was also reunited  with my boyfriend. He and I hit it off back when I first got to the farm and our attachment only grew as the summer progressed. If only you guys could see him work and herd the cows, truly amazing. He has scraggly brown hair, he's on the small side but he's never let that stop him.

And this is where i would put a picture of Filou if I had one. Well why don't you just take a photo of him with the family's camera you might ask well, I would except no one has seen the pup for two days now...oh ya, did I forget to mention Filou is a dog?

About a week ago my love and I, and two other of the five dogs on this farm, went for a hike. I intended to hike up the the chalet but after a good couple of hours trudging through the snow my vigor drained so I never quite made it. Took some nice pictures though...and far too many pictures of the dogs.

I also have a bed buddy (don't tell Filou), one of the cats, petrushka, who was but a tiny kitten when I first met her two summers ago, has taken to sleeping in the bed with me. Now, you might be imaging a cute little cat curled up at my feet, but no, she likes sleeping under the covers under my arm with her little head resting on my shoulder. She's a pretty epic cat.

Sadly, I'm also rather under the weather. Everyone was sick when I arrived on the 9th and I've apparently picked up the bug as well.  

It's a short post and not that well written, and no pictures to boot, but it's all I can do at the moment. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Having a Beer with Jesus

Yes Im sure the title is rather surprising for the majority of you guys due to me being a born atheist, but don't worry it will be explained

Whew, where do I start... Belgium was definitely an experience. Gent especially surpassed my expectations. First note is the weather, rainy and cold. Its hard to believe that just a week ago I was in a bikini on the beach swimming and now Im bundled up in two jackets ducking into churches to escape the rain. I'm not complaining though, I'm fond of the cold and rain (within reason of course).

My first day in Bruxelles I did my normal tourist thing of meandering around streets looking at old stuff. A definite stop for me was the Botanique. I was rather disappointed, the building had graffiti on it and statues were broken. Not the best presentation of a botanical garden. Yet while I was sitting in the garden I came upon the belief that I must produce some kind of pheromone that is akin to catnip. Literally within 10seconds I found a cat on my lap. They're stalking me!
here is some street art I really liked

In Bruxelles, I tried my luck couchsurfing again and once again I was hosted by a truly wonderful person. Manu works for Oxfam, a company working to provide fair trade and organic products to consumers, and thus has a similar mind set as myself. We discussed the problems of industrialized agriculture and watched documentaries such as We Feed the World and The World According to Monsanto (I put links to websites where you can watch these videos for free. If you eat, you should really watch these documentaries). He also brought me into awareness of the new threat of nano tech, possible brain damage and all that fun stuff.

On a lighter note, he also taught me how to make sushi! Home made sushi, a bottle of Corsican wine, and in the background you can make out a bar of organic, fair-trade lavender chocolate. is hard.
For some people shopping, architecture, or art is the highlight of their visit to a new city, for me it's natural history museums. The Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique had quite a sizable exhibition on dinosaurs, mammals, prehistoric human, biodiversity, and many other subjects so I spent a good 3 1/2 hours meandering my way through it. I was also one of the very few adults there who didn't have any spawn.
Stegosaurus, greatest dinosaur ever!
After a few days in Bruxelles, I skipped off to Gent which is about a half an hour in between Bruxelles and Bruges. I stayed with another really cool person, Didier, a couchsurfing host veteran. Another american from North Carolina, Bonnie, was also crashing at his place at the same time. So, Bonnie and I teamed up to explore the city. 
I thought this sign was really cute ^_^
Here's the castle in Gent
While Bonnie and I were exploring the city the sky decided it was time to spit down upon us, and so we took shelter in one of the many churches. As we sat in the church, pretending to look pious, the subject of popping open the beer that Bonnie had brought along came up. We both agreed that Jesus totally seems like a chill guy who would be fun to chat with over a beer. Yet, we didn't dare open the bottle lest we be kicked out into the rain. So later, when we found another shelter, we popped it open and drank a beer for Jesus, because he seems like a guy who really needs one.   

That night Didier took Bonnie and I to an Irish restaurant. The food was decent enough and Didier and I had great fun nerding it up talking about old video games. Yet, after we were done eating and our plates were cleared we waited for the bill....and waited...and waited. With us conversing we didn't notice it that much, but after a while we started to wonder what was taking them so long. Shortly after that thought occurred I noticed one of the waiters rush by with a fire extinguisher in his hands, and two minutes after that a waitress informed us that we needed to evacuate the building immediately because it was on fire. And by golly it was, as we stepped out into the cold, the metal doors opening to the basement were open and flames were billowing out. After watching it a while we decided to head back to Didiers and out of the cold.

We three decided to form a rap group, epically named B.L. Didders
From the right: me, Didier, and Bonnie

I took a day trip to Bruges and I'm really glad I didn't allot any more time to the small city. It was a lovely little medieval city and could have been quite enjoyable had it not been for the stupid amount of tourists. The lines to get into the churches rivaled the lines to get onto roller coster rides in a theme park, so I didn't even bother trying to go in.
They did have some nice windmills though
This picture is out of order but here's Manu showing me how to play a Tibetan instrument

Manu and I also took a trip to go see the Atomium, the large monument of Bruxelles.
Im not currently able to upload any pictures because I'm using a different computer so I stole this one from the internet.

I'm now in the Paris region to visit friends and then in a few days I'll hop down to the alps.

The election is going to be announced reasonably soon so I would just like to warn everyone that if Mittens (aka Mitt Romney) wins I will not be returning to the states. Obama's not perfect, but he's a hell of a lot better than the other option.