Saturday, February 27, 2010


Traveling north from the isolated ranches in La Pampa province I reached San Rafael, in Mendoza. My aim there was to visit Caty Brown and his family. Originally from the U.S. the Browns have been living here for over a year.

Caty began hitch-hiking when she settled in Argentina, and what´s great her is that she encouraged her daughters to travel with her again. Not only did Stella - her daughter, in the picture rock climbing- enjoyed hitch-hiking... but now she also wanders if it is possible to hitch rides in trains, planes, etc. "Oh, they believe it´s normal" proudly claims Caty.... "Actually, -she carries on- if Stella ever wants to play the role of the rebeld, she will not run away from home. That would make us proud of her... She would rather start studying to become an accountant"...

The Browns live in an area called Los Claveles. Their neighbours have their own organic "finca" (farm)... Since there was a birthday, we visited. I was impressed with the houses built entirely from natural material, such as mudbrick, wood, stone, etc. They even used windshields as windows... with the aim of recycling just about everything. The exposure to such bohemian scenario of sedentarims sparked old phantasies of building my own house in a rural area and turn it into a hostel... The organice farm has consequences that go well beyond the individual that live there... They represent the seed of another possible world. It may not be the right moment for a new social system to emerge, but this social experiments are doomed to be the reservoir of the dream for future generations.

By the end of the week, I found myself rafting in the Atuel river, the same river in which dry bed I had been driving a pick up in La Pampa province... A sad sample of how politics can affect the lives of ordinary farmers.

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