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Cows and hitchhiking

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Cows and hitchhiking

One thing we have a lot of here in Santa Maria is cows!

Just about every farmer has them. Most have around 10, some have many more. The cows eat natural grass, and as such are rotated from field to field. They drink fresh water provided for by the municipalities - there are water filling stations throughout the island just for this purpose. These cows have the best views. They live peaceful lives, with the occasional short road trip, when changing fields across the island, literally in the road. This is the source of the only traffic jam on the island...I never thought I would enjoy a traffic jam so much.

We asked Steven (who's green Nissan Jeep that is in the other post) about his cows. He told us he knows all of them individually--he names each one and takes care of them like family. When asked about his feelings taking them know...his eyes misted and he responded, "it's not easy". 

The other day our truck broke down, so we decided to hike to the center of the village to get the kids out of the house. The ride into town is about 6 minutes, but walking uphill, it's a good hour. We made it there, but no way could we walk back with the two kids--Maks being only 3. So, we hitched a ride from another neighbor. His truck was full, so one of us sat in the truck-bed with his son.

Between the son and I, there was a tiny calf. We learned the calf was only 2 weeks old and the victim of a common accident: its mother accidentally rolled over on its hind legs, crushing one of them at the hip. When asked what would happen, the son explained the calf must be put down and they were on their way home right now to do so. We asked if it could be fixed and he answered, unfortunately not. They had tried once before in the past, a complicated operation and the calf died about a month afterwards due to infection. During the entire sunny 6 minute journey back, the boy stroked the calf's head and whispered to it gently. 

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