Still at Pascoal Farm still eating- a new curry every day
11 Feb 2006
|Win had half boiled eggs and here that means 3 hard boiled eggs cut in half...why should I be surprised? What life - just a game!
Unpacked and packed, resorting and collecting all the things we didn't need to give away.
Di headed off to the river to sit and play suduko - now with some success.
I have been reading an ICAR Research report on Agro-Eco-Tourism which questions the ongoing viability of subsistence farming in India with the mechanisation of activity and urbanisation of society. It posits that eco-tourism may provide diversification of economic activity for the farmer but I am doubtful that on a global stage this has great value. The section on alternative farming certainly does offer hope. I was fascinated to read of prawn farming with conservative yields and rabbit farming - did you know that a pair of rabbits will, in one year, produce the same meat for consumption as three sheep or four goats...what are we going in Australia? Interestingly they reported that not one of the 5 star hotels in the area where rabbit farming is taking place, provide a single masala, vindaloo, tandoori, or butter bunny on the menu. This should be a challenge for the team to work on - a gourmet bunny dish to save India. I wondered about guinea pigs. Guinea pigs produce a bright white, juicy meat, they multiply like crazy and more importantly they don't dig holes. In Peru, where I've eaten them, they are farmed with success and appear on a lot of the restaurant menus.
Lunch of the stuffed poppadums - both Prawn and chicken and incredibly good and packed with Goanese sauces.
Di had been across to the recreation area where a school has an organised outing. The teachers were keeping to the shade and listing to the cricket and the children playing cricket and the usual games that children play.
When Di returned I suggested she give the remainder of the koalas to the teachers at the school where they can give to the kids as prizes. She returned and said that Father Andrew had invited us to share a meal with then so we returned and met the teachers who had about 100+ children for an outing at the Spice Garden. Father Andrew said he'd not been to the Pascoal before though Curchorem is only 30 km away.
Father Andrew Silveira
Guardian Angel High School
India Phone No 08322650585
To my questions on the Christian Brothers in Goa he mentioned that there was a High School very close to the Airport, which was run by the CBs and we should drop in on the way to the airport tomorrow. It is Regina Munde Christian Brothers' High School.
Father Andrew is a member of the Francis Xavier Missionary - The father whose remains are at the Basilica Bon Jesus in Old Goa.
"As a missionary", Andrew said, "we are responsible to set examples of behaviour and to help the community". "We do this in various ways and here we set up a school." " The school must have set principles of behaviour" he said and "There are more Hindu and Muslim children in our school than Catholic". "The Hindu, Muslim and Catholic children have strong religious families but at the school we set Christian examples and principles of behaviour," though, he said, "We do not teach Christianity as such, but love, respect for the rights of others and care for each other". He made an interest observation, which was, "While you can get through to a lot of kids, those that have television are confronted with examples that sometimes makes it difficult to accept sharing and care for each other as principles of behaviour."
Andrew has been 9 years at Curchorem and the school now has 300 students. He said "It is almost time to hand over the school to the bishop and request a transfer to a new area where, as a missionary, I should be working." "But", he said, "It's hard leaving a place" and paused, "But that's my duty"
The children pay R15.month and the teachers' wages are completely supported by the government. Andrew said this funding arrangement is the same for Hindu and Muslim schools across the country. That's AUD$150/month to run the school for 300 kids- Or a school scholarship for the year is AUD$6. The cost of a beer!
I commented that we had been in both Kerala, which has the highest literacy rates in the country and Rajasthan, which has the lowest. Goa is said was second to Kerala and he said "Generally the more southern the state, the higher the education and the greater the commercial activities".
We discussed corruption which is said is rife in all walks of government driven by self interest and politicians' need for reappointment which gives rise to the hand backs and payments to solicit votes which distracted from the sound government of the state and the country. We told him that somewhere in his groups of children maybe there would be a new light to shine and create open and transparent government upon the nation. And he smiled.
I guess this is an endemic problem across all governments - the short-sightedness of politicians - but made more tragic in a country like India with scare resources, other than the wealth of its people.
As we talked, the children played cricket and tiggy and ran around a lot. After lunch they are doing a tour of the spice garden and then returning home in the busses.
We shared a little of their meal - mainly to taste- you know Win- Masala Prawns but really big ones and crispy fried so you cold eats skins and all, and a chicken curry of very delicate flavour and not the mouth punching meals we have been served; and then, grapes, sultana grapes sweet and juicy, the floury apples.
We excused ourselves.
Below our unit, in the cool and shade of the trees a young couple talked. Signs of affection are unacceptable in open society in India, but we noticed in the seclusion of their privacy he put his arm around the lass. Love is in the air. In Goa we notice more couples holding hands than in even New Delhi. Does that show the Portuguese projected greater affection than the British- Well just look at Brazil - I mean to say!
Dinner was chicken Makhanwala, vegetable noodles, jeera rice and pappadums.
The Makhanwala is Hindi for Butter chicken, which was excellent but without the tang of the fired bits in the Mumbai meal.
I poke my head into the kitchen to see what's going on and tonight there is a lot of cooking going on. There are 200 guests for lunch tomorrow and the burners are ablaze and the woks a steaming, and the smells a tempting, even after a big meal.