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Meeting the Mayor

So that afternoon after interesting conversations in the car - first with Ruben and then with Marjolein - we arrived at the peña to meet with the mayor (Amparo) and the representative of Barcená (Juan-Carlos). The idea was that I would do the introduction, Yasmin the questions that we had prepared and Marjolein the questions she would come up with during our conversation. Although I think that during the rehearsal moment it went better, this all went well. We got all the information we needed and even more. For example, we got to know that the brother of Juan-Carlos is the owner of one of the lands that were listed by Marcelino (list of lands we would be able to buy). In their eyes, the most difficult part would be the access to water, although we know that there are a lot of possibilities out there that we could implement. When we asked our final (and maybe most important question), ‘What did they think about the project?’, the answer meant mostly ‘bears on the road’ (Dutch saying, meaning, difficulties). They saw difficulties like how to get access to water and energy or that the next hospital would be far away. They also seemed to think we are crazy, especially Juan-Carlos, which makes sense, since he is a conventional farmer. But, very important; they did not seem to be against the project.

Unfortunately we forgot to take a picture of the meeting, so I did visit the place 2 days later and here is the picture of the municipality of Abajas.

After the meeting we went to the village to see the pieces of land that were listed in the ‘to buy’ list of Marcelino. We went there to get some samples of the soil. We took 4 different samples from 4 different pieces of land. We even gave names to some of them, like ‘Hermano grande’ field, ‘Abuela’ and ‘Girasoles’ based on their location (remember one of the fields was from the older brother of Juan Carlos, and one field had sunflowers) which helped us to remember which field was what. It was a lot of fun to do it together, but not very easy. Because the land was very very dry and hard. We weren't even able to take a sample from the natural landscape in-between the lands. Only the field with the sunflowers was a bit softer. 

The visit gave us a good sense of the place. There were so many insects and butterflies which gave us a sense of a lot of biodiversity already present here and a potential to support the development of even more biodiversity. We saw a field with apple trees and a walnut tree, which made Marjolein very happy. We also saw a mulberry tree, which is not positive on the one hand because it doesn't fit with a lot of other trees but might be interesting from a commercial point of view.

We came back at the festival after midnight, where a concert had just ended and a new one was going to start soon. I was very hyper so I decided to stay up and dance with my course participants. Then on Saturday, during the day, there were not really any activities so it was mostly about waiting for Tibor and the kids to come and show them where I had been all week.


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