Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 5 in Iceland

Last night I dreamed that I was about to be be hanged. Everyone knew I was going to be killed, and we were having a nice meal before that happened. I was looking around and couldn't believe that everyone was acting so normal and relaxed before I was to be executed.
When I woke up, I was trying to figure out why I might have dreamt that..and then I remembered something Asta had said yesterday in the milking room:
" This one is almost ready to go to the slaughterhouse. "
I looked at the cow in her big eye and thought about how we know when it will die when the cow doesn't know when she will die. I wish I could ask the cows some questions. 

I found out finally that we are not in a town after all. It is a valley which 15 people live in..10 kilometers south of a place called Budardalur. It's a slow, quiet ( except in the barn ),rhythmic way of living here...a welcome change of pace for us.

 Milking happens at 8AM, followed by feeding the whole lot their hay and the calves their milk. At 2PM we go in to feed the calves more milk and check hay levels. At 6:25 is when we do the final milking and bring new bales of hay into the barn. We go around distributing the hay ( going into the bull pen is my favorite..because it's sort of scary,and they make really funny noises. ) Sometimes the cat comes in and walks under all the bull heads and they all lick him. We feed the calves more milk, put saw dust down for them to sleep on, and then we're done!
All of these things are broken up by cleaning cow shit. 
I think we will be smelling of cow shit, actually, for the next week and half at least.

We are maaaaybe getting the hang of milking the is really a learned skill. 
It's hard to not be scared of such big animals, especially when they want to kick you for tugging on their utters. The cows enter the milking chambers one by one. When a cow gets into the chamber, you must clean the utters with a rag, hand milk them for a second, and then attach the "milking machine." There are four sucking tubes you have to position under the sounds easy, but I'd like to see you try it!

Anyway, I'm probably going into a lot of boring details you don't care to know about. It is very interesting though, experiencing the way a small dairy farm operates.

Dan and Joel rolling hay.

After our morning work we took a walk out on the mountain to collect blueberries with Oili. The moss is so nice to walk on, and there were snails and beautiful little flowers. We also had a good chat with Asta and Joel on the porch while Asta worked on her driftwood crafts. She is now making Santa Clauses to sell in the Christmastime market. 



This dog

Asta and Santa beginnings

hmmm..and after afternoon work Dan played his trumpet outside and I can't remember what else..
and after evening work we had some delicious delicious pizza made by Asta and Oili. I can't tell you how amazing it is to walk into the house and smell freshly baked pizza after being in a cold barn scraping poop for hours! 

tooting his horn

This cat

Now we are watching a movie called "Prom Night" and it's awful, but I'm happy.
Til' tomorrow,

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