Sunday, February 28, 2010

Exploring the surrounding area

On Saturday I decided to look around the village and see some of the sights. I woke up around 10 a.m and made my way into town. It was desolate at this time but I was told by Brigitte and Jane that the town runs on tourism dollars. Their are a lot of hotels and restaurants to stay and dine at. Their are also houses for rent during the tourist season. The tourist have not arrived yet so things are quite. I walked around until I found a nice spot to read my book. I headed back to the castle around 12:00 and was invited by Brigitte to walk Lila and Gena, Cleo came along to. We walked through Dorf Tirol into a large apple orchard that eventually led to one of the many trails in the surrounding area. We then took this trail down to a river that separates Dorf Tirol and the next town over.
A tree that was on the side of the trail
Stream headed towards the river Some flowers on the side of the trail Trail sign A view from the neighboring town The river at the bottom of the valley Bridge over the river A road that was built long ago when the Romans ruled the land Jane and Brigitte leading Gena and Lila Rows and rows of apple trees. The South Tirol region produces a lot of apples that are sent around the world A green house The view from where I was reading my book Brunnenburg

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Brunnenburg

The week is finally over and I can now give an update on my current situation. I ended up not waking up until late Wednesday morning after sleeping about 13 hours. It was a fair trade after being awake for 24 hours. A note was left for me by Jane explaining that she and Brigitte went out do some errands and would be back later. This gave me some time explore my surroundings. I went and met some of the animals that are at Brunnenburg, here are a few.
Some African Chickens
Mira and her piglets
Here you can see a close up of one of the goats and the picture after is a zoomed out shoot of where they were
Jane and Brigitte leading the two donkeys, Lila and Gena
Celo the families dog
This is about half of the animals at Brunnenburg and I will have pictures of the rest later.
Brunnenburg Occupants
The current inhabitants of Burnnenburg consist of Mary, Ezra Pond daughter, who teaches and is an expert on Pond. Her son Setzo, who created the agricultural museum at Brunnenburg. He teaches classes to the various student groups that come to Burnnenburg. Setzo's wife Brigitte is a wonderful cook who will teach a class with Jane. There is Nik and Miche, the two sons of Setzo and Brigitte. They both help out with the students and each play an important role in the program. Nik is also my boss. Jane is graduate of Green Mountain and has been involved with Brunnenburg before and now works with the students. Each of these people play their part in educating and engaging the students that come to Brunnennurg.
Working at Brunnenburg
During my first week I worked on a few small projects around the castle. This included digging a trench for a water line, carrying wood to the boiler, taking the recycling to the town's recycle center, and working with Walter. Walter is an old friend of the family who has built most of the modern structures at the castle. He is a carpenter who uses a small chain saw to cut his wood, something that I have never seen.
This is the towns recycle center, each bin holds a different recyclable item
Here is Walter in front of the donkey stall he built. I helped with the siding below the window and a divider inside
I also have a cool video of Mira digging up rocks and dirt in her pen. This is a great example of how pigs can be used to naturally till an area to be used for crops later.
video

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A flannel shirt in a sea of suits

The day of my flight to Italy arrived and I was ready to begin my long journey over to Brunnenburg. I left from JFK Airport, New York at 6:30 pm and arrived in London's, Heathrow airport around 6:00 am (GMT) the next day.
After about an hours wait I took a connecting flight to Munich, Germany. I got on the plane and it immediately struck me that about 98% of the other people on the plane were in suits. It gave me an almost "out of place" feeling that lasted into the rest of my travels. The plane ride was quick and I landed in Munich at 10:30 (GMT +1). I got my passport stamped and collected my luggage. I then proceeded to a ticket booth to buy the necessary tickets for my travel to Brunnenburg. I went from the airport to a train station in Munich called Munich Ost.
After about a hour and half wait I took the train to Bolzen/Boran, from there I took another train to Meran where I was picked up. The train ride to Bolzen was a nice way to see the sites and gave me my first look at the Alps.
I arrived at Brunnenburg and promptly fell asleep. As this is my first time in a different country it was strange being around people who did not speak English. It gave me a feeling of isolation. I have never completely felt this way until this trip, and am glad that I am able to experience it. I am looking forward to what is in store for me throughout my internship at Brunnenburg.