Read Elizabeth Bonner’s account of their journey to Gualfin earlier this year…
Yesterday morning we set off to Molinos for the fiesta of the Virgen del Valle. We piled into the truck; our visiting friends Claire and Bruno, Marta, our young cook from Gualfin, Bill and me. Marta brought with her knitting and a bag of things to give her older brother, who lives a couple of hours away from Gualfin at the finca La Angasturo, where he takes care of cattle.
On Thursday, I took my customary ride out to Pucarilla to have lunch with Bill and the boys, and to photograph the progress of the casita. We were also to visit Jorge’s uncle Feliz and his wife Elina. Gustavo came with me, and we brought extra horses for the ride to Corralito.
The rain brings life to every nook and cranny of the ranch – the cattle are visibly fattening, their coats gleaming in the strong clear light of this high altitude valley, the alfalfa has been cut and harvested four times, the new reservoirs are brimming with water that reflects the intense blue of the sky, and a profusion of flowers decks meadows, mountainsides, and the marshy land along the riverbeds. There are even weeds springing up between the stones of the courtyard and audaciously growing out of the mud-based barro that tops roofs of houses and the stone walls of corrals.
We woke up early in the morning, before dawn, to get ready to leave Gualfin. It was dark at six o’clock, with Venus a big bright orb under a slipper-shaped moon. The only sound was water running in the fountain of the courtyard. A light was on in the kitchen: Ana and her sister Marta making eggs and coffee.
tempting the gods to put him in his place. That’s why humility is such an important quality. A truly humble person is less prone to the kind of exuberant excesses that plague presidents, company executives, entrepreneurs, homeland security drudges, teenagers, emperors, investors and celebrities. That is why we work in France. It humbles us.