Morro Cabeca no Tempo…a visit to the bush

viewblogWhat a strange name! Morro Cabeca no Tempo translated means ‘The Head Hill in the Time’ and it is the name of a town in Southern Piaui, about 250km south of Cristino Castro.

Four years ago, a young man from this town decided to join the agricultural college near Cristino Castro, since then he has motivated other young people to study at the college and this year five students have enrolled.

The students have  invited the college  teachers to visit their families in and around Morro for a long time and last weekend we finally managed it. We saw for ourselves  just how complicated it is to travel to and from there.  Most of the  road is asphalted but it has  many holes and the  last 60 km is a dirt road.  We were lucky that it hadn’t rained in the last few days, otherwise it would have been  difficult to pass the numerous puddles.  Only big strong cars  could  get through.

church-blogSome of the students live in a small village called Gameleira about five km from the town of Morro. They showed us some lovely places such as the church built by an Irish priest called Padre Joao. It sits on the top of a hill and has magnificent views of the natural vegetation and  complex rock formations. It has great potential for tourism.

water-tankblogIt was very interesting to see the issues and the problems that the people face.  Gameleria is very  dependent on rainfall.  There isn’t any source of drinking water apart from rainfall.  Each house has a reservoir which collects the water. Fortunately  they have managed to bore wells in some places but the water is salty and unsuitable for drinking.  There aren’t any rivers or streams and the wells aren’t able to irrigate larger areas and of course cattle breeding and the production of milk and  dairy products depends on the quantity of rainfall. The first rain of the season fell only two weeks ago!

Despite the difficulties of daily life in the area, people are enjoying this festive time of year.  Last week they celebrated the feast of St Bras when locals and visitors took part in services, listened to music and visited stalls on the main street.

The agricultural college begins its new academic year at the end of February. I am looking  forward to seeing the students again and introducing them to the micro loan project. In my next post I will tell you more about the communities I visit.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Thankyou so much Martin for your wonderful blogs re the lovely families that you are meeting and your insight into the difficulties they face re water shortages etc. Having visited Cristino I can appreciate the continuing challange. It can be fun just visiting as an experience as we did, like a geep safari negotiating the bumpy dusty roads, though quite another having to do this on a regular basis and yet another in the wet season. I love the way that you love what you are doing and that you have launched yourself into the micro finance projects. Please give my love to Martina, I am delighted she is settling in so well and enjoying the change of diet!!

  2. Martin – great to see that you are getting around to places like the Hill at the head of time – I went there many years ago with a load of rice and we broke down. We were stuck in a hole on the dirt road for 18 days – it was the rainy season. And… Fr John (Sean) Myers is the priest that both Rosalba and I went to work with back in the early 1980’s! He is now in a place called Riosinho.

  3. Thanks Mary, I really love visiting families. It’s interesting to see their real life, joys and problems. I’ll pass your greeting to Martina.
    Joe, I was surprised that Padre Joao worked also in Morro. I’m actually hoping to visit Riosinho at some point but my small Fiat wouldn’t get there. I think I would just take a lift with Padre Joao once he is in Bom Jesus.

  4. I actually ponder the reasons why you called this particular blog, “Morro Cabeca
    no Tempo

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