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  • Burrico d'Orada

ME, MYSELF AND I AND A NEW ADVENTURE IN ALENTEJO


Starting from scratch is never easy, specially when trying to reformulate an existent project and rediscovering new possibilities of continuing an Adventure, that started back in 2017.

The last 2 years and half have been difficult and looking for clients in such a highly demanding and competitive economy and world we are living in, is a daily process, exhausting and very, very time consuming. But to add some value and more difficulty, we are now on the process of building up a new family lodging in the country and working almost non-stop to bring this to life this coming Spring.

But who said this would be easy?! Reconstructing and building from the ground is a never ending process…Hours of labor, hands in the dirt, re-shaping the land, squeezing the budget and trying to look for answers and solutions of endless bills and budgets…Yes, this is my life now, wondering how have I reached to a point of feeling tired physically and emotionally, legs and heart aching for a new page, as the last ones have been written with blood, sweat and tears, lots of them, literally…

29 years ago, when I made a promise to my late Grand-Father António Burrico, that the humble house and land where he lived with my Grand-Mother Maria, would one day be honored and cherished for a greater purpose, of receiving the ones looking for some quietness, peace and authenticity of our Alentejo – perpetuating their memories and my own childhood summer memories for life. So it is, after almost 5 years of bureaucracy, research and construction, we are now on the verge of keeping this promise.

Many times I ask myself why have I chosen this path – having to move soon from Sintra to Baixo-Alentejo, re-shaping our business, looking for new solutions and Partnerships, sacrificing my own marriage life, leaving behind old rhythms and perspectives, prioritizing and changing my own way of life and the way I see the world, taking my cats and selling ,most of my things – closing doors to open new windows is happening, now.

Having been raised within frugality principles by my parents and never fond of over-spending, credit-cards, shopping-centers or the latest fashion, thought this would be easier. But having to put all your life in card-boxes to be stored at your parents garage and trying to fit 3 cats, an office and your clothing & books in 1 and ½ room is highly demanding and makes you re-think about your own priorities, necessities and the value of life.

Time is counting and after 3 months of renovating most of your furniture and old things stored at your own garage and mom´s, I almost think that instead of opening and humble country-lodging, I should instead start a new carpentry workshop business, why not?! At least I would earn some money instead of keeping spending thousands of Euros on a construction adventure that never ends on demanding this and that…!!! I even re-restarted betting on the Euro million game (once a week), to see if we could find some more easy way out for so many bills – at least to pay for some Landscape Architect Business to give us a hand with the land…Who am I kidding...!!!.Have learned more about Olive and Figue-Trees this last year, that I have about myself, but 3 people are not enough to put things pretty, at least as I would love to see it…Have even drawn a project with a water tank, a few gravel paths crossing the plot, some herbs and flowers here and there…But this things cost money, I keep saying, so we´ll keep going as we have always done. Step by step, day by day – cleaning the old trees, planting more Orange trees, Lemon Trees, Plum Trees, Almond & Walnut Trees and Strawberry Trees, look for some Aromatic Herbs and wild-flowers shrubs to scatter and plant around the houses and near the fence. Pushing away the weeds, asking for help to friends who have their own Tractors and Back Hoe Loaders, trying somehow to put things more beautiful and tidy…Nature surrounding the houses is perfect as it is, but do not want to give a pair of wellies and a hoe to our future clients when checking-in!!!...

And the clock is ticking and so much to do, still…Trying to find some more old furniture and couches to recover and reconvert, adapt old fabrics for the curtains, order the lacking small household appliances, start with the Solar Panels and the Air-Conditioning preparation, yes do not want our guest to feel over-heated during the Alentejo summers….That would be terrible! OK, no swimming-pool for now, but water is too precious to be wasted in this region, so we`ll find out other and appealing solutions for the ones staying with us, that is a promise 😉.

During the last 2 months have not used Facebook, Instagram, You Tube or Linked in, and it seems this was already longtime due, at least keep Friends, a few Followers and Family posted on the Adventure we have boarded not so long ago.

Yes, pockets are empty, no money to buy a single peace pf clothing or pair of shoes in the last 2 years, no vacations either and many times I do think about giving up, when even my husband has decided not sell his own house anymore, making me having to move by myself and leaving this 12 years relationship hanging on the shelf and re-inventing my own life and family-project. Yes, my friends, life is really like a box of chocolates, we never know what we are getting, until we open it.

Cried a lot already, for the sacrifice, myself and my parents`, who, besides the Alentejo 2020 EU Funds have been helping me a great deal. Without them, God and my husband (must give him credit for the great help on renovating), this crazy adventure would not be possible, nope. Having reached this stage, what can we do more, than continuing, hoping, striving, fighting, dreaming and also laughing about myself. If I made it here, I will make it anywhere...

Spring is coming, trees are blooming and birds comfort my worries when waking up at my Grandparents ground – things take time, good things take too much of yourself, of your heart. But life is this continuing railroad, never stopping. Learning how to continue is always what makes you going and leaving behind the past, old routines and ways is vital for you to continue growing, discovering new skills, new faces, realizing that a new Adventure is the beginning of a new page, a new life, a new you - Myself, in Alentejo.


Yours with Love,

Rita


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