After Curitiba it was time to hit the road again, further South, to a small country town called São Martinho.
We went there for a very important event and the main reason why I went to Brazil: to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday!
São Martinho was chosen because that is where he was born and it was closer for most of the relatives that were attending the party.
We arrived 3 days before the party for the final arrangements but had some spare time for fun!
One thing kids love to do when we go there is to feed the carps. This is at a touristic location, famous for the beautifully decorated cookies. Around the shop they built these pools and along you can buy food to throw to them. They are so domesticated that once you get close to the edge they start coming for food.
We had lunch at the party venue restaurant so we could discuss some things with the owner. It's a beautiful place by the local river with a small waterfall.
We went to the cake lady's home to discuss the cake, she wasn't home but the place was also beautiful!
Then we went to my cousin's home for a visit and my daughter when straight to the hen house.
That didn't last too long, soon after we crossed the street and went to the neighbor's hen house, where my daughter and her cousin started feeding the chickens.
She didn't leave with her pockets empty! She grabbed some eggs that she tried to hatch for a few days :-)
But then they found a cattle shed with twin calves
Next to them, sheep with baby sheep so young that they still had their umbilical cords.
This is the closest my son gets to farm animals
Next day the girls wanted to see the baby sheep again, they were uphill at the pasture, where they spend most of the day.
Kids being kids playing with some palm tree parts, I don't know how they are called but they have a canoe shape.
The view from up there is breathtaking!
We also found some trees with pink fungi
Pole lines with lots of birds. Some of them are called João de Barro (John Clay in a rough translation). They are native to Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. Their unique nests are built with clay and look like an igloo.
Sakura at my cousin's property, it was planted years ago and this is the first year it blossoms!
Well, about the party: have no words to describe it, more than 200 relatives attended! My dad come from a big family, 10 brothers and sisters. I have 63 first degree cousins (I am the youngest, #65). Some of these relatives I see every time I go to Brazil. Some I haven't seen in years. Some I saw for the first time at this party. It was a happy and emotional event, I felt really touched to see how special my dad is to everyone, most of them traveled from far places to be there for him and I know that many more wanted to go but for different reasons couldn't. At the end we all left with the promise to make more family reunions like this.
Me, my dad and my brother surrounded by relatives while they sing a traditional song. Photo courtesy by my talented cousin Kleber Steinbach.
Happy birthday dad! May we have many more celebrations like this! ♥
Photo courtesy by my talented cousin Ricardo Müller
Selfies and things
So this is a wrap for our 2016 Brazilian tour, 6 weeks and 4 different places.
I confess that before going I was a bit worried because of the actual economic situation, pre Olympic games, zika virus, violence but after all we had a really great time and like one says: time flies when you are having fun!
This blog post is part of the 10 on 10 circle of women photographers. Please follow along each one starting with with Bonnie Martin and her traditional family vacation.