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posted May 31, 2011, 7:50 PM by Julie Bateman   [ updated May 31, 2011, 8:26 PM ]

The water systems team's departure is rapidly approaching, and we had the good luck to experience to a churrascaria at the Jaguar Ecological Reserve (JER) today! It was quite the event. 

We woke up to Fião, who owns a fazenda nearby and is Eduardo's (the owner of JER) uncle, herding the cattle to the cow pen next the house we sleep in, at about 5 AM, and wandered outside to find the cow already on the ground and Fião standing nearby with a machete. I'll spare the rest of the details.

Eduardo, Fião, the cooks Suene and Tica, and the rest of the family members spent the remainder of the day butchering and preparing the meat from the cattle - some of it was roasted over an open fire immediately and the rest was salted and dried. The remaining parts of the cattle  - the liver, stomach, skin, etc - were also extracted. The skin was stretched out with saplings and then left to the sun and the vultures. Of particular interest is the intense operations and intense smell for preparing the stomach - the remainder of the cow's last meal needs to be cleaned out, and boiled, and then scraped vigorously, and then perhaps boiled again - we're told that there are saving some for us to try when we return to the Pantanal, which brings us to next news.

We were invited to visit a fazenda in Nobres by a Brazilian family that visited JER a week or two ago, and tonight we will be on our way - it's about a six hour trip and we are going to be kind to our Kombi and do it in two legs with a pit-stop in Poconé.