Creación de un estilo de vida sostenible en Patagonia パタゴニアでサステイナブルな暮らし作り
Immediately after the earthquake in Japan we called our friend Koichi Nakatani who lives with his family on the northern island of Hokkaido from our cabin in La Junta, deep in Patagonian Chile. Hokkaido and Koichi were not hit by the quake or tsunami. While we spoke, the La Junta village siren, located less than 100 meters away in the volunteer fire station, went off - and continued going for the next five minutes. This is extremely unusual and the only time we've heard it has been at midnight to announce the New Year. Then we heard announcements from loud speaker as a truck drove round the village. Almost twenty four hours after the Tsunami hit Japan, it was thought that it might now ravish the Chilean coast. The call was for the villages to rescue the inhabitants of Raul Marin Balmaceda, a tiny community of 200 located 75 km directly east of us at the mouth of the Rio Palena, the river that provides us with such a beautiful view.
The response was heartwarming, with more than enough vehicles to rescue everyone. They slept in La Junta that night and presumably went home the next day - with no reports of the feared tsunami actually appearing. Thankfully. Chile had its own tsunami and earthquake last year and the people and government were more than a little nervous.
On our regular two km walk from the village to our land, we noticed an increase in the dog population (dogs wander the streets freely, many are owner less, but nevertheless are cared for by the community) – and put this down to the fact that Chileans love their dogs and many of these new arrivals would most likely have come with their human friends from Raul Marin. Arriving at our still being built house, we were met by Alice and Arthur, two young people from France who have volunteered during their South America trip to help us for awhile. “We have a surprise” they said, and led us into the house, where we found a tiny kitten. “When we came back last night we saw here by the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere and knew that you wanted a cat in case any rats decide to move in, so we brought her home.”
Wow that was perfect. We've given her a very Japanese name 'Hello Kitty'. On the way back that same day a very well bred Labrador Retriever came up to me and for the rest of the journey followed me, one pace behind, till we reached home. Then he camped on our porch, all night, not a whimper or a bark. He was very friendly, but we really did not a want a dog. In the morning he was still there, and by 11a.m I realised that he was made recently homeless. He was too well cared for, too expensive looking to be just another homeless member of the dogie population. I said to Konomi “OK. We'll give him a bite to eat and see what happens. I can't see him go hungry and if he's not used to be homeless, then he may have difficulty surviving. So we fed him and he followed us to the land and back and that's when we realised we had a dog too. We like him, he's been well trained, but ultimately dumped I think. He listens, well, loves the cat, although the cat is only just deciding that she likes him too, walks at heel, and doesn't chase the local live stock, which is very important as horses, goats, sheep, cows and even a Llama wander around the village.
We suspect that both the dog and the cat may have come to town with the rescue of the citizens of Raul Marin. Interesting how events that occur on the other side of the planet can have an impact on lives many thousands of kilometers away.
At this time our thoughts and feelings going our family the people of Japan
Photo: Alice & Arthur sealing the roof.