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Saturday, March 3, 2007

Agriculture, Fishing and Farming - Azores - Açores

Azoreans live on more than agriculture. Their fishing industry is strong, and so is their dairy farming. Scenes of cows peacefully grazing on verdant hills, or stopping traffic as they are herded along highways are typical sights you can't miss out in the country.

The memories I took home with me after the symposium, from our visits to Pico and Faial, were so varied it was difficult to put them all together. Two events, though, kept coming back to me. The first event took place one day, in Pico, when we stopped to look at a small lake in a caldera (a cauldron-shaped crater of a volcano). There were a lot of ducks close to the water. When the bus approached the lake, all the ducks raced towards the vehicle. I don't know what the other people thought, but I assumed the ducks were hoping for a little snack from us. Such was not the case! All of them assembled right in front of the bus with their heads held low and their necks stretched tight. We couldn't figure out why they were doing this until we stepped out of the bus. A really powerful and cold wind was blasting out there and the ducks had apparently learned that cars, and especially buses, make wonderful wind breakers... and they had learned exactly which position to take to avoid being blown away!

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