Blue Earth, Minnesota
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We didn't get a lot of sleep last night (do we ever?).

The Mosquitoes have really got a taste for Diane's blood and I think it was her restlessness that kept us awake. I'm surprised she's not anemic due to the amount of bites she has sustained. She moved around so much I eventually got up at 4am. Cycling to the office this morning was a little cooler and there was fog in the lower places along our route. I am really enjoying the freedom of bicycle riding to and from the farm. We can cycle on the paths or either side of the road here. As it is so quiet, I don't think anybody minds.

Riding through the streets on a morning you can take in the smells and sights of the densely tree lined streets and regularly catch sight of the rabbits and squirrels skipping across the open lawned gardens. I always have my camera on me but it's a little tricky taking photos when you are supposed to looking ahead at what is in front of you.

Today Diane, Ngoc and me are working at the back of the office while the rest of the team are out in the fields.  I have been asked to do something that I haven't done in years and missed greatly. Jason asked me to use the loading shovel to level out 30 tons of stone in the compound to extend the Harvester parking areas. He has several Harvesters parked in the yard and has told me that not all of them work.
"When a harvester comes up for sale you buy it, if the price is right" Jason explained that its cheaper to buy a whole machine than it is to buy parts and when there is only a shell left, you sell it to the scrap man. Makes sense...
I was quite excited about driving a machine again, I love playing with grown up Tonkas!
It took me about 1 1/2 hours to grade out the stone and completed the finishing touches of with a shovel.
When I'd finished I joined Diane and Ngoc for break then we headed out to the fields to work with the others
. The field we were in was alive with frogs and what could have been lizards scurrying away in front as you stepped through the thick undergrowth. The humidity was at full force once again!

We finished at dinner time today. Jason gave us an early shift so we could catch up on emails and to see if the house had sold back in the UK. When we got to the library every computer was taken up by kids playing on-line games so I ended up looking at some of the local history books while we waited.

Blue Earth
people are proud of their history. It was originally colonised by Germans, Scottish, Welsh and Norwegians. The Dakota Indians lost the land around 1853. This is really where the selective minded historians recount historical facts about the town. There are several churches in and around the town and Sunday church service is the norm for the majority of citizens.
The heat from the sun was intense yet again when we stepped out into the street. It's beautiful!
We wandered around town for a bit and called into the Cooperative shop
 
. This shop sells locally grown and not so locally grown produce. Its workers are local volunteers and it operates on a not for profit basis. While we were in, a woman from one of the local churches brought in bags of food to be sold. There should be more of this community spirit put into practice in England.

Due to the heat we just had to call into the local shop and buy ice ream sandwiches- SUGAR FREE- FAT FREE!!!!! You wont get anything with both in the UK. There's so much choice here.

Walking quickly back to the house ( so our Ice cream doesn't melt) we noticed that every vehicle approaching a crossroads will stop, regardless of signs, lights or road markings. It takes some getting used to be we think that the pedestrian always has the right of way. We will practice this rule and find out soon enough!

Everyone takes time out to say hello to you here. At first, I found it quite disturbing, coming from an English town where everyone keeps to themselves, but I have become quite accustomed to this very open display of affection here.

After ice cream we went outside to paint some of the wooden windows and shutters on our little house but we soon found the sun too strong and retreated to the shade and air conditioning of the house for the rest of the night.

 

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