the food question
It's always in the forefront when you've got a bunch of kids to feed. Especially when you're blessed/cursed with children who eat as much as mine do.
The little house where we are staying has a "kitchen" of sorts: a small stove, an outdoor sink that doubles for washing dishes and clothes. This would be fine, I suppose, for a single person or a couple of young backpackers.
But we quickly realized that if we were to cook three, or even two meals a day here, that would consume most of the day: shopping, cooking, cleaning...then they're hungry again two hours later.
So instead we found a little hole in the wall up the hill from where we're staying, and arranged with the owners, Reginaldo and Shirley, to eat lunch and dinner there every day (unless we're out on the trail at lunchtime). It's not cheap--it comes out to about $25 a meal for the whole family--but less than half what it would be otherwise. Plus no cooking, cleaning, or shopping. Except breakfast, which is fruit, rice, eggs, and farinha (manioc flour).
And that's basically just a snack.
I told you these kids can eat.
Luckily, they love Brazilian food. Every meal at the restaurant is pretty much the same: plain spaghetti, rice, beans, some kind of meat or chicken, boiled vegetables, and farinha sprinkled over the whole thing.
And as soon as mealtime rolls around, like clockwork, they can't wait to go eat. I will here, with R.'s permission, quote from his diary: "The new restaurant is my favorite one. It is dairy free. I think next time I will get soup."