Our landless hosts

Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (MST) in Portuguese means the landless worker’s movement. It is a social movement in Brazil with more than 1.5 million members in 23 of the 25 states. Armando and Nisse have their own farm out past the northern border of São Paulo.

Before yesterday I had only been out to their MST farm twice, the last being on Christmas day. After dropping stories on free reconstructive surgery, free public burials and families making bricks by hand for a living, I returned to green countryside where the farming couple lives.


Matt has made the trip by metro, train and then bus several times already. Armando and Nisse seem to know him well, wanting only to call him by the more Portuguese version of his name Matteos. I quietly hope they give me a new name as well.

Even through the language barrier I can feel the kindness and warm-hearted intentions behind everything Armando and Nisse say and do. I feel calm and focused without the constant sound of cars and fireworks in São Paulo. (Aside from entering the fowl pen and being chased around by a threatened gaggle of geese and turkeys)

Nisse watches the rain come down on her farm Saturday evening.

Matt and I were busy yesterday gathering footage and images for our cooperative story when we saw the incoming rain from the North. A heavy storm can put a stop to Nisse and Armando’s day. They cooked dinner early, took care a few remaining chores indoors and milled around their home for the duration of the storm.

I woke up this morning around 6 a.m. only to find some sort of avian excrement next to my head. I quietly slipped my mud-caked shoes on and woke Matt up, wandering outside in wait of getting video of Armando opening up the house. He smiled and laughed when he saw that I was already waiting for him with a camera before he had even eaten breakfast.

Matt and I, much to our dismay, followed Nisse out to the area holding the larger birds and got pictures and video of her throwing corn and stale bread. She has told us previously that the large male turkey is a little skittish and feeds him by hand so he doesn’t have to fight for a meal.

Thanks ya’ll,

-Nickolai Hammar

One Response to Our landless hosts

  1. Love the turkey picture! And the first picture. Happy New Year. Be safe, all of you!

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