A Dream Worth Fighting For - Pousada Serra Verde, Brazil
Plotting a path through 2020 and 2021 has been more than a little challenging for most involved in the travel sector. As per my previous post, in 2020 we saw a six month total lockdown, a 90 year drought, a cyclone and open warfare between the state governors and the president on how to navigate the storm. The political wrangling has continued in 2021 and though the vaccination program has picked up pace it remains way behind where it should be. The lockdown poilcy in 2021 has largely been driven by how full the hospitals are; each time the hospitals are full a lockdown is enforced with little or no warning until beds become available once more. This makes planning and running a Pousada a tad difficult! Locally numerous business' have closed and in a town where around 40% of the population rely on tourism the effects have been felt across the board. The government aid to the worst affected is a far cry from the 80% furlough payments many in Europe recieve - less than 6oU$D a month, for those that qualify and have bank accounts to recieve the money.
However there are some signs that normality is returning, the tourist train from Curitiba is running a near normal service and the state schools have started a slow return this month, after almost two years of closure.
The Covid protocols we have in place have reduced our occupancy by two thirds and we operate under the constant shadow of another enforced lockdown. Small business' like ours have had to adapt or close in this new uncertain world. We have had to diversify; I now teach online in China, my wife proofreads novels for English authors and we've opened an online University. This was most definitely not in our plans when we started our new lives here in 2017, but as the Duke of Wellington said, '..my plans are made of string, when they break I tie a knot and carry on!'
Despite these challenges we live in a beautiful place, surrounded by rainforest, rivers and mountains - definitely a dream worth fighting for,