I have made it a recent habit to spend my birthdays somewhere outside of NYC, ideally traveling to a far away destination. Luckily, my day is at the end of May, generally a great time of the year to visit many places.
On this particular celebratory day, I found myself on a farm in the tiny village of San Antonio do Leite, a stones throw away from Ouro Preto, in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil.
My hosts were a Portuguese-only speaking couple who loved to laugh and entertain. And laugh I did as we tried to communicate over a home-cooked dinner and drinks - they in their thick accented tongue, me in my broken Spanish.
But somehow we did manage to have a conversation and somehow I did manage to get roped into the next mornings cow milking routine.
So there I was, 4am in the morning, relieving a few lovely ladies of their swollen udders. In a sleep-deprived fog I tugged and tugged for the better part of an hour, finally amassing just one single pailful of milk.