Fazenda Monte Alegre 1962-1963

Memories of the SIMON family
Alphons Mathieu SIMON (+1991) X Lucie HOEREE (+1999), Peter, Bea, Alexander

Crossing the Atlantic and the equator on the "Louis Lumière".

After arrival on the fazenda and before moving to the sitio we
stayed for a few months in the “Avenue Louise”.

Supply of electricity in these houses was poor and a Coleman
lantern was often needed for reading.

Our sitio was situated near the road to "passo novo" and about 5 km from the sede.
A "driver's view" on the road to passo novo.

The sitio is visible in the back, just behind the gallery forest.

Works on the foundation for the (wooden) house.
On the hills we sometimes spotted emas (click).
The rough grass was also the habitat of partridges (click) and of seriemas (click).

All help was welcome...

The house ... and still a lot of building to be done.
Meanwhile deadly duels were fought on the place ...

Ford 8 BR Diesel tractor (click on the picture).

View from the "driveway".
Freshly ploughed field on the right.
Farther down, the sitio and the house of another Belgian family.

The only picture taken inside the (unfinished) house : a boy's
room with snake skins, a catapult, etc...

A citrus tree nursery was started in order to produce planting
material for an industrial orchard.
This picture was taken at an early stage : the rootstock seeds
have just been sown and are covered with humus.

The 20,000 seedlings were growing well but also did the weeds...

The seedlings were replanted and are almost ready for grafting of the scions (click).
The area towards the gallery forest was swampy and therefore drained by ditches (no pictures).
Part of the work was done by hired local labour.

Banana and papaya trees for domestic use were also growing well.

Water was continuously supplied by an hydraulic ram installed
on a small stream in the gallery forest (click on the picture).

Our horses.
Horses (with or without cart) and tractors were the major means
of private transport. Only a few people at the fazenda owned
a car at that time.

Both horses, especially the brown one, were capable of
a comfortable gait that looked very much like this (click).

Saddles were something for adult people ...
On the background the far view we had on "retiro velho".

For those who liked horses it was a great time ! However, galloping in the fields
was risky because of the presence of holes made by tatus (click).

Pulling a kart, how humiliating ...

The town of Botucatu.
The bus between Botucatu and the fazenda on the square in front of the Paratodos.
The memory of the smell of oil, petrol and rubber in the heat of the sun is still vivid !

Shopping day in Botucatu.

During the 15 months stay in Brazil some time was spent going to school.
(the local school at the fazenda, Santa Marcelina for girls and the school of the "Irmãos das Escolas Cristãs" for boys).

"Pedro" because "Peter" was considered to be unpronounceable :-)
November 1962

Some more pictures

The huge skull of an ox.
Unfortunately one of the outer horns was stolen.
Still with both horns here (click).

Bad mooded horse starting to buck.

The waterfalls at "retiro novo".

Under Dona Angelina's wings at the Banco Commercial do Estado de São Paulo.

The former bank at the corner of the rua Amando de Barros and the rua Monsenhor Ferrari.


Links to other (sometimes nostalgic) memories

Capim gordura, (click) soft and sticky grass much appreciated by the horses.

Chupims (click) were often present at the feeding place of the horses.

Urubus (click) cleaned up any dead body and were also present in town.

Capivaras (click) living in the forest gallery.

Tuims, (click) charming parrotlets sometimes seen flying around in flocks.

Coleirinhas, (click) often spotted feeding on tall grass.

Canários (click) also living in the wild on the fazenda.

[ Local people showed us how to make traps or to prepare natural glue to catch some of these birds.
Such instructions can now be found on the internet (click). ]


Mid 1963 we left Monte Alegre and returned to Belgium for various reasons which are not discussed on this site.

An actual satelite view of the sitio on Monte Alegre shows that most of the gallery forest is still present.
The original buildings (within the red circle) have disappeared. The others buildings were not there in 1963.
In 1963 there were no citrus trees on the fazenda but nowadays one can see many orchards !...

An easy way to obtain a satelite view of Monte Alegre with "Google maps" or "Google Earth" :
search for "Pratânia - São Paulo" and follow the road southwards for about 6,5 km to reach the old sede
at 22°52'11.0"S 48°39'09.5"W.

The location of the houses of the "Avenue Louise", of our house on the sitio and
of the waterfalls on a nowadays satelite view of Monte Alegre.
Only the waterfalls are still there.


Public internet links to Fazenda (now Bairro) Monte Alegre :

http://belgianclub.com.br/nl/de-immigratie-van-belgen-botucatu-sp (click).

An exhibition on the arrival of the Belgians in Botucatu 50 years ago (click).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/centroculturalbotucatu/sets/72157628607570323/ (click).

http://blogdodelmanto.blogspot.be/search?q=monte+alegre (click).

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/22243334 (click).

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/70796174 (click).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbyNni6Aec4 (click). Monte Alegre from 07.17 to 08.15 !

Names... (provided by Tristan Dierckx +27/01/2013)

Anthoine - Bastin - Bergoens - Bienfait - Brassine - Brun - Calicis - Canivet - Champion -
Charlier - Claes - Coenegrachts - Collard - Compère - Courtois - Crahay - Crul - Damen -
Dammans - de Schoutheete de Tervarent - De Wandeleer - De Zutter - Debaty - Declercq -
De Kock - Degay - Dehon - Dekeijser - Delforge - Delpierre - Demulder - Deprez - Desant -
Dhondt - D'Hoope - Didier - Dierckx - Dotrimont - Doumen - Driessen - Droeven - Dubois -
Dubuquois - Duquesnoy - Errens - Fiévet - Fostier - Funck - Gillet - Glennisson - Goffeau -
Guilmot - Hanses - Hartman - Hasevoets - Hendericks - Hendrix - Henry - Himschoot -
Hoppenbrouwers - Huysmans - Keppene - Krahay - Lagae - Lalière - Lambotte - Lovérius -
Maes - Magné - Magotiaux - Mahieu - Marchal - Maréchal - Martin - Massart - Masson -
Matthys - Meeus - Meulemans - Meulen - Michel - Michiels - Michiels - Nyssen - Oger -
Onkelinx - Orban - Peters - Peters - Piérard - Pirnay - Poppe - Poswick - Prail - Quintin -
Renard - René - Rodrigues - Rongvaux - Roulez - Rutten - Schuerewegen - Servais - Simon -
Smets - Spietaels - Stieltjes - Theunissen - Vaes - Vaes - Van Bel - Van Bo - Van Gasse -
Van Langenhoven - Van Mierlo - Van Hunsel - Vandamme - Vanhoute - Van Autrève -
Verhaert - Verlaet - Vermeulen - Vits - Wielemans - Zimmer - Zinnen