The Chicken Lady

Over these last few years of coming here to the Quinta we’ve developed a lovely familiarity with not only the village of Estoi but additionally, many of the locals.  Most will wave to us and call out, some will stop us and attempt a conversation, and some we simply know from a distance.  It’s a rarity that while sitting in the square and having lunch we don’t get a hug or kiss from one or two of the elderly women we’ve come to see daily.

One of the people we’ve noticed regularly, an old woman who lives nearby, has been affectionally dubbed The Chicken Lady….simply because she keeps a large flock of chicken right at the foot of our staircase from the property to a main road AND she collects the wild sorrel that grows in profusion near our parking as feed for the chickens.   Whenever we have seen each other over the past four years there is always a smile, a wave, and quite often, a few unrecognizable words.   Her name is Amália.  She is 84 years old!!!

I have been a bit curious about Amália and one day (a couple of years ago) I discovered that she lived on a road not far from here.  I had occasion to see inside her home a couple of times and was a bit shocked to see that it was literally a dirt floor, one large room and quite dark.  That said, she is always meticulous.  She does laundry almost daily as is evidenced by the tiny clothesline near her front door that always holds one or two items.  Beneath it a tiny flowerbed of carnations, usually one or two blooming.  Her apron, which is part of her uniform is always clean.  She also sports (always)  a toque!!

About two years ago the property next door that sort of wraps itself around part of our property was sold and purchased by a couple from Luxembourg.  In the beginning, they didn’t seem very friendly to us but over time we more or less changed our minds about them and realized they weren’t as cold as they appeared.  It was more cultural.

Sometime after their purchase that we realized the tiny abode of  Amália is actually part of their property and purchase and given we knew they were planning a complete renovation we wondered how this would impact her.  Much renovation was underway before we left here last May.

When we returned this year we discovered that Amália is now our neighbour here at the Quinta!!!! She literally lives six steps from our front door and we see her all the time.  It turns out that (according to what we have been told) she was living in that tiny home for many many years (more than 20) and that the couple who are renovating are completely renovating the space for her…..new floor, roof, walls, absolutely everything.   In the meantime, they contacted Konrad to see if they could rent one of his spaces specifically for her for a few months till the renovation was finished at which time she will move back into this house and live her life out there. A space was available and she has been there now for a couple of months and will move back into her newly renovated home in the next couple of weeks.

Marc was telling our neighbour, Vey, that we would like a photo of Amália and Vey helped orchestrate that.  Her they are……..and by the way……the man in the background is Amália’s “boyfriend”!!!

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What a wonderful story and now, of course, we have another perspective on these two men from Luxembourg.  A reminder to never judge a book by it’s cover.     

31 thoughts on “The Chicken Lady

  1. David Prendergast November 22, 2019 — 11:17 am

    How wonderful. Wish we could live in such a great community

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    1. Yes, agreed. It truly warmed my heart when I heard it.

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  2. Lovely story. Humanity…we need more of this in our World.

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  3. A lovely story! Thank you for sharing 💞

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      1. It reminded me of last year when we met “Dona Maria,” the elderly keeper of a small neighbourhood church in the historic district of Tavira – it too was a soulful occasion 💞

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  4. A lovely story 🌺

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  5. This is a lovely story! Now did the chickens make the temporary move with her? And are there any photos of the chickens? How about eggs?

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    1. She brings a couple of eggs each day to the neighbours and the chickens are about two minutes away!

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  6. Simply lovely!

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    1. 💛💜🤎🤍💙🧡❤️💚🖤

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  7. What a great story and what wonderful neighbours you have 💕

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    1. I can tell you, it certainly revived my faith in people when I heard this story.

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  8. What a heart warming story!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it somehow exudes a sense of hope!

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  9. What an absolutely wonderful story and I love the happy ending.

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    1. A wonderful story isn’t it! I’ve been saving it for a rainy day, which is more or less what we have today……and need as it’s so dry here.

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  10. I’ve got tears in my eyes. Beautiful!

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    1. You old softie you! It is (I think) a wonderful story. I’ve been waiting to tell it but didn’t have the opportunity to write it up till this morning.

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  11. We need to all share more of the good news stories, and give them more weight than we do all of the bad that we are constantly bombarded with! Thank you so much for sharing. The chicken lady is inspiring, I can only hope that when I am her age that I am living independently and have a “boyfriend” lurking in the background! 😉
    I am enjoying all of your photos and updates. Hugs to you both.

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    1. Thanks Eileen…..so happy to know you are following along. I too agree with the perspective of sharing goodnews stories. Keep well.

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  12. Thanks for sharing! I remember the Chicken Lady’s meagre dwelling and am happy her life is improving at her ripe old age. Leave it to you to observe and capture the warmth, goodwill and hope for this sweet little lady and her circumstances. ❤️
    On another note, does her ‘boyfriend’ have a brother? I can make a pretty mean omelette with the chickens’ eggs!!! LOL!

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    1. LOL. I don’t think he’s with her for her omelettes. You might want to rethink your marketing!

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  13. What a wonderful heartwarming story! Glad to hear you are getting some rain as it sounds like you could use it. Always nice to have a quiet day.

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    1. We’ve had some rain on and off but certainly not enough. The sun has just set and the distant sky is pink. Red skies at night…sailors delight!

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  14. What a story! It near broke my heart when I read that this woman you knew lived in such conditions!!!! Ack, the dirt floor, I was so sad for her.
    Then when I read that people had bought the property that her tiny, one room home was on, I was immediately concerned for her and what would happen to her!!!!

    Then came the most heartwarming finish…… the new owners have very kind hearts. To hear that they are going to completely renovate her little home for her…. wow, how wonderful is that. I would love to hear how it turns out. I would actually love to see it!!!!!!!!!!!! So if you cannot sneak a couple of pictures, please take in all the details so you can let us know how lovely her little home is once done.

    Bless their hearts for doing such a beautiful and kind thing.

    Thanks for the story. 🙂

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    1. Yes, a lovely little story it is for sure. Right now the house is blocked by a solid fence until the renovation is done. Konrad told us last night that it is supposed to be completed by the end of this month but, he thinks it might be a week or so longer. Once she is in, I will most certainly try to get a look inside.

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  15. a totally wonderful story

    On Fri, 22 Nov 2019 at 07:40, Marc and Randys Travel Adventures wrote:

    > canadianboystravel posted: “Over these last few years of coming here to > the Quinta we’ve developed a lovely familiarity with not only the village > of Estoi but additionally, many of the locals. Most will wave to us and > call out, some will stop us and attempt a conversation, and some” >

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    1. Yes, it warms the heart to know that people still care and can be so generous.

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