In the US Account name: Cynthia Bampton Account number: 951 579 0276 routing number - wire transfer 260 099 53 routing number 011 000 138 SWIFT Code BOFAUS3N for US Dollars and BOFAUS6S for foreign currency Bank: Bank of America
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Meet Ashram animals
Our animal friends are an important part of our lives and the work we are doing. Meet them below:
Sammy was the King of the Quinta. He arrived in August of 2008 as a small Serra de Estrella puppy that Pete and Cynthia found on their way back from the Boom Festival. He was adorable beyond belief and grew into a handsome, strong and independent being. The best words to describe Sam is Noble, Love and Rebellion. He always did things on his own terms at his own speed with dignity and a smile on his face. He grew up with Nina the dog, Kuma, Lucky,Tux, Lola the cats. He became the elder to Missy, Balu, Chai, Mel, Bruno, Filou, and Lena. He leaves behind a legacy of humility, joy, strength, nobility and the biggest heart imaginable!
Lola the cat arrived at Quinta da MIzarela in April 2010. A handful of people from the Quinta went to the local market to buy some chickens and we came back with a couple of chickens AND the most adorable kitten that we named Lola. From the first moment it was clear that she was independent and operated on her own terms. She was tiny and puffed herself up in front of King Sam to show her courage, Sam didn't quite know how to respond. For years most of us were afraid of her as she would bite the second that she had too much physical contact. As she has grown older, she has softened, purrs and cuddles much more, bites much less and snores regularly. She remains a skillful hunter even now into her 12th year. She has ageless beauty, energy and sweetness and her independence is inspiring!
Cosmos the cat is the quiet presence at the Quinta. He arrived later around 2013. He lived down the valley from the Quinta but didn't really like it there so he moved in with us. He quietly asserted his presence until everyone surrendered and fell in love with him, and he officially became a member of the ALP family. He is black, his body was that of a leopard, he was sleek, muscular and weighed much more then he looked. He still weighs a lot, is not quite so sleek but maintains his quiet presence, beautiful coat and amazing green eyes. He seems to be intimidated by Lola but in reality, he also will dominate her sometimes. They have an interesting relationship. Cosmos was a powerful presence as Sam went through his dying process. They both are quiet creatures and it was beautiful to see Cosmos's loyalty to Sam and vice versa. We all love Cosmos, he still asserts his presence and is infinitely patient in waiting for food or having the door opened for him.
Bruno, Filou & Lena
left to right
Bruno, Filou & Lena have been part of the Quinta team since spring 2019. The trio is often seen together but each of them has their individual character.
Lena is the eldest and Mother of Bruno. She used to be a stray and very afraid of people and things. Through lots of love and care from different people she started to let go of her fear and became obsessed with cuddles. She has a sensitive and quiet nature with lightness of being while at the same time being a ferocious warrior. She used to be a formidable hunter enjoying the thrill and ecstasy of going after rabbits. Nowadays Lena is more quiet due to a severe heart disease caused by heartworms. Even though she often struggles physically she is an inspiration to be around. Full of life and joy, she loves to go for walks and to be carried in her favourite backpack. She never seems to be upset by her condition and keeps going and enjoying the simple pleasures of life. She and Bruno have a special bond and she often grooms him - sometimes she does that with Filou too but it is more rare.
Bruno was born in may 2013. He is a mixture of boundless joy and energy while at the same time being very relaxed. His eyes that look almost human can look deep into one's being and have already melted several hearts. He is small and sometimes gets offended by bigger dogs but he has no problem standing up for himself or for Lena and Filou. He is definitely the pack leader of the three of them. He loves action and adventures no matter how small, as long as he is part of them. Being very sensitive in nature, like his mother Lena, he doesn't like if there is tension or stress around him. If he is not going for walks or exploring things his favourite thing to do is to lie down in the sun in simple, quiet contemplation. When Filou arrived he was not that happy at first but in the end grew quite fond of her even though it doesn't always look like it. They are often seen exploring the surroundings together and he always makes sure he knows what she has been up to.
Filou arrived skin and bones only, in november 2017. She quickly decided to move in with Bruno and Lena. She was very afraid at the beginning and was looking for Bruno's guidance in many ways. He helped her understand many things about life in general and life with humans. Especially human - dog communication was greatly supported by Brunos presence and example. Filou is the quirkiest of the 3 who loves to play hide and seek with her human friends and is demanding more and more cuddles. She is absolutely loyal to whom she trusts and loves but rather careful and suspicious to whom she doesn't. Overall she is very independent and likes to make her own judgement over situations. With every year she is letting go more of her mistrust and opening her heart, joy and play to more and more people. She is a lot of fun to be around and that kind of dog that will walk with you to the end of the world.
Although he is named after Indian tea, he is originally from the Serra da Estrela.
In the 2019 Women's Retreat, the women went to the mountains to camp and be in nature. While meditating by a crystalline lake they heard an incredible cloud of sound slowly getting louder and louder. When they opened their eyes a huge herd of goats and sheep were coming toward them followed by a group of shepherds and a pack of dogs. One of the dogs was skinny, lethargic and struggling in the heat. He pulled on every heart string present. So they asked to take him home to the quinta and the shepherds agreed saying: "He is useless...he is weak and has no use for us".
Marco and Lucia slowly fell in love with his sweet nature and decided to adopt him. With tender love and care, his fear of mistreatment disappeared and he has flowered into a majestic dog.
Chai loves going for walks. As soon as he sees somebody from the community going for a walk he follows them. He also follows Marco running but rather reluctantly and needs a long rest afterwards.
He likes hugs and kisses but soon wants his own space. However he is completely in love with food. Any kind of food. Anything edible is ok. If he doesn't find anything better, even a banana peel will do. He loves scouting for bones around the mountain and chewing them for hours.
More than almost anything, he loves doing nothing: you will often see him just lying in the dirt and sleeping.
When he sees tourists walking along the path in front of the quinta he barks at them but soon stops when he meets them and senses the potential for food. He also loves playing with his new brother Mel who is a powerhouse of energy.
He was born in 2019 and is stepping more and more into his own power. He is a strong but soft dog. Since the death of Sam he is the new King of the Valley.
Mel became part of the Quinta at the beginning of 2022 shortly after his second birthday. Before that, Mel was living on a friend's farm who then moved to a house close to the Quinta. Very soon after, he realized that Mel needed more space, so we happily adopted him. Mel is a very active dog with endless energy. After getting used to the people and surroundings here, he nowadays loves to go for runs with everyone! Even several times a day. He is a very soft, sweet and sensitive dog. He never seems to get enough cuddles, and when he is lifting his front paw, you shouldn't dare to stop! An obsession that Mel has is carrying sticks and gathering them all in a corner by the track. He loves playing with Chai, biting his legs and neck, trying to motivate him to play with him. Mel and Chai counterpart each other very well: They're a perfect match of alertness, playfulness and relaxation.
Missy is a beautiful mixed breed and was born in 2013. Her guardian, Laura, found her malnourished in a large cage when she was out driving one day and immediately organised to take her home. She originally wanted to find Missy a forever home but they fell madly in love with each other and Missy stayed. She loves people, endless cuddles, sleeping in your bed if you let her, adventure walks, playing with her brother Balu, barking at strangers and stealing cat food when Laura is not looking. She is energetic, very loving, obedient, a little needy and very sweet-natured.
Balu was named after a famous bear and looks a bit like one but he is not wild at all. He is a big teddy bear: incredibly gentle, very loving, and calm. He was born in 2013 and his owner, Laura brought him home as a puppy. When he was small, he would often steal peoples shoes when they meditated. Now he is fully grown and has matured into a very responsible and protective dog. He mainly stays at Upper Quinta to protect his land and pack. He loves playing with his brothers Chai and Mel, playing with his sister Missy, eating lots of food, napping in the sun/shade, giving and receiving cuddles.
Jasper is the wise cat from Upper Quinta. He is a perfect mixture between the wild mountain cat and the domestic. He is a big black cat with green eyes which flash with a hint of wilderness. We tend to think that he has a double life: sometimes he disappears for days only to return looking well fed and happy. He loves cuddles and food and he struggles to love his new brother Leo. He often tries to cuddle with Leo, but Leo cannot control himself, gets excited and wants to play. Jasper is a strong cat, you can feel the strength of the wilderness in him and the pure heart that wants to be loved and to love.
Leo is a young cat, who arrived last year to Upper Quinta. Laura found an ad with his picture on facebook. He had an infection in his right eye, which led to blindness and since he was not receiving many responses from potential owners, Laura couldn't resist. At first we thought he was a lady cat, but as he grew up we found that he was a male with a strong presence, beauty and charisma that impresses everyone. He is one year old and is very independent, courageous, curious, playful and loves to cuddle and purr but always on his own terms. He often waits for Jasper to come back home to play.
Kuma was the eldest of the animals from the beginning. She was born in Japan. Here name means bear. She was born to a cat named Ghandi that Cynthia found while living in Japan. When Cynthia returned to California Kuma came with her along with 4 of her siblings. Since then, Kuma has traveled from California to the East Coast of the US, to Ibiza, Spain, to Portugal and finally to her home here at Quinta da Mizarela. We called her 'the Oracle' as she always seemed to be one step ahead of us. She was the Grand Dame of the family and she was sweet and cuddly and had a look in her eye that said: "Finally you guys understand!"
Nina arrived into our family in March, 2008 before we came to the Quinta. She was at a friend's house and one day we went there for a visit. They said, do you want her and Pete and Cynthia immediately said YES! Everywhere Pete and Cynthia went people would exclaim, Menina, Menina (which means little girl in Portuguese). So, she was named Nina. She loved to jump out of the jeep every time we came to the top of a dirt track. She would run like the wind, her little bum bouncing up and down with joy. She was Sam's mother when he arrived to the Quinta in August of 2008. She was a great guard dog. Even though she was a small dog, she barked like a big dog! Sam always let her take the lead. They were an incredible pair that protected the Quinta from the beginning. She loved to go for runs with Pete. She was a joy and a bright light to everyone that knew her.
Lucky the cat was quite old when she came to the ALP family. Pete and Cynthia were house sitting when they first arrived in Portugal. The owner asked if they could take care of her for 6 months as they were moving back to Holland. They happily said Yes. Six months passed and it was clear that Lucky needed to become a permanent part of the family. She was black, like Cosmos. She had the same quiet presence as Cosmos. She was a female, she was happy to be silent and invisible. She was always happy to have a cuddle and equally happy to be on her own. She was a quiet mystery that brought a lot to life at the Quinta.
In early 2008 Tux found Pete and Cynthia when they lived in the middle of nowhere before they moved to the Quinta. Tux showed up one day howling in the forest. Pete tried to chase him away and then eventually Cynthia put food out for him. He was hesitant to approach at first but within a week he had moved in and was happily sleeping on Cynthia and Pete's bed. He was cuddly, he was a poet, he would talk all the time. He had so many ways of expressing himself. He had many names, Tuxymoto and Gurgle Boy to name a couple. Everyone loved Tux, everyone cuddled him, he loved his belly rubbed and he was particularly in love with Cynthia. They spent hours together as he was always on her lap while she was working.
Mingo & Nuno
Mingo and Nuno the donkeys arrived at the Quinta in October 2008. They were big donkeys. Mingo was 13 and Nuno was 7. They had been together since Nuno was a baby. Mingo was quiet, slow and had a sweet disposition. Nuno was younger, more like a rebellious teenager who like to kick when he didn't like something. They were a joy to watch as they would munch away on the grass across the valley on the terraces. We moved them back and forth every morning and evening. It was a joy to have this job as they would munch all the way. Mingo died in 2015 from laminitis and is buried in the valley. Nuno was very, very sad. We decided to find him a new home. The vet that helped us with Mingo had a friend that wanted a donkey. Ironically the man's name was Nuno. Nuno the man trained horses and he always wanted a donkey. He was also getting married and wanted a donkey to pull the cart during the wedding. Nuno ended up in a donkey spa, was so well taken care of and they loved his attitude. As far as we know he is still there!
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