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Home with a Heart, GoaDec 16, 2021 5 Mins reading
“Heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the Future”.
– Wendell Philips
When Roberto’s extended family decided to move back to Portugal, the fate of the 500-Year-old family heritage home looked uncertain. A beautiful and lush Goan homestead thriving with life, with some of the trees planted lovingly by his ancestors, the house not only carried memories of his older generations but had also been a silent witness to the history unfolding across centuries.
The prospect of it getting sold and demolished to make way for a modern building made Roberto’s heart heavy. But with him not finding a worthy candidate to hand over the responsibility of the upkeep of the historical abode, it seemed to be slipping away from his hands. He made up his mind. He was staying back! And look after the property.
A former Engineer with Merchant Navy, his passion not only lay in mechanics but also in maintaining the connect with his roots through the age-old home, gardening, growing food. And so it was decided. Roberto and his family were staying put in Goa. Raquel, Roberto’s better half, not only gave her consent but her whole-hearted support in preserving the legacy of her in-laws. Nothing would make Roberto’s Mom happier than to know that her beloved house was going to live.
An idea struck that would make it not only fun to maintain the house but also give an opportunity to share its’ glorious past with those who would have an eye and an ear for it. Roberto and Raquel decided to turn the property into a Home-stay. Staying true to its’ inhabitants deep love for Nature and barring a few restorations here & there, the house has been retained very much in its’ original glory.
Be it the centuries-old architecture or the flourishing campus lined with fruit-laden trees, the villa holds on to its’ old charming self. Roberto and Raquel are also enthusiastic cooks who like to make use of every gift from their garden. And the bounties just keep coming. Mangoes, Guavas, Bananas, Coconut, Jackfruits and what have you! The trees beckon you with their juicy offerings. Not to mention the vegetables plucked freshly from the patches.
They get ample help in the upkeep of the house from their little in-house soldiers; their three children. The love for conservation and Nature has been inculcated in the future successors from an early age. Along with the birds of their gorgeous garden, they happily partake in entertaining the guests with their chirpy presence.
The entire family accepts you as one of their own and not only warmly share their space but also their lives with their guests. They will regale you with stories, songs, give a tour of their garden, indulge you with sumptuous spreads and even take you around the tourist attractions near their house, a 15th century Church and a 17th century Fort. Attractions that are as old as the house itself.
The cozy house in Aldona is just another name for leisure. And simple pleasures! And it beckons.
To have a slice of this Portuguese-Goan heritage paradise,