yesterday we made a lot of progress on the fence. It’s so close to being done! we only have a few posts to put up and still need to attach some barbed wire. After dinner, we all sat around a campfire and roasted marshmallows.
Today was our cultural day! We started off the morning by going to a private beach about an hour away from the farm. We enjoyed the waves and the sun and even go try coconuts right from the tree! After the beach we went to a local restaurant for lunch. we then made our way to a waterfall where some of us daringly tried the rope swing. On the way back to the farm, we stopped for ice cream and smoothies!
After tomorrow’s work day, we’re hoping to have finished the fence!
yesterday morning we went to church. Aleksey translated so we could follow along. The music was really great and we enjoyed attending the service with Donald and his family. After church, we came back to the farm for lunch before hiking to the local waterfall. The water was refreshing after the long hike and sitting under the waterfall was great! On the way back to the farm, we stopped at a local store for some ice cream.
Today, we continued building the fence. It’s coming along very nicely! We’re looking forward to continuing putting up posts and barbed wire tomorrow!
Today we learned how to make compost. In the morning, we took a walk and gathered dead leaves and branches. After that, Donald showed us a vine to swing on and a tree to walk across. After lunch we cleaned out the cow pens and used the old chicken bedding, molasses, water, calcium, legumes, and the leaves we collected earlier to make our compost. We covered them with old chicken feed bags and in fifteen days Donald will take the temperature of the pile and stir it around. After one month the compost will finally be ready. After this exciting day we all enjoyed showers and Xinia’s delicious cooking for dinner! hasta luego!
After braving the east coast weather, we finally made it to Costa Rica! The trip was long but Donald, our host, was very welcoming and didn’t seem to mind staying up late for our arrival. Day 1 consisted of eating our way through a tour of the farm. We tried kumquats, sweet lemons, star fruit, noni, aloe vera, plantains, pineapples, oranges and bananas-all fresh from the trees! We also saw medicinal herbs, tomatoes, mango trees, cocoa plants, vanilla, cows, horses, pigs, butterflies, and chickens. We learned about the biogas produced from the pig waste that fuels the house, the California red worms that break down manure to make excellent fertilizer, aloe Vera being used as shampoo, crop rotation, the hydraulic water system, soil preservation and terracing. After the tour, the team spent time bonding and reflecting on what we learned about the sustainability of the farm.
Day 2 was the beginning of the fence project. We got up early to eat breakfast before we made our way into the forrest to clear a path, dig holes, and place posts in the ground for the new barbed wire fence. Off to a great start, now it’s time to get back to work!!
I have a saying on my dorm room wall: go once a year, to a place you have never been.
Back in September, when the ASB application came out, I looked over the different trips, and Costa Rica immediately stood out to me. I think at first, the words, sustainable agriculture, resonated with me. I have always been aware of the environment, but I saw this trip as a unique opportunity to learn about it in a completely different way than ever before. Besides those practical reasons, I saw a chance of an adventure that I could not pass up. I’ve never been to Central America, so I wanted to see a new corner of the world. I wanted to experience Costa Rica’s lush forests and spectacular views.
Now, after reading blogs from last year’s trip, and looking at La Grande Vista’s website, I am more excited than ever! I can’t wait to see how my experience compares with what I have read about. I’m not entirely sure what awaits me two days from now, but I am ready for whatever challenges will come.
When I was offered an ASB team leader position for this trip back in the Spring of 2012, I realized right away that it was an incredible opportunity. When they told me that it was to Costa Rica to focus on sustainable agriculture, I was ecstatic. It seemed so far away then, and it’s so hard to believe that now in less than a week my team and I will be spending our first few hours at La Gran Vista. The process of getting the details of the trip together has been very different than I was expecting, but I am fortunate in that I have a great team and learning partners to work with. I am excited to spend time with everyone in a different context than meetings at school.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m a bit nervous for the trip. With any experience like this there are so many unknowns, ranging from what to pack to issues with traveling to the still unknown details of our direct service while we’re at the farm. As the trip gets closer, excitement is overtaking nerves a little more every day.
Can’t wait to see what “pure vida” is all about!