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Costa Rica 2013

Finca Work Week 3

COSTA RICA | Friday, 7 June 2013 | Views [514]

Baby quails

Baby quails

The week started out slow only due to the fact I could barely move. When I woke up Monday morning and tried to roll over the sunburn on my thighs was burning. Rather than getting up and setting the table and having breakfast, part of my morning routine, I decided I'd been on the farm long enough to sleep in. I did get up around 9, did the dishes, and cut some fresh aloe. Ahhh! It felt so good on my legs and chest. I decided that I would sort worms because I wouldn't have to move much and the worm house was covered so I wouldn't get any sun. I took the aloe leaf with me, Tara followed, and I spent the entire day out there. I came in for lunch but otherwise spent about 6 hours sorting worms and applying aloe every 2 hours. I came in showered, had dinner and went to bed early. The sunburn was feeling better but laying flat felt the best. And I realized that with the sunburn my bug bites didn't itch as much. There's always a silver lining!

I felt much better on Tuesday but decided to continue in the worm house. I was almost done and as the dirt pile was reduced the concentration of worms got greater. Some handfuls produced more worms than dirt and this was the highlight of the work. I didn't think it would take me long to finish but I was wrong. It took another 6 hours. By the time I was done, I was done! My back ached and I was definitely tired of the worms. It was another quiet evening after more aloe and dinner.
 
Wednesday it was time to get back to some manuel work and finish painting the house. Lazaro prepped the back wall for me and I went at it. When I started the painting last week I had a fresh gallon of paint that I would add water too often. I did is because Xiani had told me to and because it made painting the cement part of the wall easier. (The walls were a combination of rough cement and some type of 'sheetrock'.) I judged that with the water that i was adding that I would have just enough paint to cover the wall. It was a warm day but I was glad that my body didn't hurt to move and it felt good doing the work. I had also been given two new paint brushes so the work was much easier. The little things in life! As I was working I had the paint can at my feet. At one point I looked over and watched the paint can tip over. Major third world panic attack! Not only do I now have  to tell Xiani that I have spilled all the paint, but I have to figure out how to say that in Spanish. Again, not something that is in the beginning Spanish books. The paint had dumped out in the dirt between the wall and I noticed that it was puddled from all the water I had in the paint. I worked fast and furious to get as much of the paint off the ground and onto the wall. I did a pretty good job but it wasn't going to be enough to finish the wall. After doing as much as I could I finally went in the house, pulled up the Spanish words for 'spilled paint' on my app, and found Xiani.  She checked out the wall, ask where I spilled the paint, and asked if I needed more. She walked off and the next thing I knew she produced another full gallon of paint. I was so relieved. I had honestly thought that I had spilled the last of the paint. It was 11 am so I decided to take a break until after lunch. It didn't take me long to finish the job after eating. Just as I started cleaning up the rain came again. It was perfect timing and I was happy to take my siesta and be done for the day. Oh- and two adorable baby quails were born. Xiani brought them in the house and we set them up in a big crate with food, water, and a light bulb to keep them warm. They are so adorable, although the one with racing stripes is pretty noisy.
 
On Thursday evening Donald asked if I was ready to go back into the field and do some more grass planting. I geared up: hat, dry fit T-shirt, rubber boots, bandana, sunscreen and insect repellent and headed down the mountain.  This time we went over to a neighbor's property 2 lots over and dug up grass there. We had to walk through and up a sugar cane crop to get there. We had two sacks and filled them then walked back down. I was feeling strong that morning and managed to carry my bag all the way on my back. I think Lazaro was impressed as he watched and waited for me to drop the bag and let him carry it. 
 
We dug our holes and planted the grass which only filled about half the holes. I had hoped we were done for the day. I was hot and sweating buckets but Lazaro wanted to get more done. We trekked back over to the neighbors and filled two more bags. This time I couldn't get it on my back. I drug the back through the sugar cane field, trying really hard not to squash the crops but couldn't make it the whole way. This time Lazaro did have to help me out. It took another hour and a half to plant the grass and then we started back up the hill. I had been determined the week before to beat this hill but today was not going to be the day. Using the shovel as a walking stick and breathing heavily I trudged up the hill.  I was filthy and tired and ready for a shower before lunch. I made it upstairs to my room. The window was shut for some reason siince I never close it during the day. I opened the door and walked into the dark room and took two steps before feeling something scamper across my toes. Simultaneously I yelled and jumped onto my bed. I looked down and saw the biggest scorpion I have ever seen in my life run under my shelves. Angelica, Donald's daughter-in-law, who never talks to me despite being at the casa every day sweeping and mopping the floors, came up to check on me.  I was glad that "scorpion" was understood without translation and she went downstairs to get a broom. It took us a few minutes to find him, he was hiding in my shoes but she drug it out of my room. I grabbed a giant rock and she squished it and cut the tail off. The tail was still moving but she swept it up. I has very thankful for her help and friendliness. About this time Donald stopped by for lunch and I told him what had happened. He just looked at me, shaking his head as he noticed how dirty I was, and asked if I wanted a cerveza. Si señor!!! I changed my shirt and helped Xiani with lunch but I was so exhausted between the farm work and the scare that it was all I could do to make it through lunch to get to my siesta. Even my shower had to wait. 
 
After about 2 hours I woke up to some noise on my floor. I got up to see if Xiani needed some help. As I walked out of my room I ran smack into a niño. He screamed as we both frightened each other. It was a neighborhood kid along with Xiani's niece and nephew- 15 year old twins from Africa that her sister adopted from an orphanage. They played around the house while I finally cleaned up. Then the rain started and the kids cracked me up. They decided to walk home and so we put them in garbage bags and sent them off in the downpour. 
 
The rest of the night was pretty quiet. The Internet had gone down in the afternoon, probably due to the storms and didn't come back that evening. When I first found out the farm had wifi I had mixed emotions. Part of going off the grid means disconnecting completely and I had looked forward to not having the connection. Of course when I got to the farm, especially in the early evenings,  I have been glad to have the connectivity. The outage this time was rather nice and I enjoyed the disconnectedness and spent the evening just reading.  Of course I had such a nice siesta earlier in the day I had trouble getting to sleep.
 
Friday was much like Thursday as far as the farm work went. Lazaro and I set off to do more grass planting, only this time when we went to the neighbors we went even farther up the hill to dig up the grass. And this time I was unable to pick up the bag at all. I drug it half way down the hill and had to have Lazaro rescue my sack again. We dug more holes and planted more grass but fortunately we didn't have to go back for a second round. Despite only one round this time I was still drenched from head to toe. No scorpions greeted me when we got back to the farm thankfully and I was able to take a shower before lunch. I tried to take a siesta after lunch but the rain never came, first time all week, and it was too hot out. I hung out in a hammock reading instead. About 3 pm the Internet came back and I forgot about being off the grid and caught up on everything, including planning out the weekend. I was going to try to visit some hot springs near San Isidrio but the bus schedules to get there were anything but convenient. Instead I decided to try another beach just north of Domincal, where I went the previous weekend. My sunburn was just about completely peeled so I loaded up my backpack with lots of sunscreen and a change of clothes. Of course this also meant getting up at 4:30 am again so it was off to bed early once more.

Tags: costa rica, kda

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