Dirt under my fingernails and songs in my heart!
Trip Start Jan 15, 2010
36Trip End Nov 09, 2010
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Where I stayed
Huerta de Vida Organic Farm
For the work on the house, we mix clay, sand and fermented straw (this stuff is so gross and stinky --eww!) in a cement mixer to make plaster and then use our hands to apply it to the walls, which have been created using bamboo cane. The South side walls will be constructed of straw bales instead of cane, which we will hopefully begin putting up next week. Then we´ll cover those with plaster as well. I have small cuts all over my hands and my back is sore every night but the entire time I am working I am actually SINGING, yes, singing, because I feel so much joy I could burst! It is so satisfying to feel a sense of community, seeing the results of hard work, and eating fresh, delicious food every day! I am alive after so many years of slowly dying at jobs that sucked my time and energy away from things that truly matter, like family and friends and staying healthy. The people I am working with are also giving me a whole new perspective (and are a ton of fun to hang out with!). I have a laundry list of books to read and have already started one called Deep Economy by Bill McKibben that has facts and confirms things I´ve been thinking about for a long time but wasn´t really sure how to articulate them or take action. I´m inspired.
Okay, now for some nitty gritty about the bathroom situation. If you don´t want to know, stop reading, but I´m sure it is like loking at the sun--you know you shouldn´t but the curiousity is overwhelming ;) The baño seco is a little room outside near the compost area. There are four tree trunks placed in the shape of a square and there is a giant piece of fabric fastened around it for privacy. Inside is like a camping toilet with a toilet seat on top of a trash can. This is only for poop! After you do your business, you pour a can of dirt followed by a can of wood shavings. This keeps it really dry in there, which keeps out the bugs and the smell. We have biodegradable toilet paper. There is no peeing in this toilet. For peeing, there is a cut off 1.5 liter bottle for the girls and then the pee is poured into a jug, which is later diluted and used for fertilizer. The pee is kept out of the toilet, both to keep it dry, and to keep the ammonia content down. The ¨humanure¨is then added to a separate compost area for the worms to break down and is used to fertilize the trees. (Another book on my reading list is called ¨Humanure¨- pretty interesting!) There are also rabbits and their poop is added to the food compost to fertilize the vegetables. Okay, hopefully this has satisfied all curiousity, any questions left, just ask ;)
For the cleaning situation, everyone else goes to the ditch with their bar of soap, but I have to draw the line there--I put a pot of water out in the sun to warm it up, then go into another room fashioned the same way as the baño seco. There are river rocks in there and a stump to sit on and a cup to pour the water over my head--all pretty zen really, especially at night when the stars are so bright and beautiful. Very simple living and I am enjoying it, even though everything takes a little longer and the bugs are FIERCE!!