I’ve got to stop peeing behind bushes!
Trip Start Jan 15, 2010
27Trip End Nov 09, 2010
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After 3 weeks on the farm, we’re tucked nicely in Mendoza, Argentina now (drinking vino tinto as I write this!), enjoying the luxuries of things like TOILETS, SHOWERS, ELECTRICITY and BEDS! However nice those things are, we had an amazing time with the six new friends we lived and worked with on “the farm” in Tunuyan. I’m thankful and grateful that Margot didn’t kick us off the farm when we first arrived. Part of her welcoming words were, “we don’t get volunteers that look like you”. We understood what she meant and at the same time became more scared. We actually talked about leaving before we really even got settled. Thankfully that didn’t happen.
Tamara has talked a lot already about the whole experience, but here are some of my highlights;
The FOOD was amazing
The MUD was a primary chore during the work day. The house Margot and Vida are building is truly amazing. I would love to return when construction is complete to see it all. The phase of construction they are in has been to apply the first of three layers of mud/straw over the bamboo/cana covered walls. The mud is a combination of clay, sand, fermented straw and water. Making the mud was the dirtiest and most laborious job, but even just applying it was dirty too - and fun!
The DITCH. We went there usually twice each day. Right before lunch/siesta, after working all morning, then again at the end of each day to rinse off/bathe
SIESTA! What the hell are Americans (the USA kind) thinking by not doing this???? Every work day we stop at 1:00 for lunch, followed by siesta until 4:30. That means whatever you want. My routine was to lay in the hammock (thanks Page for the awesome hammock!) and read for a while (I read Three Cups of Tea on the farm - an awesome book!) and sleep for a while in the middle of the day (!) - or lay back and watch the sky and trees and listen to the sounds. Birds, bugs, the next door cow (separating mom and baby makes a lot of mooing), chickens and the wind. The farms here are all framed by giant 50 foot poplar trees and when you’re relaxing and just observing you can hear the wind blowing through them and see the leaves and branches swaying. With the almost always bright blue skies above them it’s very peaceful and beautiful. The clouds here seem almost 3D like too, making the skies that much more beautiful.
The ACCOMODATIONS were basically camping. We’ve already noted the spartan conditions. We slept in a small 2-person tent. Three weeks on the ground in a tent may not be something we’ve ever done before, but it’s turned out to be fun, adventurous and ultimately rewarding. The kitchen had a small 2-burner propane stovetop
The KIOSKO was where we buy beer and wine. It’s the smallest little window with bars on it that some guy sells drinks and snacks from off the side of his house. The beer is always the giant 1.5 liter bottles and he usually insists on pouring the beer into used plastic soda bottles (so he keeps his bottle deposits). Unless you bring your own plastic bottle, you have no idea where the thing has been before you find yourself walking down the dirt road sipping a nice cold beer. He sells bottles of wine too, and both are cheap; 1.5 liter beers about $2-3, a bottle of wine about $3-4!
The PEOPLE were all great fun! Margot and Vida, you have an amazing property, garden and house under way. Thank you so much for the opportunity to let us help you weed the garden, plant some cover crop and help you in a very small phase of the construction of your house. I do hope we can some day return to see the finished house and celebrate its completion with you. Lauren, Paul, Remi and Sarah - thank you for being on the farm at the same time as Tamara and I. It was great fun working and playing with you for three weeks. We’ve got the photos, lack of sleep, hangovers and memories to prove it all. Best wishes to each of you for the adventures ahead of you!
Farm life is over for now. Back in civilization, so I’ll stop ducking behind bushes to pee (as guys were instructed to do). Enjoying a few R&R days in Mendoza before heading over the Andes Mountains to Chile. More later. Love to all! Ciao…..