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Life on the Ranch

A look into an average day at Rancho Mastatal

rain 80 °F

5:30am-7:00am: wake up and/or breakfast prep
> there is a weekly sign-up sheet for all volunteers and interns to assign cooking and cleaning shift
> optional yoga and meditation sessions for the early birds

7:00-7:30am: breakfast
> usually consisting of pancakes, 'egg-toasties', or muffins, eggs, granola, fresh tropical fruit, and homemade keifer (fermentation is an integral part of the ranch diet; ie keifer, saurkraut, kimchi, ginger beer, cheese, kombucha, fruit vinegars and meades, etc.)

7:30-8:00am: daily meeting
> volunteers and interns sign up for daily tasks and projects

8:30am-12:30pm: go time for morning tasks and work projects
> during the rainy season in Costa Rica (which is now) it rains pretty much every day and quite predictably in the afternoon around 2 or 3pm for a couple hours. So, the morning is for work that requires sunshine and no rain.
> this is often a time for things like daubing (natural building), garden or nursery work, construction, etc.

initial shock of stepping into several inches of fresh manure

initial shock of stepping into several inches of fresh manure

Using Manure and Clay to Seal the New Fish Pond

Using Manure and Clay to Seal the New Fish Pond

Harvesting corn with Chepo

Harvesting corn with Chepo

Chepo's corn fields

Chepo's corn fields

giant corn-eating grasshopper

giant corn-eating grasshopper

(9:30am-12:30pm: lunch prep with local women of Mastatal, good time to practice spanish and catch up on all the gossip in town)

12:30pm-2:00pm: lunch and recharging
> during the World Cup many people go to the bar with their lunch to watch the game on the tiny 12inch tv. Honestly, this is the first time in my life that I have watched any of the world cup, let alone most of it. Who would have thought the Costa Rican rainforest would be the place for my first time.


2:00-5:00pm: Afternoon tasks and projects
> during the rainy season this is often a good time for indoor work such as glass or candle making, baking or jam making, woodshop work, etc.
(2:00-6:00pm: dinner prep with local women of Mastatal)

Handgrinding peanut butter

Handgrinding peanut butter

5:00-6:45pm: generally free time
> a good time to shower, make phone calls or use the internet if the afternoon storm hasn't taken the power out, read/write, hammock rest, and socialize before dinner.

6:45pm: circle time (the most important time of the day)
> a time before dinner when everyone holds hands around the dinner table (at times up to 40 people) and says something they are thankful for from that day. It concludes with the phrase "Gracias a la madre (tierra) y buen provecho"

7:00-8:30pm: dinner and socializing time
(7:45-8:45pm: dinner clean up)

at about 9-9:30pm on weekdays, almost everyone returns to their respective houses and goes to bed as we are often exhausted after a long day of hard work.
Then it starts all over again bright and early the next morning.

Saturdays are half work days and sundays are our one whole day off from work. During free time people can take hikes into the national forest and/or go to the waterfall swimming hole, go to the sunday soccer games, or just simply relax Pura Vida style :)


Posted by HanaRose 15:24

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Dear hana,

Wow! Quite a long and hard-working day. Good for you. Keeps you in shape and builds character. Ha! Stepping in fresh manure is something I can't say I've ever done.
Love, Mom

by Andrea Martin

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