too many different topics to focus on one
26.07.2010 85 °F
So I have temporarily resigned from my duties as a ranch intern and will be spending the majority of my time as a student in a Permaculture Design Course for these next 2 weeks. There are 7 interns as well as 7 or 8 other students from around the world enrolled in the course. There are people from England, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Austalia, Costa Rica, Spain, and ofcourse the states. The course is taught by a world renowned permaculturist and upon completion of the course we will be dubbed certified permaculturists. The course lectures and hands-on applications range from "bioregional designs, natural building, renewable energy choices in North America and the Tropics, agroforestry, composting toilets, methane biodigesters, watershed management, community development, tropical and temperate garden and orchard design, energy and nutrient cycling, and the integration of animals into cultivated ecosystems". I am hoping that this course will not only help me design my own sustainable homestead in the future, but also open job opportunites at some point.
My original motivations for coming here were to learn hands-on how to build a house from the design process to the finished structure. Unfortunately, as time has gone by rapidly here I started to realize that my goal was probably not going to be accomplished... until I talked to another intern who was realizing the same disappointment and we came up with an idea together. So we are in the designing stages of a bamboo composting toilet structure which we will hopefully be able to finish before the end of the internship. It may be a bit smaller scale that I was orignally thinking but at least I will see the process through and build something with my own hands
Last weekend I went to the beach with a bunch of the locals. It was nice to finally see the ocean after being here for almost 2 months and only being about 7km from the ocean. On that note, one interesting fact is that even though the beach is only 7km away it actually takes 1-4 hours to get there depending on whether you take private or public transportation. Luckily it only took us one hour. Anyway, it was a great trip to get to spend some time with the local families and get a chance to observe their culture a bit more. We spent most of the day playing soccer on the beach, but ofcourse I also headed down the beach solo for a bit of quiet time on the more wild part of the beach, it was really beautiful. A funny moment I observed with the locals was when we made a quick stop at a grocery store on the way home and one of the little kids peed his pants, so all of sudden each mother grabbed her respective child and carried them to parking-lot with their pants down to let them pee. At one time there were about 6-7 little kids peeing all at the same time next to our bus. Robin, one of the ranch owners, has raised her daughter diaper-free and has managed to convince several of the local women to do so as well instead of their usual backyard diaper landfill/burning method. It was really cool to witness.
That same night there was a big dance in a nearby town that a bunch of us interns went to. The town converted their community center into a giant life-like dance club with huge speakers and lights and everything. People came from all of the surrounding towns and their ended up being about a 50/50 mix of gringos to ticos. We all danced the entire time and had a ton of fun. When we finally decided to leave we thought it was a good idea to start walking home (about 3 miles up and down a steep dirt road through the countryside) rather than try to get a ride from one of the drunk locals in the back of their pick-up truck like everyone else was. We made it about half-way after coming across a poisonous coral snake and getting a bit tired when one of the public buses came barreling down the road behind us with the music pumping, and they stopped to let us on to take us the rest of the way. There will be one more dance in mid-august that we are all looking forward to.