Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Compost!

Well, yesterday I moved back to compost, and I wasn't shoveling shit (smartass). I spent the morning finishing my lesson on compost chemistry and compost management, and the rest of the day taking temperature samples, recording the data, and "watering" the compost to increase the temperature. They actually use the heat generated by the compost to heat their water here. It's an impressive system. Then, I got put in charge of compost management for the next week or so. I'm kind of excited. I think you have to earn your respect around here, so I'm trying really hard. Anyway...I'm supposed to increase the water temperature. I'll let you know how that goes. The rock jacuzzi was pretty nice and warm tonight :) I fell down four times yesterday. Three times in the compost, and once down a few slippery stairs. I was covered in compost by the end of the day. I think I'm going to have to work on not being so clumsy. It's not a good quality to have in a place with so many machetes!

Today, I did spend the whole day shoveling shit. Literally. I spent about 7 hours moving one pile of compost to the other side of a big shed, because it had been sitting for too long and the temperature was too high (about 160 degrees F) inside the pile. This is no good because the nitrogen starts to vaporize...so it has to be mixed up. I was shoveling with a pitchfork for about 6 or 7 hours. Whew. I was feeling pretty good in the morning. By about 3, I thought I was going to fall over. At 4 when I got off, I stumbled to the shower and bed. I managed to make it up for dinner and then had a couple beers and visited the hot tub with the other female volunteers. Now, I'm feeling pretty good. Tomorrow is my day off, so I'm going to sleep in, do some laundry, and take a horseback ride to the overlook to see the volcano! I'm pretty excited about that.

That's about it for now...I'm studying Spanish when I have to energy and trying to memorize the verb conjugations that I've forgotten. I'm catching more of the fast conversations around me, and I think it's only going to get better. Hope everyone is well! If I make it into Fortuna tomorrow afternoon (around 3:30 EST), I'll post some pictures and try a Skype call home, if you guys are around, padres. Otherwise, I'll go another day this week after work. Pura vida!

Aura

3 comments:

Billy said...

that's what I thought - moving one pile to another!
hey, if it keeps the jacuzzi temp right then shovel on!! sounds like a cool (no, hot) system - please take notes and make sketches. and... a horseback ride to an active volcano overlook - worth every forkful!! here's to a great ride!!

we're going to the fair tomorrow, but will have skype on tomorrow afternoon... love you and be careful!

cassielc said...

Aura,
Sounds like you have been a very busy gal' and it sounds like you are enjoying yourself. Tell me some more about the food there and what you've tried and like or dislike. Horseback ride to the volcano overlook sounds great, hope you enjoy and hope you will be able to post some pictures very soon!
Cass

Sara said...

Glad you're having a good time, I miss you! I'm guessing I've missed your possible Skype talk time by now, but I'm installing it now so that I'll have it for next time.