Friday, October 2, 2009

Hola otra vez

Well, I didn't have much time to write last night, so I'll try to get caught up today. I'm currently at Rancho Margot, in Costa Rica, and I'm planning on staying here for a month. I'm doing a work exchange - I work 48 hours a week, and they provide room, board, and use of their ranch. Today was my second day, and I am working my ass off. Yesterday I pulled weeds for 8 hours. Today I basically did lanscaping work - pruning, weeding, and cutting things down. I learned how to use a machete - carefully! Then we had to haul off all of the brush that we cut. It was rather grueling and very hot. I feel good overall, and strong, but very tired. Today at least, I was working with another guy, so I had someone to talk to. He was really nice, and he only spoke Spanish, so I had a good chance to practice. I'm doing the same thing tomorrow, and moving on to something else the next day. Supposedly, we will rotate areas of work every week, so I should get to do some other things - work with horses, learn how to make cheese or soap, milk cows, etc. That will be good, because I don't know if I could keep this pace for a month. We'll see.

I've managed to make a few friends, and there are a few tourists staying here right now, so there are people to hang out with in the evenings. I'm trying to get to bed early every night, though, so that I can get up on time. I have a little bit of a housing dilemma. They put me in the farmhouse, which is where many of the employees stay. I don't know if any of the people there are volunteers, other than me. The other volunteers (all English speaking) are staying in the bunkhouses, which are somewhat nicer and in a different area. I can't decide how I feel about the whole thing. My main problem with the farmhouse is that there is no hot water, and the beds kind of suck. I didn't get ANY sleep last night, but I figured out this morning that my bunk was missing a bunch of slats, so the mattress kept falling through. I moved today, so I'll try out the new bed. Also, my roommates don't seem to really care to have me invading their privacy (the 18-year old girls), so I feel a little uncomfortable. I think I could probably ask to move the the bunkhouses, but I don't want to seem like a spoiled wimp, especially not to the employees. I'd like to get to know them, so I don't want to just move because I "can't take" not having hot water, for example. I also think it's really good because I can speak Spanish more. However, I'm feeling a little isolated out there...I'm not sure what the best course of action is. Any advice?

For now, I think I'll just ride out the next few days and see how they go. As long as I can sleep, I think I'll be okay - I nearly lost it last night when I woke up for the 5th time and couldn't go back to sleep. I don't know if I mentioned it already, but it is absolutely beautiful here. The ranch is amazing - so beautiful it's surreal. Juan (the owner) really has a lot of cool projects going on, and I'm excited for my first day off so that I can go riding or hike to the viewpoint to see the volcano. So far, I've seen a spider monkey, several species of hummingbirds, some beautiful butterflies, and a lot of amazing plants. It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to upload pictures from this computer, so I might have to wait until I go to La Fortuna on my day off. Hope everyone is well!



Billy said...


Great to hear from you!! Sounds like we spent the day the same way - playing in the dirt with plants! Glad you're getting settled in, but it sounds like they want to know what you're made of, huh? Well they'll find out soon enough :)

Not sure what to make of the housing situation - hang in there and don't be shy about asking questions. It'll work itself out before long.

Hope you have a great Saturday!! You're amazing!!!

love, pop

Anonymous said...

Hola mi Amiga!

Soon you will be able to speak better spanish than I!

It's the ultimate learning experience for other languages if you can use it on a daily basis.

ten cuidado en su trabajar! Yo se que mucho trabajos manuales crear músculos.


I will so look forward to your writings :D