Saturday, October 27, 2012

Down home to down on the farm

We've just arrived in Nicaragua on the farm that we'll be working on for a month.  I figured before I go into our first impressions here, I'd mention a few things we did while we passed through home for the last month or so.

Almost immediately after arriving home after our hike out of Stehekin, we went down to Seattle to see my brother's band play.

Shedu making lots of noise - my brother is the guy in the back with the boom booms.

Then it was coming up on my mom's late parents' birthdays.  My grandma Edna would have been 100, and my grandpa Bror would have been 115, within just a few days of each other.  So we met up with Mom's brother Ron in Monroe for lunch and to put flowers on the graves of grandma and grandpa, as well as Mom's brother Roger, and my other grandpa, Herman.

Mom and Uncle Ron.

We mostly divided our time between my mom's house and seeing Jeff's mom and step dad.  They have adopted our dog, Subira, so it's fun to visit because we get to see our baby girl.  Subira and I cuddled a lot:

Jeff's mom had a couple friends over when we visited once, and the whole crew of us went out to a farm to find pumpkins.

At my mom's house, we got some practice for our work this winter by helping fix up her yard a bit.

The bucket was my grandma's bucket.  My mom wanted the picture to remind me that my middle name is Edna.
We also hung out a bit with my niece, including one big museum day where we hit the town in Bellingham.  We visited Spark Museum of Electrical Invention and Mindport:

Alex at Mindport's maze table.

Jeff shows off one of the exhibits he made many years ago for Mindport.  It's still rollin'!
 Finally, we were lucky enough to be in Washington in time for the almost-annual Apple Cider Day at my Aunt Linda's house in Quincy.  This was a big day - first, picking:

Then preparing to press cider:

Lunch break!  That's a lot of hot dogs!

Still pressing......

And finally, a little more than 50 gallons of cider.  And lots and lots of apples left!

And then, we packed.  Holy cow did we pack.  I don't know how I managed to so completely overpack for this trip, but my bag is about 50 pounds.  That's way more than normal.

The last day before we took off was Jeff's birthday, which we celebrated with both moms in Seattle, going to the King Tut exhibit, then going to Ethiopian food, and finally with killer chocolate cupcakes.


...and after.  Finger lickin good!
Then, the moms dropped us off at our airport hotel, and the next morning, we flew out.  We made it to Managua with no problems, and as soon as we arrived, we started sweating.  Fortunately, we eased ourselves into the heat by staying in a hotel with air-conditioning in the room, but otherwise open air.  Fancy!

We made our way down to Isla de Ometepe, finally arriving yesterday afternoon at the farm, Finca Bona Fide, that we'll be working at for the next month.  We were shown around, and settled into our "room":

Our bedroom - no walls on most sides, just a roof, a floor, a bed, a mosquito net, mostly - and pretty surroundings!

It's quiet here right now, since all of the volunteers who would normally be around are off at a Halloween party in Granada.  We're kind of happy for the downtime, but we're looking forward to meeting our co-workers.

We hung out for the evening, finally showering off the stickiness that came from hauling those stupid-heavy packs through the stupid-hot day, and finding fun little places around the area.

Jeff in the treehouse.
Evening came around, and we prepared ourselves for bed - and I got a surprise in the ladies' urinal:
Look closer...
Awww, yeah.
And so, I went pee in the woods.

The night was mostly uneventful, although we could hear a lot of noises that are as yet unusual for us.  There were bats flying around (inside and outside) our room, interesting bird sounds, howler monkey yells, etc., all night long.  At daybreak there were the usual roosters crowing, but also a symphony of birds that we don't know yet.  This peaceful jungle isn't exactly quiet.

This morning, we met a couple of the Nicaraguans who work here, and helped a bit with a little weeding and planting.  As it's Saturday, we didn't put in a full day's work, which is good - it gives us time to adjust to the heat!

And so, here I sit, using solar power and our communal wifi to write to you all.  Picture me here:

Pretty all right.


  1. Great post, Kate! I am so glad you're settled in and having a great time already.

  2. eeewwww, Was that really a tarantula in the potty? I love your love shack and the views there. What a fun post.