More about Life on the Farm   2 comments

Oh where should I begin? I what I want to do is give you a little more of an idea what my daily life is like while living at my rural site, but I don’t know if that is possible – I have had a surprising number of different experiences here – a lot of it thanks to the women’s chocolate-making group working in my house and various people and groups visiting the farm. The first few weeks I discovered there are certain “things” about living in an area like Pueblo Nuevo/Finmac. For example, the most common mode of transportation around here is by bike. The thing to keep in mind is that the roads are very rough: think gravel roads, but packed and made with rocks the size of golf balls and softballs, and lots of “potholes”. I find just riding a bike somewhat difficult (granted I was also trying to carry a 50-pound backpack sprayer). To live in Pueblo Nuevo, though, you have to master the art of riding a bike with an umbrella – for rain or shine. Then, put another person on your bike with you – if they’re younger than 6, you could put two – and then bike a few hundred meters to town.

[Picture of the roads coming soon]

I haven’t mastered this skill (yet), but there are a few lessons that have learned during my first few weeks working on the farm, and that come in hand, such as:

– How to tell when it’s going to rain soon – so that you’re not caught with your research notebook and nothing to protect it 2km from the nearest shelter/the rest of your supplies. Most people here have quite the knack for knowing what days/ part of the day it will rain.

– That being said: Banana leaves make for great emergency umbrellas/notebook protectors when you are in a pinch.

– How to make stakes out of palm tree branches (Geovanny and Oldemar are so resourceful!)

– How to open a coconut without a machete (this was one of my greater successes)

– How to make a cow move out of the middle of the road when it blocks your running route

– Charades and sound effects are quite effective when trying to communicate how a certain piece of equipment is broken

It was an especially interesting contrast to return back to San José for the beginning of this week – although it was great to see my family there again and all of my classmates, and the ability to go find what I needed when I went shopping (more than just 2 general stores, what?), there were things that I realized I missed (and will miss even more when I leave for good) about life in a(n extremely) small town (isolated area) – like picking the fruit off of the tree to eat it, the smell of the air, some alone time, and the general tranquilidad.

The other type of experiences – that I briefly mentioned above – have been when various gente visit the farm – either other students and researchers, or chocolatiers, including a group from various countries that stopped by on their chocolate tour. I have had the opportunity to participate in some of what they get to see and do, as well as acquire a bunch of contacts – so now I’m set to be able to get ahold of fabulous chocolate no matter what part of the world I travel to. J One of my favorites, though, was being asked to act as the translator for a visiting chocolatier from Wisconsin for the weekend, and through that experience was able to bond more with the women of Amazilia (the women that make chocolate bars & bon-bons here on the farm).

My goal for the next few weeks that I have left here at Finmac, however, is to really leave behind this shyness that I feel for talking with new people. I’ve loved having free time and just chilling here at the farm, but I also really want to meet the people that live and work here and get to know more of the town and what life is like in this part of the country. Although I’m leaving again this weekend (we’re going to go see Tortuguero National Park, since we’re so close), next week and weekend will be my time to work on that. Wish me luck, I’ll let you know how it goes…

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Posted March 26, 2011 by rwieme in Uncategorized

2 responses to “More about Life on the Farm

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  1. Now you know that you will be playing charades when you get home! and how smart to get those chocolate contacts-Uncle Rich wants you to have his name for Christmas:) His motto has always been “bond with those who hold the chocolate!” Have a great week
    Aunt Sue

  2. Hi Rachel, Your Grandpa has been sending me all your posts. So interesting . Wish I was there, but forget the bike ride!!!! Enjoy your remaining time. We all would be interested in some chocolate!!!! Keep up that endurance. Aunt Kathy

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