Today is Feb 15th & I'm sitting on our veranda in a tank top, listening to the hum of our weedeater as Art works around the little Mennonite house. I know the weather is horrible in much of the US & I almost feel guilty that it's so pleasant here. It's been cool at night, this week, down in the low 50's and today was in the 80's, but muggy. Rene, (I have to tell you more about him later, he helps us with the land 2 days a week) thinks we'll get rain tonight. One indicator is that a neighboring howler monday has been making quite a noise all day. We'll see! I will only mention Rene a little here and now as I could write volumes about this wonderful, interesting man.
I worked with Rene today in an area that We're clearing. Rene's teaching me about using a machette and I'm getting better with it and finally feel I'm making a contribution and he's using my chainsaw to take down stumps.
In unpacking another of our jillion boxes I discovered a tape I made 5 years ago when we first bo't our property. It was just jungle bush. It's hard to imagine that every inch was cleared with a machette. Mostly by Rene with the occasional assistance of is sons. They are all incredible. Hardworking and so capable.
So many Gringos come down thinking only of bulldozers and other heavy equipment. We found it preferable to hire men who can choose what to cut and what to leave. They even cut down god sized trees with a machette. Amazing! The going rate for most machette work is $30-$35/day. Not only do you get a job done, you help support family. We've had so many men come up here hoping we had work for them. The country desperately needs something esides tourism to offer a future for the upcoming generations.
Once the bush is cut down and cleaned, ti's usually maintained with a weedeater. Frankly, I sometimes think they're from the devil himself when I listen as Art or Rene struggle to get the darned thing going. I wouldn't have the patience and would probably hurl the thing into a hole and bury it.
Anyway, we're so pleased and greatful for what we have here. I knw t's our imagination and direction, but it's also thanks to two dear men, Amelio, our builder and Rene who maintains the land.
This isn't the US, or Canada or Great Britain. It's a tiny developing country populated by some very talented, ingenious people who are just like all of us, trying to support their families. They deserve respect and a chance.
OK, I'm putting my soapbox away.
It's starting to rain!