Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day 13: Ceiba

For the first time in two weeks, Jesus arrived early. After picking me up, we headed to Ami Noel’s house to meet the rest of our weekend party. Our first stop was a sustainable agricultural farm in Narnjo Chino. After bouncing around on a dirt road for close to a half hour, we arrived at a beautiful farm that was surrounded by all types of trees and animal life. The owner of the farm, Don Oscar, took us on a tour, of all of his sustainable practices….

1. Turn kitchen scraps into natural methane, which can power a gas stove for 2hours at each of three daily meals. 2. Solar-heated water which involves sending cool water through black tubes on the roof that absorb the suns rays. 3. A specially designed, simply constructed wood-fired oven uses 80% less wood while cooking at the same rate. 4. Cow manure + worms = rich fertilizer. Soil only needs 3-4% fertilizer, so the rich fertilizer can go a long way. 5. Chickens naturally eat the bugs out of the cornfields. 6. Plant mahogany trees once kids and grandkids are born and in 30 years, they will have a nice inheritance. 7. Waste water from large fish tanks is used as a natural fertilizer for plants.

After the tour, our crew headed on to Ceiba, a city of 800,000 that has developed around the Standard Fruit Company’s banana, pineapple, and palm operations. Our first stop was a hiking trail in the Pico Bonito National Park. We traversed a beautiful cable bridge before enjoying the last rays of the setting sun on the trail. In the evening, we made camp in some cabins that had been built as part of a sustainable tourism project. Church hymns drifted in the air around us. After dinner, we headed to Sea View, a coastal hangout where the locals like to see and be seen. We drove on the sand, parked our car and watched. Merengue, Salsa, Reggeton, and Rock music all competed for attention from open car doors. Small groups of friends congregated on a nearby wall, sharing mixers and a bottle. Couples seemed like the only ones actually interested in the swoosh of the crashing waves. Throughout the night, there was a constant line of cars and trucks driving in and out of the small sandy cove. After having seen and been seen enough, we headed back to our sustainable cabins and slept.

Joel Montgomery

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