Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A few pictures...

We are in full swing of our internship! Alex and I have taking different roles on at the Ranch. Alex has taken on the responsility of managing the Ranch financial matters, kitchen manager and general liason between local ranch employees and the group. I have taken on some of the daily hospitality duties along with overseeing the reforestation project on location. We continue busy ourselves with learniƱg new building techniques and other ranch projects. A new permaculture design is in the early steps and we hope to get our hands dirty with the food production soon. Alex is starting to teach English in the local middle/high school and I will be teaching art and recreation at the local elementary school twice a month. Life is good!

Here are a few pictures in no particular order...we hope this helps you visualize a little better where we are...

Alex on the right taking his turn at laying the the earthen floor...(2 parts manure:))

Alex and other interns ¨harvesting a compost toilet

El Vivero- a reforestation project Mary-Laura is working on

Shower...not a bad view in the morning


Refreshed at the hot springs.

Hiking with the group.

Us at a hike to a waterfall nearby.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Home on the ranch...

Hello all!
We have been in Mastatal for three weeks, but in many ways it seems like much longer. The transition happened fairly seemlessly. We arrived at the ranch after pulling an all nighter packing and getting last minute details together. The first two weeks of our stay overlapped with the end of the summer intern´s last days. We were so thankful to have have them as a resource to teach us the ins and outs of the ranch and to learn about their experiences.
We jumped right in and filled our days by helping with tasks and projects that were taking place at the ranch. Some of the projects included cleaning out the chicken coops, working with daub ( an earth based building material) walls, lime plastering, restructering the compost area, working in the woodshop ( Alex has spent much of his time here working with two local Tico brothers), breadmaking in a cob oven ( an earthen oven), making vegetarian diners, harvesting fruits and vegetables and so on.
We also have spent our free time hiking to waterfalls and hot springs, playing sports with the locals and doing lots of reading.
The new interns came this past weekend and we are helping with the group transition and orientation. The total group numbers 16 and varies in ages from 18 to 42. The majority of the interns are from North America with excluding one woman from Haiti.
We are so excited by the many opportunities available to explore over the next few months. We continue to dive head first into the endless amounts of sustaible living projects at the ranch.
We will write more as we continue adjust into our new roles over the next few weeks, but until then......we love you all and think of you often!

muchos besos

Mary-Laura and Alex

we will try an post some pictures soon.