Edit Blog Post
Published: January 2nd 2010
Killin' Bats 1Since Mexico, Last 2 Weeks
Before the light bulb smashes, when keeping my eye on the bat was easy.
1. Bats in the Night and Baseball
3. Honey a la miel.
4. Working the Fields 1. Bats in the Night, and Baseball
Last night (Dec 11), a bat got into our house around 9 pm. The problem was that to get it out, it has to go through either the door or 1 of 2 windows, which are pretty low compared to the ceiling. And since it was flying high, it was clear that it needed some external help. Fortunately for us, Bela (the dude), had been to Africa and learned that in these situations, the best tactic is to smack it out. Thus, with a broom in hand, Bat Baseball began. I then spent the next 45 min. swinging for the fences at this little mammal. The pictures don’t do it justice because I was swinging with all my might, but it was really fun. Until about half way through when I smacked the shit out of our only light bulb. Naturally, it shattered and showered me with glass. I was fine, but the rest of the game was played in the dark with a head
Working with Jaime
Jaime is a cerebral palsy kid who we teach and work with every evening. Here, he's practicing walking in his bars.
lamp. And at this point, in addition to making contact, the challenge became keeping my eye (and the light) on the ball. But after the fourth hit, I finally knocked him down for a few seconds and enough time to switch to hockey and slap shot him out the door. I favorably await the next visit from el vampiro. 2. Relationships
We’re starting to build strong relationships with the people of the community here, and as this continues, were making more friends and learning much more about life. And it has very much been the doorway to many of the adventures, stories, and experiences that we’ve had and will continue to have, so enjoy. 3. Honey a la miel
There’s a family here who produces honey (i.e. local, organic, bla bla bla, which here really just means by hand). There are 3 different families involved in the venture (brothers, uncles etc). One day this week, after passing one guy in the street, we were invited to his house to watch the process. For those of you who don’t know, Becky is obsessed with honey, so this was a dream come true. Anyway, when we showed up
Israel, showing Becky a tablet of honey which holds the bees. Each wooden crate holds ~7 Tablets.
at night, through the darkness, the entire extended family was out and about working together under 1 light bulb. It was a large process: 1 person was working with a machete to cut off the top of the wax, 4 or 5 were manning a big spinning machine which helped take out the honey, and another 4 or 5 were pouring, closing, and moving the new honey and crates. While there, they asked if we wanted to try some. Pure, fresh, no more then 5 min out of the hive. But we were very surprised in what they meant by ‘try’. They gave each of us a bowl of honey, only. And like whinnie the pooh we sat there eating honey with nothing more than our paws. There was a lot of honey.
And for those that are curious how honey is made, here’s a brief synopsis of the process: They keep the cases for the bees in 4 different places, very far away from houses and people. The cases are open so that the bees can come and go as they please, using pollen from all the different flours that exist. Here, the family says that the best
The Honey Barrel with a crank, which spins 4 tablets at a time really fast in order to take out the honey.
honey made is with a wide variety of flours. And different types of flours give different subtle tastes to the honey. Anyway, each location has a bunch (10-40) wooden boxes, each with about 7 tablets for the bees. The tablets have premade wax inside so that the bees only have to work on it a little bit before they can start producing honey. (As opposed to a hive where they spend much more time constructing there home and less time making honey).
In this region, they only produce the honey during the dry season because that’s when there are more flowers and more honey produced by the bees (in the wet season the bees need all the honey they make and store to survive. But in the dry season there’s plenty of extra). The honey made from each group of bees gets harvested about 4 times in the dry season (so every 6 weeks for 6 months).
The production: It is always done during the night when the bees are less aggressive. Dressed in full anti-bee suits, they use smoke to scare the bees out of the cases, though many remain. They then carry the cases to ‘the
Sr. Ulysses and Jr
Sr. Ulysses with his son, getting ready to return the boxes
machine´, a big barrel with slots for 4 tablets and a crank. Once loaded with 4 tablets, they take turns working the crank which spins the tablets at a fast speed to remove the honey. The honey then drains out of a hole in the bottom of the barrel and is stored in big water jugs. From the harvest we saw (with 7 cases), they made about 15 gallons of honey….and they have over 100 cases of bees in total.
And that’s how honey is born. Im also taking orders for local, hand made, organic honey if anyone wants. 4. Working the Fields
One of my personal goals on this trip is to learn and better understand life here in Estancia, which means understanding work. As patient numbers have dropped down a bit in the last few weeks, I’ve been taking advantage of the extra time to get out of the clinic and work the land a bit. So far I’ve helped reconstruct the street, which is done every year after the rainy season ends, harvest beans, and dig a hole for a permanent compost pile. To harvest beans, we carried bunches and bunches of dried plants
Making the Street
Helping build the new street
(that had been left out in the sun for a few weeks) to a big tarp. It sound easy, but the beans are scattered throughout the side of a steep hill, and there all carried on our backs and shoulders. Once a giant ass pile is placed on the tarp, we then bang the crap out of them for ~20 minutes with large sticks. It sounds fun, and it was, but it was also hard. As for the compost pile. It was a 1.5 m in diameter and 1 m deep. We still haven’t finished yet, but the digging involved breaking the land with a pick and spear and then shoveling it out. Like the beans, it sounds easy, but the steel pick and spear are heavy and even more so to swing.
Tot: 0.046s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 7; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0063s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb