Volunteering at Bona Fide Permaculture Farm in Balgue Ometepe

Published: January 5th 2018
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Hola, so I have been enjoying my stay at Bona Fide Ometepe, over xmas and the New Year, been here 4 weeks already, 6 weeks left, it is going too quick!

Been a few weeks since the last blog.
So how is life on Bona Fide permaculture farm on Ometepe?

Well things are great, plenty to do in the mornings and time to chill and wander about afternoons and weekends.
Except the downer of when your new buddies leave on their travels or going home.

One guy , Dylan my roomie,, who left a week ago surprised us all and came back for new years!

Great to see him come back but sad to see him go again!

He is back home now in Florida.

All of the original people here when I arrived have gone now including Sam the Intern left today.

Just Sherri and me left plus Elias and Eliana.

So I had moved into The Lions Den with Sam for his last 2 nights but am in here on my own now. Has a double bed but I like the safety cave in the bunk lol

The cabana is the furthest away so is very secluded and from what Sam said not many people come to stay here so may be my own crib for my stay..... it is a really cool spot to live, if only I had a kitchen and a fridge lol

15 students have arrived from a high shool in the US, 2 boys 13 girls, they are here for 10 days to learn permaculture. They are all studying degrees so 18/19 years old.
We have had a few extra volunteers arrive, Elias and Eliana arrived New years eve for 2 weeks, plus a japanese girl for a few days. All great people.

We have 2 interns arriving mid January, who will be here 3 months minimum, also 2 new volunteers due the following week, but only here for a few weeks.
So seems a bit weird with all these people around especially for chill time and lunch etc

Have to be careful where you go for a wee with all these people here lol!
Plus if you are using the open air showers you need to pick the right time, so changed my schedule around a bit lol Including more visits to Bamboo for beers and food!

Dont get me wrong the food we get at the farm is amazing but I do like some meat or fish a few times a week and just a change (and some beer!).
Now all my proper drinking buddies have left I have being going on my own, keen for new arrivals. I have even stopped drinking rum at the farm! For now....

As I said in my previous blog we only work the mornings and are free to do what we want in the afternoons.

I have done many different things on the farm now, helped Sam finish laying irrigation pipes, harvesting bananas and plantain by cutting the tree to collect the fruit, fire wood chopping, coconut harvesting, coconut dehusking, replaced rear farm gate posts, watering plants in the garden, harvesting and processing jack fruit, clearing planting beds, machete work to cut back weeds.... to name a few.

The farm also runs workshops some afternoons for $10.
Medicinal workshop, permaculture introduction, tinctures, fermentation, basket weaving, chocolate making
Concepcion Concepcion Concepcion

first time seen the top
and probably more that i dont know of.

What to do in the afternoon if not doing a workshop?

Sometimes I just chill in a hammock or read a book, watch something on wifi, walk to Magdalana's or Bamboo for a cold beer and some meat! There are other restaraunts that are walkable but Mags is closest about 10 mins and Bamboo 20 mins has the coldest beer and a really cool owner Che!

A few of us hiked to the nearest Petroglypths, rock carvings dating back to 1000BC.

I have put some pictures up whcih show the walk to the pub, not your usual walk!

So when Phil, Dylan and Sam were here we would often go to the pub and then walk back in time for dinner at 1800 unless you are on the cooking rota and have to come back about 1600 to start cooking at 1630.

Some days the girls would come and join us for a drink or food.

Weekends we get to ourselves, walk to a beach or a larger town, chill at the farm, there are also some things I want to do like climb one or both volcanoes, kayak the land that joins the volcanoes, San Ramon waterfall, a day around the island on a moped and a Cacao ceremony.

Only have six weeks left to do them all lol

Well this years xmas and New Year were very different from the norm!

Xmas eve we walked to the nearest ATM, 1 hour 40mins walk. Then walked back stopping for a beer or two then headed back into town as there was a fiesta in town with a bull rodeo.

It is here for 3 weeks and has lots of foodstalls and pop up bars.

Xmas day we cooked our own breakfast, watched a movie then headed back to the rodeo in the afternoon so we could watch the rodeo.
They would let a bull into the ring then tether it to a post to allow a rider to mount then let them go!

When the rider thrown, some stayed on a while but some depended on how good the bull was, then people would teae around the bull and people watching would run across. all abit mad but had to go see, the good thing is they dont kill or mame the bulls.

For new years eve we went to a new hostel next to the lake called El Pital, also has a chocolate factory, where there was a party with several DJ's, fireworks, chill out area and dance floor.

The moon was full and had this amazing moon bow, a ring of cloud around it for the first few hours we were there, never seen this before .

Did not get back to the farm until 0430.

Over the xmas holidays from xmas day to new years day the staff are not in so we did either no work or just the minimum of watering, chickens and some sign painting. The kitchen staff were still in to cook us brekky and lunch.

It rained on and off most of the week but still warm and some sun.
All back to normal now with staff back, plus the students, plus the couple who own and started the farm, Mich and Sabrina from the US, they are cool too.

May get some opportunities to join in with weekend activities they may do to tick something off my list!
Sarah one of the co-ordinators has her 30th birthday this weekend, so we are having rum by a fire tonight and out for dinner at Campestre Saturday.

I have cancelled my next turtle project and am now trying to decide what to do next, as 6 weeks will probably flash by.

Have seen opportunties to do various projects in Costa Rica or here in Nicaragua, may even come back to Bona Fide! Have a flight back to Costa Rica mid Feb, as my visa runs out, but Nic is cheaper so may come back....depends on costs to return etc

Anyway chow for now...

Marky Larf

Additional photos below
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9th January 2018

Good morning Marko.
First of all happy new year Bro!! All the best !! Another amassing photos every place is beautiful, sounds like you meeting a lots of people every time you change the place or or they comes and go:) i know you like to stay busy and is great to see all the things you looking after. the bull rodeo looks like it was a great time, proper organised event:) We had a great xmas brake, awesome time with family lots of fends visit us and this year we went to proper party for the new year eve (with kids but it was great). O and the 2018 year starts great for me because i found the bike and manage to complete purchase on 2/Jan :) at the moment is in my conservatory but not for long. i need to find a garage :):):) Or Anna will divorce me lol :). This Thursday is first day back for me to Uni next 5 mounts will be hard:( Take care my friend, stay safe and keep in touch. J.

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