The IPC Update
February 7th, 2020
Bienvenidos one and all!
We have unofficially opened up our doors to paying guests and are working on an Airbnb page this week. Last month we were blessed with a family of 3 visiting from Quebec for 4 days followed by a wonderful French couple for 8 days and we also had my kids here... it was a full house! And with Fabrice & Camille, - Jessie, Kayla, Jade, Louca, Eli and I ended up cave exploring, playing games, working and sharing some nice meals and conversations together – a glimpse of the community spirit I am hoping will blossom as people come to stay more long term.
Thank you Fabrice and Camille for your stay and help.
With my kids here, we spent time exploring the island and enjoying Bocas more than ever before... it was like a vacation, even for me! We ended up spending chill times at Mamallena - a Bocas hostel hangout and hit the beaches too. One day we decided to trek to Bluff beach from our house through the jungle paths and thanks to a little help from a native boy our adventure was fruitful. I was super sad after dropping Louca and Jade off at the airport in Panama ... those 18 days went by so fast and I am unable to fathom when our paths will cross again!
Bluff beach sand castle ... part of this castle was still there a week later!
Back at base camp, last month, we tackled some more house repairs and made improvements such as screening the balcony and fixing the bathroom water leaks, we have half finished the outdoor bath/pool, ramped up the liquid soap production, made a wooden Chinese checker board and did more Permaculture research especially on local plants. Our guests started a picture mural wall in the living room / dining hall which is a beautiful addition ... there is room for others to add on and elaborate ; ) .
A recent photo of the living rooms; note the murals and the African chairs.
Building the outdoor bath/pool.
More seeding and planting has been on going. Started two new small patches of bananas and other tropical food on the farm as well as adding to and maintaining the back yard garden. I was excited to stumble upon a few cacao and molly apple trees that Gordon and Lal transplanted on the land 15 years back. The cacao trees will need pruning as will an ancient plantain field on a hill further inland... I am asking the universe for some energetic volunteers to take on that task with me in the coming weeks.
Happiness is a green thumb.
This was taken with a hunting camera... I was hoping to catch some bugs in action yet I only caught myself tending the covered raised bed we started 10 days ago. Despite persistent bug attacks the plants are coming along. This batch will be to supplement the community food stocks.
The screened balcony.
One morning I walked by some garbage. Shit, someone had off loaded at least one pick up full of junk on the land! And there was more garbage up the farm road on both sides (so I wasn’t the only farm affected) ... after an hour of emotional distress, I decided to take matters in my own hands. I talked to all the neighbors concerned with access to that road and bought a chain, a lock, made keys, mixed up some concrete and up-cycled some garbage to make the posts for a barrier across the road. Wow, writing it like that makes its seem like I did it in a day but actually it was an intermittent process that took about a week. I also denounced the dumping to the authorities which I doubt will do anything worthy but I needed to try. I found out that the price of garbage pick up for some is too high I found out that in the countryside people bury their own or burn their own and few get it picked up ... but in the towns people don’t have the choice and some don’t want to or can’t pay for the municipal sanctioned garbage pick up and dump so there are black market dumpsters who do the job for less in town and they find out of the way places to dump. Its sad to think how stupid humans have been and how caught up so many people are in the status quo! Its reassuring to know that consumerism can’t last indefinitely and that it has only been about a century that we have started producing things that can produce long term damage (plastics, nuclear, chemical pesticides etc...), so we can start improving by not playing into the same game of ‘convenience first’. Anyway, in the coming weeks I should take a day and go through it all, salvage what can be reused and dispose of the rest but I am still peeved that I have to clean up other peoples shit and pay for it! So far only one of the 3 neighbors have offered me any recompense. Now at least that there is a chain blocking the road it shouldn’t happen again (in my backyard :-| ).
I hired Celestino for a day and replaced part of the farm fence along the road to stop cows and unwanted visitors from just sauntering in. The land will need to be surveyed before the final purchase and at that point we will look at fencing the rest. This time we used barbed wire and living fence posts but I really dislike barbed wire ... maybe it is the best choice here? No stones to be found, maybe a certain type of bush but it would need to be super dense, not spread or get too tall and be suited to this environment... anyway if anyone reading has any ideas to replace barbed wire please let me know.
I am re-linking my recent article on Medium - Frugality is Eco-logic, as I would appreciate some feedback from those of you who understand the evolution that must be woven into the fabrics of our societies. https://medium.com/@ivan_19115/frugality-is-eco-logic-347bd66d6785
Jessie and I continue to meet new locals... some of which have good information and resources to share. One such encounter occurred when all the kids went for a surfing lesson. I talked for a bit with Nestor, the captain of the boat and I talked for a bit. He has a large variety of tropical fruits and plants such as Durian and Salaca on his farm on a nearby island. Yeah!! I have been looking for such plants and was afraid I had to make a trip to Costa Rica ... so I promised I’d purchase at least 200 plants at $2 each which is a good deal for everyone. Of course its still a bit premature... so I haven’t gone yet. The Permaculture plan is only in its infancy, no soil tests have been done nor changes to the land such as swales or legume plantings, or even deciding where such a food forest would be best ... but LET ME DREAM! Perhaps I should start a small section anyway while waiting for new tribes people and investors to get serious and bring their own flavor and light to the IPC.
Your IPC correspondent,
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