Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jinotega (finally posting something)

Okay folks its been a while since my last post, but better late than never I guess. I've been in Jinotega, Nicaragua for about two weeks now. I'm staying on a permaculture farm outside of town called "La Biosfera." I started out doing random little projects here and there in exchange for lodging, but I've now been moved into an official internship position and will be working on a few long-term projects over the next few months, so I'm really excited about that. This permaculture farm is an upshoot of a failed water bottling business that Suzanne, the owner of the Biosfera, started in order to have revenue for an alternative ecomomic development plan that she was planning to implement. Unfortunately the spring water had some bacteria in it and she closed doors on the business and decided to focus on permaculture. A couple of years ago she built an earthbag guest dorm hoping to get some cash flow from the increasing number of eco-tourists that are traveling around Central America. What exactly is permaculature? Here's a quick vid that explains much better than I can.

So basically permaculture is the attempt to ensure that the human race will stay on this planet for a long, long time without outstripping resources. Cool stuff. One thing that's important to note - contrary to what you might have gathered from the video, not all permaculturists are hippies. Suzanne is a retired Marine, so I think that pretty much makes her not a hippie.

Some of the concepts we have going are humanure recycling, earthbag construction, and swale water harvesting. I haven't really taken any pictures of this stuff yet, but here's a short little video about water swales:

My posts might be kind of few and far between while I'm here, because unless we get Internet at the Biosfera I have to come into town to use it. I'll still try to post once a week.

I'm glad I've finally found a non-gringo-infested place where I can see myself spending an extended period of time. It's nice to be so far off the beaten track that not many tourists make it out here, and those that do are people looking for a more authentic Nicaraguan experience -- the kind of people that I actually like to spend time with.

I did manage to get a few pictures of the sun setting the other day. As you can see, this place is absolutely gorgeous.

So that's that. I'll post again no later than next Sunday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Another change in plans

I know I said I was flying into Managua on the 4th, but, well, I'm still in Nashville. I have a bunch of stuff to sort out before going back and my plans still need a bit more... solidifying. Details to come.