Lots of happenings at the Mariposa over the Xmas period, photographed by Steve Pollock, one of the Spanish students who celebrated the festivities with us and kindly said we could use his photos – starting at the end of November with the coffee harvest which has to be done in two parts as the berries don’t all ripen at the same time. We are now including an afternoon activity picking the beans and then visiting a processing plant to see what happens – it’s actually pretty complicated and though I have now been two or three time I still can’t describe for certain how the process works – though at least the basics of drying in the sun, taking off the shell, taking off the shell again and then toasting and milling are fairly obvious. The processing plants have machinary which in some cases is over a hundred years old (health and safety fanatics have to look the other way) and one small plant (ie the back patio of a house in San Marcos) uses a standard fan to lieterally blow away the shells of the beans…..fascinating and helps one appreciate that morning cup of cafeine. We have hopefully harvested enough to see us thorough the year.
But the big event of course was the party we had at the Mariposa for the primary age school kids from Panama. Over a hundred, plus assorted teachers, had to be collected from Panama and brought to the Mariposa. It took several microbus journeys and the first to arrive sat incredibly patiently waiting for their classmates to arrive. They all enjoyed being introduced to Suki, our ocelot kitten (who is getting pretty big now but she’s fairly tame as we had to hand rear her) and our newest animal arrival, Suki Junior (a tiny ocelot kitten who is much wilder and still has to be given her own name!!).
As you can see from the pic, Suki likes to play with the dogs. Cabezon (which means Big Head!) is not one of our dogs, he belongs to Daniel but follows him absolutely everywhere. When Daniel goes to the loo he sits outside wimpering!!! he looks such a toughie…..we do hav eanother rescued dog, a little sweetie called Foxy for obvious reasons. Enough dogs. But we hav egiven away all our rescued kittens (that was hard) so our number of cats has gone down from 13 to 5!!!
You can just see our wonderful (best and cheapest I’ve ever had) Xmas tree in the background – made form a dead coffee tree branch and decorated by Guillermina and Cassidy.
The party was a huge success, the kids had a semi-nutritious meal of rice and chicken, cooked on our open cooker which uses firewood gathered in our little piece of land. They had cake and, of course, a pinata which showers sweets over everyone and sends the kids mad with delight……