La Mariposa has never looked so green….the trees, plants and flowers that we have been planting in every conceivable space are now giving us their full glory. It has got to the point where it is almost impossible to plant anything which requires full sunlight as we have put in so many trees and they grow so ashtonishly fast that La Mariposa now bears no resemblance whatsoever to the vast dusty building site of only 3 years ago – now unregconisably shady, green and lush.
Of course the wet season which started a couple of months ago has brought everything on enormously – it is mostly raining at night so the mornings are cool, sunny and totally delightful. We have apparently just had our first passing hurricane (Andrea or something similar) but it just gave us a short, but torrential downpour last night.
We have rented a small piece of land way up in Palo Solo (up on the ridge behind us) and have planted – naturally enough – beans, some corn, a root veggie called quesique and we are going to put in a couple of different kinds of squash. I am battling to disuade the guys from fumigation, and succeeded in persuading them to instead give employment to a group of local men to weed the land It is on an incredibly steep hillside, I tell you I have so much more respect for the utterly backbreaking work that campesinos have to do here and in other poor countries. But we shall have our first (almost) organic bean crop at the end of July – just about two months. Amazing. I am planning to save up and buy some land in the same place to set up a totally organic farm, maybe even with a small amount of livestock. On the same subject we seem to be doing well now with our chickens, getting between 7 and 10 eggs per day which is very exciting……they are called here “huevos del amor” literally love eggs!! To distinguish them from battery eggs.
The Mariposa animal population is generally stable now – at 5 adult cats, 6 dogs – we did take in Foxy from the streets of Granada but she is no problem. Unlike Molly who is still the toe-rag of the group – if she isn’t jumping at someone she is chasing chickens and/or ducks. And we have built large (and I mean large) cages for the 4 capuchin monkeys who are now so tame that we probably can’t release them. And of course the very noisy parrotts. One of the monkeys amuses everyone by living outside the cage but he likes to stay close to his friends so he doesn’t go far. Just destroys any tree or plant he can find – he loves to hide in the orange tree and throw down baby oranges just for fun!! So apart from the fact that two of our mares are about to foal (I am rather nervous as one of them, Coralee, lost her last foal in birth so fingers crossed for her), we have no current plans to increase the number of animals. People-wise all is good – we had a very hard time in May, a disastrous combination of events which even those of you with top-notch business degrees would have had difficulty foreseeing! Our microbus blew up and had to be replaced (took every dollar we had saved) and the numbers of students just collapsed on us. Whether because of the dip in the world economy or because its the first month in the rainy season, I have no idea. But we do seem to be recovering and the workers I had to lay off for a while are now almost all back at their posts!! The Nicaraguan news now is full of doom about the forthcoming loss of jobs here, clearly the collapse of capitalism will hit poor “Third World” people harder, just as its rise did! Which, on the tiny scale of the Mariposa, makes everything that we can do even more important.