Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Report back from a farm in Mexico

The explosions call the Catholic pilgrims, the humans call the blood
sucking bugs. Circling, coming from all directions. The soul, the red
life stream. We love you.

Apparently the name of this eco-village is actually Ohmsua. Their
sponsor is Agrinac.

Things I’ve done on Ohmsua so far:
Our meals were so irregular I took initiative to cook, and have cooked
lunch and comida and sometimes dinner for five to seven people each
day (on a fire, usually beans, oatmeal, eggs, and we always have
tortillas (12 for 10 pesos ($1 USD)! ). Starting to get into more
complex foods like falafel with garbonzo beans we grind and soy milk.
I like cooking now, and will probably continue experimenting with
oddities when I return. Have to figure out how to produce my own oil
though… Let’s cook!
Dug and filled a trench.
Collected limo (organic matter that has been removed from a stream).
Created plans or done math for a stair case, making nopal paint, and a
simple refrigeration system. The stair case will be steep with very
tall steps, which seems silly to me. The nopal paint dries white and
is made by mixing nopal cactus with salt, lime, and water. I know of
two simple refrigeration systems. One uses two clay pots with one
fitting into the other. Wetted sand is put in between the two pots and
a wetted towel to cover it all which works as evaporative cooling. The
other involves digging a hole (the deeper the better) and lining the
bottom with cement and the sides with bricks. You have two lids to
create an upper chamber to trap heat. The temperature below ground
remains fairly constant not too far down, so it works well.
Painted with nopal paint.
Cut pieces of plastic for a dome that probably will not get done.
Seen glowing worms (I didn’t know where else to say this).
The work here is usually much more relaxed that at El Chuzo, but I
feel like I have much less free time and less energy. There is no
electricity so it is candle or a campfire at night (I don’t like using
my flashlights).
Jack wants to do many things with the place. He wants to plant
hundreds of roses and dry them and press the oil. He has begun raising
rabbits. First for the children, because children love their softness.
Second for the poop and urine. Third for their fur. Fourth for their
fur. In the natural foods store he wants to set up a system of food
trading.

This place is pretty negative, and it has gotten to both of us. The
owner Jack uses generalized terms to refer to us. The white people or
kids. He is stupid, and has even told me one plant can be eaten raw
which I researched and discovered can actually cause death if eaten
raw (poke weed). One of the young workers, Chucho, uses passive
aggressive language and makes fun of us like we’re in some
competition. I’m hoping to put a bad review on their WWOOF page so
WWOOFers don’t come here, but then, it’s a really cool project that I
think should be supported. The people here are just assholes. It’s
also hard to sleep when there is a chance of rain because I didn’t
bring tent poles to reduce the weight of my pack so the netting is in
my face and moisture accumulates. The bug bites start itching at
random hours too. Not to mention the explosions and rooster that start
sounding off at six in the morning…

I’ve hit my first roadblock here with everyone. It’s so apparent I
have some growing up to do and things to learn, but so badly want to
be back in Oregon reading a book or doing something mindless on the
computer. I have to confront this though. Ignoring it and putting it
away is what I’ve always done, but can’t now.
Friendship confuses me, but that’s why I’m here. Love and hatred. God
and the Devil.
If we can make it through this little bit of time, the next farm we
plan on going to sounds amazing, and the town is known for their
ice-cream! No more tents. Hot showers. Probably more bugs, but
whatever. We may just end up going to Chalma and finding a place in
the woods we can camp out until we can go to the next farm, but that
raises its own difficulties…

I want fiction so badly. I didn’t realize how important it was to me,
even when I went on my media and art fast for five months two years
ago. I am going to binge on books and games when I get back. My only
way of escaping this place is by drawing pictures, writing little
stories to go along with them, and thinking of all the stories that
I’ve heard in my life. Unfortunately my memory is not so good, but
it’s enough.
That said I did bring one book, The Little Prince. I haven’t read it
yet on this journey, but I keep seeing and hearing little relics that
remind me of it… The Little Prince and the Fox on a key chain at El
Chuzo… Hearing about a volcano… Seeing thousands of birds flying
overhead… Going through the desert… The Snake… Water… Friendship. It’s
one of those last resorts.

It was supposed to rain, but we only saw flashes of lightning every
few seconds in the distance. We’ve been dry for the past month and a
half and have been through 10 degrees Farhenheit to a high of about 90
degrees Farhenheit.

Since I left about five or six weeks ago (wow, it seems so much
longer), I’ve spent less than $300 USD. It is very cheap to travel
through Mexico hitchhiking or not, but unfortunately very difficult to
recycle things. I’ve had to throw away a lot. Most packaging has a
trashcan symbol and a recycling symbol, though it doesn’t seem like
too many people recycle here.

Sage Lisky
Corespondent, Student Insurgent.

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