Sunday, January 18, 2009

Little Creatures Everywhere!

January has been a month of new life abounding... in fact, super-abounding, over-flowing, and clinging to the rafters! Luckily, we welcome it all as a opportunity to teach us about the cycles of sustainability.

So, along came Paloma´s little calf on the 15th, wobbly legged and brown! We´d been waiting for her since the end of December, and Paloma had been showing all the signs for a while... And alas, sometime after a gargantuan dinner of elephant grass and river water, she birthed Suki into the world. Just like that, easy and natural, alone in her milkshed under the twilight and jungle night noises. We woke up the next morning and there she was, Suki, already licked clean and nursing. It is a gorgeous and wonderous thing...

Paloma is a wonderful mama...

...and over-flowing with milk. She gives us about 5 liters per day, which we make into yoghurt, cheese, ricotta, butter, cream... and we are learning more recipes!

We have also added a kitten (called Amanita) and puppy (called Lulu) to our menagerie of creatures. They keep us on our toes, or rather, one of them is usually on our toes. They both just love to play and play and play. Sometimes even with each other.

And, as expected, Rambo-Rambeax is jealous and acting like the grumpy uncle, having taken over their sleeping box and claimed it as his own.

Aside from the husbandry of animals, we have been quite busy with lovely odd projects and constructions. Our Yoga Platform is on its way...

The Yoga space is in the forest, slightly raised off the ground to allow for air passage and breathability, and will be made mostly from the hardwood we harvested from fallen trees on our land. It should hold 12 to 16 people in full on sweaty asana practice.Other constructions: our volunteers built this beautiful earthen and stone staircase down to the dipping hole in the river. Now we can get in and out of the bath without muddying up our feet!

On the subject of water, December was a rather dry month for our neck of Misiones, and lots of wells went dry. Ours was still okay for our drinking and cooking consumption, but we were afraid that if the dry spell continued or occurs again int he future we would be out. So, we talked to some locals and found out about this ¨Water Diviner¨who could help us find the source of our water where we should dig a well. We did, and she came, and she felt for water all over our land with a branch of Guayabira tree and iron needle. The branch and needle pulled her arms toward the magical water spot beneath the earth. She found lots and lots!
So, we started digging. She said that at 4 meters we would hit a gorgeous spring of water and always have it fresh and abundant. The new spring is actually the mother-source of where we currently take water, being just slightly uphill. So far, we´ve made it about 3 meters, fairly easily, but now are taking our time with the last meter of solid rock!

Also, we are continuing to make Adobe bricks, which we figured out dry much better and stronger in the shade (the sunshine is super strong here and cracks them if dried directly in full sun.) We are planning to build a stone and adobe bathroom and shower house soon.

Bonus photo... Weird Bug on Adobe Bricks.