A day at Finca Milagros

This is a record of a relatively typical day at Finca Milagros:

I slept in the hammock under the trees and the stars, woke up at sunrise, and had breakfast. (Hot chocolate and oatmeal with fruits and local jam.)

Two people who have a rain gutter business came around 6:30am, looked at the roof, talked with us, and we made an agreement for what type of gutter and the price. They’ll have it ready by mid-February.

We will also install one or two tanks to collect the rainwater. The roof is a little less than 100m2 which means that each millimeter of rain will give us 100 liters of water. A good rain may give us 5cm which means 5,000 liters of water1. We may have at least one 15,000-liter tank to collect the water, maybe more.

Just after 7am, José brought Spanish plum trees from his farm and planted them here for us. (Arbol de cocotas / jocota / Spanish plum / Jamaican plum / spondias purpurea.) He showed us how to plant them at an angle so they shade themselves from the sun. He is one of the workers on Roberto’s house up the hill (the father of my wife) and has helped us with a few other projects.

At 9am, Moncho the carpenter came. (Who we already know since this is a small community.) He looked at the doors and windows, and we made a list of several things for him to fix and improve. He’ll come next week to do the work.

Later in the morning, we planted a diversity of seeds and seedlings in a couple of areas close to the house. We added a lot of mulch to help keep the moisture in the ground. I also put some spiny branches on the stone fence so the neighbor’s cows won’t get to a papaya plant growing too close to the fence.

I contacted several neighbors for advice about the size of the rainwater tanks. I also contacted several people about sources for native flowering bushes and trees since we want more of those close to the house. (The local nurseries don’t have many native plants.)

I was in conversation with the architect about the rainwater collection for Roberto’s house (Ale’s father). We’ll likely use two tanks and place them close to the swimming pool. The roof area is a little over 200m2 which means that 1mm of rain gives 200 liters of water. That also means that a couple of days of good rain will give at least 20,000 liters of water. We may use two tanks of at least 15,000 liters each to collect the water. I am thinking that we actually need more since we need to store water for the dry season.

We also talked about the possible swimming pool, and especially the size. We decided on 11×2.5 meters for now, although it may change. (I wonder if we just need a cooling pool and can use the local public swimming pool for actual swimming. It seems a better use of resources, but I don’t know and I am not the only one making the decisions here.)

I called a friend of mine for her birthday. I know her from Oregon and she is now in Sweden at a weawing school.

I took a nap (siesta) in the afternoon with Merlina, who also takes a nap in the early afternoon.

At 5pm, my wife’s uncle and aunt came to visit. They went for a short walk to look at Roberto’s house that’s being built up the hill and see the sunset over the canyon. We then had a delicious dinner with wine outside.

I should mention that it sounds like I am doing a lot here. That’s not the case. I had all the info ready for the rain gutter people and the carpenter so they knew the situation and what to do. The online communications were brief and to the point. The seed planting took only a few minutes. I left the sunset walk to my wife and her uncle and aunt. I rested throughout and most of the day. I would love to do a lot more and have a long list of things I want to do, but I have to limit my activities to the essentials and rest most of the time for health reasons.

(1) I updated the calculations a few days later based on a good rain that gave us 5cm of water. I initially used a lower estimate.

The image is the view from the hammock during the day. At night, the sky is filled with stars.


INITIAL DRAFT

January 10, 2023

A DAY AT FINCA MILAGROS

A record of a relatively typical day at Finca Milagros these days:

I slept in the hammock under the trees and the stars, woke up at sunrise, and had breakfast. (Hot chocolate and oatmeal with fruits and local jam.)

Two people who have a rain gutter business came around 6:30am, looked at the roof, talked with us, and we made an agreement for what type of gutter and the price. They will have it ready by mid-February. We will also install one or two tanks to collect the rainwater.

The roof is a little less than 100m2 which means that each millimeter of rain will give us 100 liters of water. A good rain will give us five or ten times that, and 10 days of good rain will give us 10,000 liters or more. We may have at least one 15,000 liter tank to collect the water, maybe more.

Just after 7am, José who is one of the workers on the house we are building up the hill came. He brought three trees from his own farm and planted them here for us. They are fruit trees. (Arbol de cocotas / jocota / Spanish plum / Jamaican plum / spondias purpurea.)

At 9am, the carpenter came. (Who we already know since this is a small community.) He looked at the doors and windows, and we made a list of several things for him to fix and improve. He’ll come next week to do the work.

Later in the morning, we planted a diversity of seeds and seedlings in a couple of areas close to the house. We added a lot of mulch to help keep the moisture in the ground. I also put some spiny branches on the stone fence so the neighbor’s cows won’t get to a papaya plant growing too close to the fence.

I contacted several neighbors for advice about the size of the rainwater tanks. I also contacted several people about sources for native flowering bushes and trees since we want more of those close to the house. (The local nurseries don’t have native plants.)

I was in conversation with the architect about the rainwater collection for Roberto’s house (Ale’s father). We’ll likely use two tanks and place them close to the swimming pool. The roof area is a little over 200m2 which means that 1mm of rain gives 200 liters of water. That also means that 10 days of good rain will give at least 20,000 liters of water. We may use two tanks of at least 15,000 liters each to collect the water.

We also talked about the possible swimming pool, and especially the size. We decided on 11×2.5 meters for now, although it may change. (I think we just need a cooling pool and can use the local public swimming pool for actual swimming. It’s a better use of resources, but I am not the only one making the decisions here.)

I took a nap (siesta) in the afternoon with Merlina, who also takes a nap in the early afternoon.

At 5pm, my wife’s uncle and aunt came to visit. They went for a short walk to look at Roberto’s house that’s being built up the hill and see the sunset over the canyon. We then had a delicious dinner with wine outside.

I should mention that it sounds like I am doing a lot here. That’s not really the case. I had all the info ready for the raingutter people and the carpenter so they knew the situation and what to do. The online communictions were brief and to the point. The seed planting took only a few minutes. I left the sunset walk to the others. I rested throughout and most of the day. I would love to do a lot more, and have a long list of things I want to do, but I have to limit my activities to the essentials and rest most of the time for health reasons.

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