After a pretty harrowing bus ride, I made it to Rancho Mastatal! It has been raining so much for the past few days that the road I was coming in on (a super narrow road on the edge of a cliff) was washed out! They were just fixing it as we drove past in our bus full of 60 locals and me. As we went down steep slopes all the kids on the bus would yell, “ahhhhhh! We’re going down! See you in heaven!” But I was never scared. The sights out the window were just too jaw-droppingly stunning! Try and imagine lush, green, rolling hill after hill of tropical beauty!
Mastatal is in the middle of rural Costa Rica, South of San Jose. The town of Mastatal is tiny. There is one bar, one mini market and one internet cafe with two computers and cable internet. Thankfully I have my little netbook!
You can check out their page to learn more, but essentially Rancho Mastatal is an environmental learning center run by interns and volunteers. They frequently have school groups come through for a week, and right now a University of Washington group is here!
I will be a volunteer here for about three weeks. They give you the freedom to take on what tasks interest you most on the farm, so you know where I’ll be most of the time…in the kitchen! We all alternate cooking and cleaning duties and we get to cook up all the yummy produce grown on the farm and in the surrounding community of Mastatal. In the community there is a sugar plantation, coffee, cocoa, a dairy and so much more!
Fridays are bagel night, so all day today I’ve been helping make bagels and bread. We will soon bake them in a cob oven!
Here are a few photos I’ve taken today, many more to come!
The front porch of the main house, but there are about 4 dwellings.
Hammocks are all around the porch to chill in
One of the reasons I want to stay here for a while is the amazing library they have, full of environmental and foodie books!
My (full size!) bed in the main house. The net is not just for mosquitos; they tell me there are snakes, spiders, scorpions and tons of other creepy crawlies. So far, I've had a cockroach the size of my thumb in my toilet tree bag...
The whole wheat bagels I helped make, ready to be baked in the cob oven. Plain and the works (onion, basil and sun dried tomato).