Posts Tagged ‘farm’

Nicaragua:  42/70

I stayed at two farms in Nicaragua and traveled a lot all over. One place was Matagalpa (a bigger city of about 600K) in the middle of the country. Another was San Antonio De Upa, a tiny hamlet (population 30? Maybe?) that you hike 8K from the bus stop to get to and is off the grid. Jinotega (180K population) is just north of Matagalpa.

I left here and went to Jinotega to another farm which was closer to a town (hitch-hiking is the preferred method of transportation of getting to/from towns) which is a blessing and a curse. You get access to bakery shops(!!!!) but you are also closer to more people (potential zombies). Being at the Biosfera the land, forest and natural springs were magical and I felt connected with the land. It was also pretty high up on a hill and semi-tucked away. The highway was right at the end of the driveway, so you never felt totally isolated. (again, blessing and a curse for the zombie apocalypse).

*note: if you’re a coffee drinker, this is the place to be! Actually, this is one of the places that Starbucks gets their coffee.

Leon, Nicaragua is great place to settle for a few days as it’s very close to beautiful beaches, volcanoes (that you can sled down!), public markets and lots of people to socialize with. (the locals are incredibly friendly and most people speak English in the bigger cities).

For being the second poorest country in the western hemisphere I stuffed myself silly (on zombie-apocalypse day) for 5$. Also, being the second safest means that I will most definitely be returning to Nicaragua soon.

LOCATION: 8/10

Nicaragua has many different climates all within a few miles of each other. You can be in a sweltering hot city in the middle of Leon and drive 20 minutes and be on a gorgeous beach. Or drive 20 minutes the other direction and be in the coffee plantation mountains.

Lots of places to hide away and get away, with paved roads and easy access to more populated (read: better equipped) areas.

WATER: 8/10

There are natural springs everywhere. Drinking the tap water, though, you need to be careful as it’s unknown where that water is coming from. Bring some iodine or find a spring.

FOOD: 7/10

If you like rice and beans, you’re in luck! If you like veggies, the market is your friend. (requires a trip to a high-populated area). If you need meat- you also won’t have a problem, but refrigeration is an issue (as is electricity in general.) but if you can find other people to share a chicken/cow with, then again, you won’t have an issue with food here.

LODGING: 2/10

Most of the houses here are pretty rustic unless you happen to find a really wealthy person who reinforced their house with concrete/sand bag foundations. Keeping out the elements isn’t the problem—but keeping out a hungry hoard would be.

COSTCO/SUPPLIES: 1/10

In all my travels I couldn’t find a general warehouse of goods. There are plenty of little shops- but you would have to know where to go/what you’re looking for (as the signage isn’t really well laid out/labeled). I’m also not really sure what the gun situation is, but only the bank-guards seemed to have them (that I saw).

NON-DEAD DANGERS: 7/10

The worst issue that I had were mosquitos and/or fleas—and even that was limited by comparison to other countries that I have visited. Other issues would be earthquakes or mud-slides during the wet-season.

Being on organic farms, however, I was told that the bigger problems were the locals using pesticides and those chemicals leaking into the water supply/other crops/land. This could have long-term health problems…. But I won’t get into that here. (we’re just thinking about surviving zombies, afterall.)

LOCALS/CULTURE: 9/10

Hands down, the nicest people I have met in Central America so far were the Nicos. Very polite! So thankful/appreciative that I was there! They were patient with my (abysmal) Spanish and giggled internally when I resorted to miming what I wanted. Besides being overly friendly (trying to pick me up), I loved my time here.

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Belize (zombie survival)

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Z0mB!eZ
Tags: , , , ,

Belize = 44/70

 

Belize is an English settlement in Central America that has a population of about 360K (for the whole country). They are on the Caribbean coast, so that means there is a crap-ton of snorkeling, diving, water sports as well as the convenience of the country being really small so you can drive across it in 2 hours.  I was there in November and the bugs were AWFUL on the farm—but I was also a) on a farm b) came here during the “wet season” c) terribly unprepared. So just bring socks and long-sleeves and you’ll be fine.

 

 

LOCATION: 7/10

Central America is a great location weather-wise. A lot of rain in the “winter” (wet season) and it gets really hot, but never super cold. (no snow). This makes it ultimate camping weather, which is important during an apocalypse.

 

WATER: 9/10

Water a plenty here! When it’s the wet season, (if the air is ok), you could drink rain-water (and everyone has a rain-water collector.) If you find a spring, you could also drink from that.

 

Also, because it’s a coastal city, you can always get on a boat and paddle out to one of the keys (caye) for either R&R or escape!

 

LODGING: 6/10

Housing is kinda touch/miss in Central America as a whole. Some people have wood shacks with steel/tin roofs that are easily accessible to zombie hoards. Other people have cement/adobe huts with thatch roofs (again, not really zombie-proof). Many places in Belize were raised up, though, which IS pretty zombie proof—except they are made of wood (easily burnable). So housing may have to be reinforced.

 

FOOD: 9/10

My Belizean experience included a lot of farm food (There is an organic farm in Rancho Dolores, btw) which was all delicious. Papaya, oranges, limes, lemon, kumquats, bananas (a plenty), coconut, rum, sugar cane, beans, onion, ginger, etc were all on the menu every night. The locals all have chicken-coops and cows and sheep and other animals that are all tasty when prepared. The other nice thing is that the locals all know how to butcher meat/eat well— so if you find a local who isn’t undead, you’re in luck!

 

COSTCO/SUPPLIES: 4/10

You won’t have a problem finding a machete, but finding guns/gun supplies will, most definitely, be more difficult. I never found a need to go and get weird/random things that weren’t available at a local store, which is nice. If you are willing to “camp” for a while- you’ll be fine.

 

NON-DEAD DANGERS:  2/10

Oy… where do I begin?

-panthers

-fire ants

-fer de lances (pit viper snakes)

-mosquitos (malaria…. Very rare, though.)

-scorpions (I didn’t see one)

-Tarantulas (actually, they are pretty docile, but a worry, none-the-less).

-rats/mice a-plenty (potential rabies/diseases if they get in your food supply.

 

LOCALS/CULTURE: 7/10

There is definitely a lot of amazing and proud culture in Belize. A lot of the locals are from Africa (slave ships) or from other countries in Central America. All have amazing ancestor tips/tricks as well as ways to celebrate/have a good time (almost all include rum).

 

I have been on 2 farms in the past 2 weeks and here is what I have done:

1)   I am a fan of hitchhiking as I have done it a lot lately. I also really like riding in the back of trucks with 300+ lbs of beans/rice/corn/whatever.

2)   The first farm I was on was an all-organic farm about 8K from the bus stop. Hiking that in the dark was a little scary, but the stars (and lack of light at all) made the journey well worth it! The mist over that farm, when it was raining, was out of this world beautiful. Seeing clouds swallow mountains is breath taking!

3)   This farm was also off the electrical grid. As cool as the bio-digestor (goggle it!) is, it doesn’t keep a flame all that well and very constantly. Most of my meals had to be cooked over a wood flame (I now kick ass at starting fires… but keeping them going is another story). My machete accuracy is also improving, as I had to chop all my own firewood. However, I got sick of just eating beans and rice with no spices.  Also, it became more and more difficult to cook food as all the wood was wet (from the days and days of constant rain). Finally (after 6 days of not talking to a single person, a lot of reading and a lot of arguments with myself) a girl (Elyna) showed up! I quickly realized that I was a little miserable at that farm. She suggested that we leave– so we did!

4)   We both arrived at “The Biosphere” (another organic farm), but it’s more of a family who all lives and grows and eats here. The energy (if you believe in that sort of thing) is excellent and I feel cozy! (Read: I don’t feel like I’m in a 3rd world country). The other night we watched Princess Bride while eating popcorn. The only thing that was missing was hot-cocoa (which we’ll make tonight once we get more dolce) out of hand-picked cocao. They have a kitten who sleeps on my bed every night which makes me miss my whore, but having a decent kitchen/volunteer facilities makes it worth it. They also have a duck who likes to “run laps” on the roof at 5:30am. (I think she’s practicing her take off and landings.) I’ll be here for the 21st (they’re having a big festival for the end of the world) and then I’ll move on to Leon w/ Elyna (if we’re all still here).

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Here is are some of the random things that I have learned:

1)   If you cut a log/branch for firewood (with a machete), stand the branch up and hack at an angle, turn the branch, hack again, turn the branch, hack again… (Rinse and repeat until you get some grooves/wedges and/or can snap it.)

2)   Fried green bananas are pretty damn tasty. Also, there are about a thousand different varieties of bananas. I really like the small super-sweet ones. J I wonder if I’ll ever eat Dole bananas again.

3)   To milk a goat or a cow, you use the same technique; it’s just that one utter is bigger than the other.

4)   You don’t need baking soda/powder for tortillas. In fact, I prefer it without.

5)   Malanga is probably the best food I’ve eaten here so far. It’s a root that grows in swampy-areas with big full “cow-hoof” leaves. It tastes like a buttered potato, slightly sweeter and a more creamy texture. If it weren’t so high in carbs I would eat it with every meal.

6)   The mountains of Nicaragua are breath taking! Especially after it rains and you are high up in the cloud.

7)   With all the different places I’ve been working at, I’m slowly, but surely, keeping a list of what I like/dislike in Bosses, management styles, what kind of team I like to work with, what kind of work I excel at vs what is difficult for me, how I would lead a team/project differently, how to be more efficient, etc. This isn’t really interesting to anyone BUT me, but I thought I would mention it as this is something I’ve spent a great deal of time figuring out lately.