Tierra Dulce – Day 3 : dance and bamboos

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The early bird catches the worm!

This morning for breakfast, Freddie made some arepas, which are some sort of pancakes made solely of corn flour and water and are very traditional here. You can eat them pretty much like bread or pancakes: just spread some stuff over them (like marmalade or fresh cheese).

After breakfast, Christina showed us our task for today: build a better door for the third hen enclosure. The actual door is essentially a net hooked on a nail, and you have to unhook it every time you need to enter the enclosure. It’s not very practical nor hen-proof, as some hens regularly manage to escape the enclosure.

Our tools are quite old, and are mainly a metal saw and an electric screwdriver (with a short-circuit in the cord, so it doesn’t work in every position…). The building materials are some bamboos (which were lying around), a bit of rope and wire.

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Our cute but unhelpful helpers (and Ben)!

Our plan is simple: we attach two bamboos vertically to create a doorframe, then we build a frame out of bamboos and fill it with the chicken net to create a hen-proof door. The door will be attached to one of the vertical bamboos with wires, which should create some sort of hinges.

During the morning we only managed to cut and attach the bamboos for the doorframe. It has proven to be quite harder than we expected. The enclosure isn’t built in a very stable manner: nothing is really attached, and when it is, it’s by a bit of rope or wire. But that didn’t stop us and at noon, our doorframe was quite solidly (or as much as possible) attached to the construction.

This afternoon, we learned that it is quite hard to assemble a simple frame out of bamboos, especially when, like for us, the bamboos are small and not very regular. After a few tries, we did manage to attach them together by piercing a hole into their extremities and using some wire to link them together.

Work was delayed by the always curious tiny chicks that kept hanging around us with no regard for danger (our big hiking shoes can actually become a big danger to an animal as tiny as a chick if we step on them!). Even when we carried them to the other side of the farm, they managed to come back and annoy us very quickly (but they are so cute 😊).

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Our awesome door!

Altogether, we’re quite proud of our door (and Christina and Daniel seem happy with our work). It works, it’s handy, it’s stable and it’s hen-proof (at least for now 😉).

Tonight, we went to a small feast in the village (well, it was supposed to be the birthday of a local girl, but most of the people from the neighboring farms were there). At first it was very chill, as most of the people just wanted a cool beer to relax after a day’s work in the sun. But after a while, more and more people went on the dancefloor (Saturday night fever!).

Here, dancing is a very important part of life. Everybody dances with everybody else, and even the smallest child knows how to dance. They sure got the rhythm (and the rhythms here are much complicated than our slow European rhythms!). At first, we were a bit too intimidated by their dancing level to participate, but after some encouragements (and a couple beers), we managed to dance too. We certainly didn’t impress them with our moves on the dancefloor, but we felt right at home in this small community.

That’s all for today, more news in the next article!

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