02/13/2015 33 °C
Day 10, February 12, 2015
Our host, Alex, served us and the birds breakfast with occasionnal disappearances when he heard a bird he needed to look for. We then climbed in the bus and headed off for our next destination, a homestay in Santa Rosa…… Along the way we made a stop at a restaurant by a river where the owner had decided to free his iguanas a few years back but kept feeding them. The local igunanas found out and now there are hundreds of huge iguanas lazing about in the trees in the area.
When we reached Santa Rosa we turned off on a dirt road and travelled 2.5 kms to our homestay. The group was divided amongst 3 houses in a rural community that is trying to protect the area and is offering homestays as a means of supplementing the farm income. Our home is a 15 acre farm with an extended family and a number of living on it, grows sugar cane, bananas, cattle and a few other assorted plants and animals. A number of the community women had prepared workers lunch for us, although they got us to make tortillas and salad and do the dishes. The food was delicious and plentiful.
After lunch we went on a tour of the farm which was very interesting. Of course, this was followed by a snack based on the crops they grew on the farm. Also delicious and plentiful. Needing to get a bit of exercise before dinner, we walked up the road a bit until it was getting dark. The air was warm and the smell of citrus was in the air. It was so quiet after being in the towns for the past few days.
Sandra, our hostess was a very skilled cook and her 9 year old daughter supervised Gail as she tried to help. Sandra didn’t have a stove but used 2 hotplates, a rice cooker, and a crockpot and an outdoor brick over. She produced a sopa negra with avacados, farmer’s cheese, fresh eggs and passion fruit juice, it was delious. Sandra’s husband besides running the farm is the principal at the local grade school, where because it’s a small rural school he also teaches. His father and his sister have houses on the farm, so in many ways it’s a family operation with 13 other people also working. Their main farm income comes from the they raise and sell. They grow all the feed themselves for the cattle. Besides having three children, Sandra gets up at 5:00am to drive the school bus. Dinner conversation was a combination of Spanish, English, and guessing, it was delightful. We consider ourselves fortunate to have had this home stay opportunity as it’s a side of Costa Rica that folks who stay in a tourist resorts never experience.