This week, Ellen and I are volunteering on a farm in Ecuador, which we found through Workaway. We’re in a cheap hotel ($6 per night) in a village 15km away from where we’re meeting the farmer for lunch today. The exciting thing about volunteering is you have no idea what to expect. The farm writes a description of itself, of course, but it’s very hard to be sure what you’re getting yourself into before you get there.

What we know about the farm is this: it’s in the cloud forest in Ecuador, it’s near the town of Mindo, and it has no electricity, internet, or telephone, although it’s possible to drive into town twice a week to check messages. The family grows bananas and coffee, and has a few animals, including a donkey. They recommend we bring boots.

We are absolutely delighted to be exploring the unknown again. There are so many details we don’t know – does the family speak English? Their e-mail to us was in English, but it was a form-letter, copied and pasted, so they may just speak Spanish. What will we do all day? They say they require six hours of work a day in exchange for room and board, but we aren’t sure what kind of work it’ll be. Presumably, much of it will be garden work, but they didn’t mention a garden. They said they wanted to raise more animals, so perhaps there will be building of fences or barns, but we have no way of knowing. What I love about not knowing is that absolutely everything seems possible.

What won’t be possible, of course, is checking my blog every day, which will be a challenge for me! I still plan to write, so I’ll probably try to type three or four posts at a time, and schedule them to be published daily. Since we won’t have electricity, Ellen and I bought five Spanish paperbacks to improve our language skills and keep us entertained in lieu of reading books on my phone. I’ve got Arabian Nights and Origin of the Species translated into Spanish, and Ellen is reading Call of the Wild and a book on comparitive religions. We’ve also got a good supply of art supplies and plenty of room in our journals, so I’m sure we’ll keep ourselves entertained. Judging from the weather outside the window tonight, we’re going to need indoor amusements!

A little something to read while we don't have electricity

A little something to read while we don’t have electricity