Today has been one of many interesting days in the life of a Kalu Yala Community Outreach intern, and its only 10:40 am. Andrecito, our cook Noris’ son, just entered our kitchen with an Iguana in hand. With its tail included it’s a good three or four feet long. He proudly brought his catch into the kitchen and we watched as he ripped off the Iguanas claws and tied them behind its back. There I stood (a vegetarian I might add) watching, originally thinking he was going to keep it as a pet. Andrecito is only 12, I know for sure I wasn’t off capturing Iguanas when I was his age. To buy an Iguana at the market would cost $20 – 30, so to find one in the wild was a steal and they were pretty excited for the Iguana to become stew. Fun Fact, the tastiest part of the Iguana is the tail.
Earlier this morning we took a trip up to Noris’ farm in San Miguel. After arriving and playing with the baby kitten, we trekked up the hill to visit the baby calf that was born just 5 days ago. Our farm trip had been delayed while the mama cow was giving birth, because she was aggressive and protective. The calf was being held in a separate fenced in area then its mother so that it would not drink all her milk. We watched Noris’ husband Andres milk the cow. After taking what the family would use, he let the baby have some milk and be reunited with its mother.
After this Noris showed us where the crops were grown. We picked guandu, this is a pea like plant that grows on bushy trees and is made with rice during Christmas and New Years. We then dug up some yuca. To replant the yuca all you have to do is take parts of the stem, bury them underground, and bam! in 6 months you have more yuca. Each stem produced around 4 huge yucas, so her farm must generate a lot of food. Noris also grows plantains, tomatoes, cucumbers, pineapples, papaya and some other things I did not know the translations of. It was very interesting to be on a fully functioning farm, I think that it is an amazing lifestyle, as you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything but nature. Her farm was beautiful and overlooked an incredible landscape of the mountains, it was the type of place I could easily spend every day.