Thursday, August 4, 2011

Down on the Finca

For a few years now, la Misión Cristiana has been developing a farm it owns in the northern region of Nicaragua, near a community called Kusulí.  The grand plan is to transform the farm into a small dairy operation that will provide jobs, food and some cash inflow, both for the church and local families.  But it has been a slow process.

This March a small work group from the Southern Idaho region of the Disciples of Christ visited to help la Misión advance a little further toward that goal.  I've already blogged about an earlier preparatory trip with Santiago (a.k.a. Jim Piper) and Nick Green to visit the farm -- this time they came back with reinforcements: David, Michael and Marisol (visiting with Nick from the Lutheran Church of El Salvador) -- along with Sonia, Ruth, Anita, Edgar, Hector and Doña Pilar representing la Misión.

We headed out to the farm for a solid week of work and ended up having a fun time.  Our task was to tear down the old, existing milking barn and build a bigger and better one in its place.  With the help of two expert carpenters (both local church members) we managed to raise the roof on the milking barn, although the concrete floor, the cistern and the water line from the local spring were completed after we headed home.  In its current state, all the farm needs now are the cows!

As I mentioned before, the northern region of Nicaragua is extraordinarily beautiful and very hard to get to.  However, between the time of our previous trip and this one, electricity had very nearly come to the farm (thanks to a local hydroelectric project).  The road was now lined with street lights and although it hadn't been turned on yet, there was a cable connecting the farm house to the grid.  It was kind of cool to see the actual march of progress.  Anyway, here are some photos.

The hill behind the farm affords a spectacular view of the northlands.

We got to ride around on top of trucks!  Here's Ruth, Marisol, Nick and some local kids helping transport sand and rocks.

"Emerald green like none I have seen, apart from dreams ... that escape me..."

The forest mists in the morning, while we dry our clothes in the sun.

Our fearless leaders!

The local chainsaw maestro was hired to create a feeding trough directly from a tree trunk.

Michael and others shifting a ton of river rocks (which will later make up the foundation of the dairy floor)

Santiago returning from a visit to the other part of the church's property.

Mixing cement.

The two carpenters did amazing work and all without most of the tools we would have on hand in the states.  Here he is carving a joint in the wood ... with a machete! Totally hardcore.

Revdo. Orlando in front of the (mostly) finished dairy roof.


  1. What, you didn't learn how to carve wood with a machete growing up? You must have been out sick that day ;-)

  2. I know, right? You never learn anything really *useful* in school.

    I know someone who sends her kids to what she refers to as the "Lord of the Flies" summer camp where they run around and make spears all summer. I bet they can use a machete. =)