He´s a 35 year old guy from Playa del Carmen who has a dream of, in not so distant future, living on his farm and being completely self-sufficient. He has travelled extensively – used to work on a cruiser and pretty much been all over the world – not in Eastern Europe or Russia though. He speaks several languages and has lived in several countries: the USA, Cuba, France, Brazil are the ones that I know of.
It’s called Tumbem Kuxtal. It’s a 12 hectare plot of land about 1km of the main highway into the jungle. So far, he’s only managed to cultivate about 2
hectares (rough estimation). There are two houses here. The one that we live in is a small 2 floor house with two compost toilets and two showers on the ground floor, kitchen on the 1st floor and a veeery small bedroom under the roof. The other house is where Victor lives. It’s just a shed in fact with mosquito nets instead of windows. Victor sleeps in a hammock. Carlos has a lot of chickens, ducks, geese and some turkeys. There are also 2 rabbits, several small birds and three parrots in huge cages. You can also eat fish if you like from his own tiny, tiny ponds. The animals that we appreciate most are his 19 dogs. I think they are all or at least most of them street dogs, that either he himself or other people saved from their wandering lives. He also cooperates with Malix Pek, which is the organization that looks after the street dogs in this region of Mexico.
There are many fruit trees at the farm – like figs, coconuts, bananas, maracuja and some others. Most of them are too young to give any fruits though. He’s also trying to grow vegetables and herbs but the way I see it not much luck with the vegetables so far.
The farm is right in the middle of the jungle and in almost two weeks that we’ve been here we’ve already seen several big tarantulas, scorpions and three snakes. Every other day we have some monkeys jumping in the trees to munch on some fruits on the farm.
Do you remember I mentioned him? Well, he’s the main source of our Spanish so far since he doesn’t speak any English. He looks like a real Maya person. He’s very short and has dark skin. He works really hard but you never see him without a smile on his face. He seems like a really nice person though I can’t really say much about him because of our poor Spanish. Few things that I know are that he has 5 brothers (they’re all farmers) and a sister. His parents speak Maya language at home so he must speak it too. Despite living near the sea he can’t swim and he really likes Coca-Cola.
Life at Tumbem Kuxtal:
We usually wake up between 8-9 am. I go to Victor’s cabaña (house) and get some 4 or 5 fresh organic eggs. Yes, I’ve had eggs for breakfast almost every morning. I don’t think I’ve ever in my whole life eaten so many eggs in such short time. After breakfast we chill out for about an hou8r and then we get to work. The helpx.net deal is that you work for 5-6 hours a day (two days off per week) for food and accommodation. This past two weeks, most of the time I’ve been wheelbarrowing some earth into the small planting beds that Victor has been building. Sometimes we rake the leaves that fall off the trees and also carry them onto the small raised beds as Carlos says to helps to keep the moisture in. Nadya usually works around the house mostly: washes, cleans, tidies and cooks. There’s no electricity here, but in the evening Victor turns on their gas generator and it usually runs for about 4 hours. This is more than enough to recharge our phone, radio and anything else we need. In the evening we either stay here at the farm or Carlos gives us a lift to PM, where we usually hang out at a café de Amancia.
They got wifi so we use this opportunity to check our mails and learn about what’s going on in the world.
There’s a lot of mosquitos here and we suspect that there are also fleas since our feet up to the ankles itch like hell. What a paradox that we called our blog and website: our itchy feet. I guess you get what you ask for.