We got a job at a hostel

We are still in valdivia. Our first night we fell asleep at 7pm, exhausted from the weeks of building in santa barbara. When we woke up and went to eat breakfast I started a conversation with one of the 25 year old owners about how she started the hostel. It was an old dilapidated mansion, had been a home, and discotec. Rent was cheap, so they began to repair everything and now it is this beautiful giant youth hostel. Its still a little dilapidated, but it adds to the bohemian charm. I mentioned to the owner that Jameson is a handyman and if she needed any help, maybe we could do some type of exchange. "We need some holes in our roof patched up". And just like that, we became employees.

I've been working with guests, check in and reservations. Also, we make breakfast in the morning, eggs, toast, fruit, coffee. Today Jameson spent 4 hours unloading firewood with a bunch of macho chilean men. They made him go to the store and buy them liters of cheap beer that they could drink while they work. We can tell that Jamesons spanish is coming along because he understood when the guys called him a "gringo estupido" and he fired back with "si, soy gringo pero no soy estupido" which means " yes, I'm a gringo, but I'm not stupid".

Afterwards the women we are working for invited the wood hauling men to eat lunch with us and it was a really great experience, refreshing, to eat with the people that were providing a service for us. The chilean men even paid Jameson 5.000 pesos for his help, and made jokes about how he was a surprisingly good worker.

He earned their respect in the end and they even offered him a job working with them and said at night they would take him to the place where he could use their company hooker.

He declined.

We've decided to stay at the hostel for a week or more. Its a good learning experience and the people are fantastic (especially the owners but the guests too).



Farewell Santa Barbara

We worked all day on the gazebo. I personally didn't stop working on the roof until the sun went down and we ran out of paja (hay). Its finished though, well as finished as its going to be. The structure is done, the stone floor is done, the bamboo walls are done, the roof is reinforced and covered. The only thing we didn't finish was covering it with hay, which we ran out of.
I apologize for there not being any photo evidence, but as I said I didn't even finish the roof until the sun went down. Which happens at 9pm here.
Tomorrow we catch a bus to Valdivia, Chile. Which is a little hippy town about 5 hours south of us. We are going chill there for a few days then maybe head to El Bolson, Argentina. We don't have another farm booked for the next two weeks. We need a break, a romantic get away if you will.
Although rest and a "get away" is exactly what we need right now I am really going to miss this little farm in Santa Barbara. The family here has sort of become that distant Chilean family I never knew I had. We stayed here for little under a month, which is enough time to learn everyone's quirks and vices. Which are all things I started to love. Speaking spanish was forced out of me in many situations. I learned a lot here, from the family and from myself. I will truly miss this place, but that traveling music has got us bouncing our legs and we have to hit that dance floor.


What we have been doing all this time

Building an open air classroom for teaching composting methods and uses of medicinal herbs. Jameson did most of the building really, Issac and I did the detail work.

Level the Ground

With two shovels.


Attach the posts to concrete blocks, dig deep holes, insert posts.

Connect the Posts

Finished Frame

Cobble-Stone Floor

Laney spent weeks on this part. Slow but rewarding work...paid in dirt

Bamboo Walls

Isaac found his calling

Raised the Roof!

Raised the basic four post roof. Using one ladder!?!


Around this point Isaac ran off to do his own bidding.The electric saw broke. Leaving the remainder of the roof to be cut by hand.

Finished Roof

Hand cut.

Almost Finished Product:

This is the finished gazebo structure. We are working on thatching the roof now…




Digestive. Very good for the stomach.


People have killed themselves using the plant. It is very very toxic.

Rosa mosqueta

Good for the skin.


Good for menstral pains and cramps.


Our House

Our dog Guardian

Our Room in the Shed


Our sunday

Today we went to the Bio Bio, which is the largest river in chile.
The rapids were a little to intense for swimming, so we waded instead.
The water had that thick blue color that resembles hair gel. We
Over turned rocks to discover small crabs. I love the way crustaceans
move. That sideways walk and "butt first" way of swimming, very amazing
animals, defiantly in the top 5.
We came back to the house and Isaac and I made a US authentic meal. Which
consisted of biscuits, brown gravy, kale soup, and cornbread stuffing, stuffed
in zucchini. Our host family had never had biscuits, gravy or stuffing. It was
great to share that experience with them.
Our host mother, Leticia is a true mother. Right down to the
,can't sit down and enjoy a meal until everything is right,
sort of way. So mothers be proud, we are taken care of.

The Bio Bio River

Our day trip to the river




Santa Barbara

Note: while I am writing this Jameson and isaac are outside my room feeding beef jerky to some starving cats.

So, now we are somewhere new. Further south, near the Bio Bio river, which is the longest in Chile. We are living with a family, a mother and her three children. Leticia, our host, has dedicated her life to rejuvinating and planting native trees and plants. She also is a specialist in medicinal herbs. She said to me once " I live surrounded by leaves". Its true. There and shelves of tincture and tea in almost every room of the house. In the morning and at night she'll brew us all kinds of different potions to help our immune system or detoxify our blood. Her work is fascinating and we are learning a lot. She promised us that we could help her make soap this week.

We were able to choose our own project. We decided to build her an open air classroom. She wants it in the shape of an octagon and with a bamboo roof. While jameson and isaac measure and dig, I'm making a stone floor. It's very meditative work. Jameson was designated leader of the project, due to his experience building movie sets and houses. I have endless faith in his abilities, especially after he turned our dresser drawers into a chinchilla cage. Isaac is the projects on site mathematician. It's impressive what that man can do with triangles. I am stone mason and moral support.

We have decided to stay here till the project is complete. Hopefully it won't rain tomorrow like it did this evening.

We are happy here and well fed. The family is lovely and we are lucky to have met them.