Daily life at Aldea Luna

So… let me tell you about our daily routine at Aldea Luna…… which pretty much centres around EATING! 🙂

The day starts with an 8am breakfast – this is pretty easy because it’s already been light for an hour, the sun shines in through the windows of our dormitory, and having been in bed for over 9 hours already we are awake..

Breakfast is porridge, warm home-made bread, and jam. The bread is excellent and made fresh every day, and there is a home-made jam made from cactus-fruit – which is the best jam, and so I eat mostly that one. 🙂 There are other jams – generally made from oranges.

After breakfast, it’s time for the work to begin – we do our tasks from 9am until around 1pm, or until we’ve finished. You can read about what kind of stuff we did in a later post.

Then it’s the highlight of the day! LUNCH! 🙂 Yes – I have to say that the food was TRULY EXCELLENT 🙂 It was always fresh, tasty, and plentiful. It was all vegetarian, and there was always special home-made chilli-oil available – which we put on EVERYTHING… Yes, I even tried it on the porridge one breakfast time…. it wasn’t too bad!…

Lunch is ready!
The super-special chilli-oil is made from these chillies.

After lunch, we were free! Yes, we could do whatever wanted – limited only by a lack of electricity and being in the jungle 3km away from the nearest road…BUT… there were a few options available for spare-time activities, and you can read in a later post about what kind of stuff there was to do.

Then it was dinner time – which seemed to be at a somewhat random time each day – generally between 7pm and 8.30pm (so, I guess dinner time is ‘whenever they finish cooking it’… FAIR ENOUGH! 🙂 Dinner was lighter than lunch (as is the custom is South America), and it too was generally delicious, and also best taken with lots and lots of the home-made chilli-oil – yes, we loved that chilli-oil!

On the right, is the GREAT FAMOUS CHILLI-OIL!
Here we are enjoying a lovely meal in the outdoor dining area.
Meals sometimes contained items that were unknown to us. These are apparently tomatillas of some kind..
The kitchen where breakfast, lunch and dinner were prepared.

After dinner it was dark, but luckily the solar-panels on the building generate enough power for lights in the ‘relaxation’ area – which is a small indoor area with a table. This was the ‘evening card playing area’. The culture of Aldea Luna was such that the card games got passed from volunteer to volunteer, and after dinner, the card games of choice were ‘Cambio’, and ‘Shithead‘ (yes, sounds delightful…)

Interestingly, when I tried to find out about the rules of ‘Cambio’ the card game – it seems that it doesn’t exactly exist, and it is pretty much the game called ‘Cabo‘ (and various other names) – I think ‘Cambio’ is a BETTER name, because it means ‘change’ in Spanish – and sometimes in the game you change cards around… ANYWAYS I DIGRESS SOMEWHAT – in summary, we played cards….

UNTIL 10pm! Yes, we knew how to PARTY in Aldea Luna – in fact there was the existence of a ’10 o’ clock rule’.. this rule states that you are not allowed to go to bed before 10pm – YES – WHAT A TOUGH RULE 🙂 Every night, at pretty much 10pm on the dot, we all went off to bed…..

EXCEPT – SATURDAY NIGHT… GENERATOR NIGHT! If there was enough fuel, then the generator would go on, which meant TWO things… 1) Everyone plugged in and charged every electric device that they had. 2) MUSIC… enough power to use the speakers in the ‘relaxation area’. All this excitement, meant that people were known to stay up as late as MIDNIGHT playing POKER!

Then of course, it was bedtime… CC and I had dorm beds in a cabin with 4 or 5 other volunteers. Part of the cabin was on a second floor up a wooden ladder, and that bit was sort-of self-contained…. like a ‘penthouse’! 🙂 Or so we liked to think… 🙂

The ‘penthouse’ top part was free when we arrived, so we took the two beds in this section.

This is where we lived. You can see our special ‘penthouse’ – it’s the bit attached to the top on the left.

On the plus-side we sort of had our own ‘mini-area’. But on the downside, we had to climb down a ladder to go to the toilet. Not so good in the dark. Also, the two beds in this area were bunk beds, so being on the top bunk, I had to get off the top bunk (there was no ladder, only a stool to stand on…), and THEN go down the ladder to get to the bathroom. Yes, this would be OK if it wasn’t necessary to go to the toilet in the night – BUT we are OLD people…. so OF COURSE we have to go to the toilet in the night sometimes…. I can happily report though that there were no injuries going to the bathroom in the night.

The inside of the volunteer cabin. On the right is the ladder to our ‘penthouse’ area.
CC in our ‘penthouse’.
PB arrives in the penthouse via the ladder.

The cabin was a little worn-out, but the beds were comfortable. The shared bathroom was a bit rough – only cold water of course – but the toilet flush was broken, so we had to fill a bucket of water and flush the toilet manually… we got very good at this – even in the dark! 🙂

So, as long as you always carried your torch after dark, everything was fine…. 🙂

Another view of the volunteer cabin with our rooftop ‘penthouse’ sticking out the top.

The routine was the same every day, except that Saturdays and Sundays were volunteer days off, so there was no work in the morning.

The cats of Aldea Luna had their own routine – which involved trying to get into the cabin every day to sleep on the bed – and also knocking over any buckets of water in the area whenever they could.

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