Tuesday. 6:30 am. Every day we awake to the sound of toucans and their peculiar croaking but today my wife and I both comment that it seems there are even more out there today. Our 3 year old daughter, Cyan, comes pitter pattering up to our bedroom loft to snuggle and tells us that frogs, snakes, horses and her brother were all in her dreams. By 7:30 our two other 2 children are wake and we all make the 5 minute walk through the jungle to work, Barton Creek Outpost.
On the way I stop and fire up my hand cranked, single cylinder diesel generator, our power source for the Outpost. I call the trail to the generator the “Trail of Tears” because of frequent mechanical problems but today she fires right up. Nice.
My wife makes breakfast as I set up the laptop and prepare for work. My elevated view is of Barton Creek and the surrounding jungle. I get online via satellite internet to check email and see how many hits our Outpost site received the day before. I also want to check the statistics of our recent press release for La Ruta Maya Outfitters. A friend of ours helped us get into PR package for free. We generated a press release and we can track some of the activity associated with that through their site. The release itself gets picked up by a bunch of new outlets but it has yet to bring increased inquiries.
I sip the coffee my wife delivered as the kids set the table preparing for eggs, refried beans, fresh avocado (from our neighbor), with fresh oranges and grapefruit from our grove. I skip most of the breakfast and stick to coffee and fruit. Over breakfast the kids ask if we are going to town today. No but we are going on a family outing.
The scheduled family outing is a recent development. We are usually around each other quite often and I am guilty of counting that as family time or commenting, “We spend every day together”. I’ve been informed this doesn’t count as quality time and we now plan family activities. We are just starting but the plan involves card games, canoeing, and other fun things. It’s a good idea.
The children walk to our newly modeled school house situated back at our house. We have a friend staying with us that is helping us school the kids. For nearly 6 years my wife and I, mostly her, have homeschooled the children here. It is challenging and very satisfying but sometimes difficult to find the time. Our school age children, Kaitlyn (12) and Logan (9), are bright, well spoken, and very active. Neither is addicted to video games, internet or has a cell phone. Kaitlyn consumes books of all kinds. She also has received quite a bit of formal training in what’s locally called, “bush medicine”, the study of indigenous plants and their medicinal uses. She is impressive. Our 9 year son revels in the great outdoors and all things related to anything but schooling. This morning however, when we asked him if he we ready for school he responded with a resounding, “Yes!” Who are you and what have you done with our son? Their teacher is doing a great job.
We have advertised for teachers to come down for a few to 6 months at a time on a volunteer basis and help us with the kids. Recently we had both a student teacher and a lovely lady with a Phd in education come down and work with us. The children were tested to determine where they stood, we had a plan put together and our student teacher carried it out. It was all very helpful and both teachers became part of our family. We found the kids to be about where we suspected, ahead in some things, behind in others. Both are intelligent.
Meanwhile back at the office I am seeking out partners to link our sites with, modifying some magazine advertisements and answering emails. In between all this I steal a few moments to read some sports, recheck my Yahoo football pool standings and exchange emails with my parents.
The kids all arrive back at the Outpost about lunchtime and we load up in the truck to go visit Calico Jacks Village, a nearby zipline outfitters. We have wanted to check the place out and see if there is anything we can do to work together. The owner, Chet, spends quite a bit of time with us, shows us around the place and, together with his head guide, and we discuss ways we might be able to do some business. The place is incredible, we all get to climb around, see the zip lines, explore the trails and walk on the hammock bridge. We’ll come back to zip line through the jungle canopy.
On the way back we drive through the small village of El Progressso, purchase a few items at the small shops and see friends. They have no electricity in this village of about 800 and many residents use small solar panels and generators. We get a few snacks and make our way home. A pot of beans is on the stove so we eat rice and beans with a fresh salsa and avocado.
I spend a little time online before we leave the Outpost and place an order for posters that my agents around the US will hang at military bases and universities. It is all part of our low cost marketing campaign.
We head home about 8:00, clean up, brush up and get ready for bed. The kids watch a few episodes of Loony Toons on my laptop while the wife and I read our books. We fall asleep to the sounds of small animals scurrying in the bush and the uncharacteristically cool weather that mid-October has brought. It was good day, stay tuned for the other kind.