A Day in the Life: Mona Krenbauer

By: Mona Krenbauer, Field Coordinator

IMG-20170604-WA0005Hallo, Hola, and Hello! Soy Mona de la Finca Bona Fide…

Hey everyone – I’m Mona from Germany, and I spent my last seven months on this beautiful farm on Ometepe island (and will continue living in this unbelievable fantasy).

When I arrived to Nicaragua in October, I came straight to Bona Fide to start an internship. My first month involved completing an intensive in each section of the farm (garden, nursery, field, chickens and kitchen) where I then decided that my attention would be on the agroforestry system, in the field, working everyday side by side with Kiore and Levis.

A typical morning starts off cuddling with my puppies Chaska and Moxly until it’s time for the first shower of the day. On my way to the showers I say ‘hello’ to my private monkey friend who is hanging out on the same tree every day, I cross cinnamon trees, mandarins, sometimes army ants or toads, and some Araza plants. My eyes are all over the place checking out if the possibility of picking my own avocado is higher than the day I eat Akee without dying. After my shower before I go out to the workers at around 7am, I give Mister Noor his daily body shake and my best buddy Layla gets a kiss on her nose.

Every morning we have a volunteer meeting and I still participate even though it is pretty clear where I work – en el campo, siempre. You never really know what is going on in the field, except if it’s dry season. Dry season is bucket watering season, the season when you finally learn all the names of the plants you pick fruit from, plants you see every day, plants you might love, plants you might hate while watering. But still, I loved it.

The work is always different but it mainly means using a machete, (I’m a boss in it… not), I spent hours of weeding with a machete, days on pruning different fruit trees, hundreds and hundreds of hits to fall and chop down trees. Sometimes you can say by the end of the day, that you just planted 52 acacia amarillas, and you will know what kind of plant it is, why we plant it in this massive amount and what you can use it for.

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We only take an hour break from work for our amazing farm breakfast, if I’m lucky, Paula has made some pancakes!! During breakfast I feed my farm pups, hang out with the workers and volunteers, or just digest, drink tea and check the World Wide Web. After finishing work at 12 for my 2nd shower and lunch, I wash my hands, take off my dirty boots, grab a plate, eat and hang out in the kitchen. I share my time, my smile and my conversation with Marina, the head of the kitchen and my friend.

Depending on the day, I fill my afternoons with a variety of activities.  Spanish classes, cacao ceremonies on Wednesdays, and sometimes yoga or just reading, researching or napping in one of the hammocks. Now, a coordinator, I spend my afternoons with some computer work, university applications, farm field updates, farm-fruit-harvest check or I rest for a little bit and then take my “a-girls-best-buddy” Layla for a walk to town, to go watch a soccer game, hang out at my favorite spot by the lake, go to Café Campestre for humus con pan y vinagre de balsamico por favor or go to Las Peñitas to play pool/billiard with friends or the owner Carlos.

I usually come back for dinner time, to see the sunset in the fields at around 6pm. The evening is made to be our chill time, to chat with volunteers/friends, to watch a movie together, to play or to just go to bed, like a grandma  at 8pm. I take my baby girl Layla, my puppies, and go to my room to read, to learn some Spanish, to listen to some music and then to sleep. If I’m lucky the howler monkeys, frogs, and the heavy tropical thunder and lightning storms are not too loud as I fall asleep surrounded by millions of fireflies.

Gute Nacht, Buenas Noches and Good Night everybody!

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