Thursday, 28 January 2010

Where the heart is!

For those of you who didn't already know, we own and manage a very rustic field research station - although "station" is really too grand a word for it. We called the place Los Charcos de Osa, (meaning swamps of Osa, which right now it is anything but!) Here we protect four hectares of tropical lowland wet forest. Both the Los Charcos Blog and our webpages are in dire need of updating. Although, this year, I'm thinking of using Facebook to promote the place, and will probably be loading some image albums shortly.

So... it's not much, but it's what we call home, and I love it! So much so, infact, that apart from my all-to-frequent trips to the city, I rarely leave the property.

When we bought the land, about 5 years ago, there was nothing here. And I have to say that I'm extremely proud of the fact that everything that's here now, we created, with our own hands... blood and sweat and tears! And, isn't it those things in life that end up have more meaning?

Anyway, I guess you could call it slow home-making!

We first started coming up here at weekends, to clear a strip of land, about 20 x 50 meters in total, in order to build on it. A patch of what is known as "tacotal", which is basically scrubby, low quality, secondary growth, and in our case, many thorny vines wrapped around everything! It was super hard work. While we were doing it, this is where we lived...

Seriously! With a two year old, no water, no electricity, cooking under plastic on a wood fire, and doing the necessary out in the forest, where it doesn't linger for long, thanks to a phenomenal diversity of fauna that exists in this part of the world ;}

This is my husband Reinaldo Aguilar, known to most as "Rey". He's world authority on the plants of the Osa Peninsula (although he's never gonna say that!) He's my best friend, and a great father. We've been together for 9 years now, and for some reason I'm reminded of the Michael Ondaatji title, "Coming Through Slaughter" ;} I love this picture of him, it was taken as he was about to leap into the forest canopy on a zip line, whilst working as botanical field support to a French film crew.

This is my house just after we built it. Note that I use the word "house" loosly! These days, it has a (nearly!) wraparound balcony, the view from which I will never tire of.

And here we have it! Can you spot the house, nestled in the forest there?

Here's a closer shot of it

This is the balcony of the guest cabin.

And this is an image of a painting, that I haven't seen in years ('coz, like all of my paintings, it's being stored in the UK). I'm sure there are more images somewhere!

Casablanca - Catherine V. Bainbridge(c).
Oil and oil pastels on paper.
Aprox. 60 x 40 cm.


Karen said...

Wonderful, wonderful. You are so lucky. Please keep the blog as many people can't stand Facebook and the like.

arlee said...

WOW!!!! What a gorgeous gorgeous place you live in!!!!!!!!!!
And i agree about the FB thing---too many places to have to look to find things!

Catherine V. Bainbridge said...

Well, thank you both!

Yes... I am blessed! :) A simple life... that's what it's all about!

I will keep these comments in mind.

Jacky said...

Catherine what a wonderful place you live in...I love your "house" nestled in the hillside and those lovely balconies.
Thanks for sharing part of your life with us...such a lovely glimpse of you and your family.

Jacky xox

Sandra said...

I love your home. And what a beautiful surroundings you live in. I'm wondering about all the sounds and smells that must be there in the forest. How far away are your nearest neigbours?

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