I know what you’re thinking, aahhh here we go again…, another boring blog about climate change or gender equality from Progressio HQ. Well think again. Because they let the boiz loose on the keyboard and we are about to delve into the true story behind Cycle 16 El Bramadero. 

The danger out here is real, if your ankle isn’t getting murked by a rogue football then you’re probably getting chased down by kids with machetes and rabid dogs. That’s if you are not glued to the grim latrine contemplating why you dined at the pizzeria that only had one dodgy pizza, which had to be nuked in the microwave for 30 seconds before being served. The safest part of the day is probably when you’re asleep. However, you never know when you’re gonna be mugged off by some filthy rats, possums or scorpions before getting woken up by the mob of slipknot wannabe cockerels. 

The everyday struggles are brutal. 

Eating pizza

Let us take you through a journey of a regular day here in El Bram. First of all as we mentioned above you’re probably gonna be woken up by those pesky cockerels at 4/5am, and once you’re up there’s no cheeky lie in. Either the neighbours’ music or the barking dogs will make sure of that. If you feel up to it you can go on a quick run and jungle gym sesh before you dive into your deep fried brekky. If you’re complaining about the water pressure in your home, try tipping a bucket of murky, ice cold water over your head. Once you’re all clean it’s off to Spanish lessons where you can brush up on your dodgy lingo. After aaallll, that you’re ready to build an eco-stove or plant a tree in the blazing heat. Lunch. Then even more hard labour in the arvo to top up the sunburn. When the bell finally rings for the end of the working day, it’s back off home to chop up wood or chill in the hammocks, if you’re lucky. We hit the springy mattress around 7, 8 or 9pm depending on how much of a legend you are. After a sweaty night’s sleep, you’re back at it again the next morning raring to go.

Relaxing in a hammock

When the weekend finally arrives, everyone is cheering with joy. The hunt for Wi-Fi begins as soon as we wake up. We squeeze ourselves on the crowded 7 o’clock bus heading straight to the big city to purchase some fresh second-hand garms and stock up on penguiiinos. Once we’re back from civilisation, it’s time to get scrubbing your grubby clothes in the even grubbier river and then we chhiiiilll on Sunday (Craig David et al., 2003).

Construction work

But on a real, the past four weeks have been pretty sweet, the food has been surprisingly decent and we have been taken in as one of their own by our host families. Within the week we are always busy planting trees, building eco-stoves and much more. We’ve also had trips to local waterfalls and been on amazing hikes through the mountains and most importantly the weather is scorchio!   

One love. 

Written by ICS volunteers Thomas Walker a.k.a Tomi and Billy Manson-Harris