Selva Negra is a paradise-like eco-lodge and organic coffee plantation in the mountains of Nicaragua between Matagalpa and Jinoteca. Their lodge restaurant sits on the edge of a huge fish pond that mirrors the surrounding alpine jungle. Among the inhabitants are a flock of about a dozen white geese that live and feed at the site and that appear daily as they make their rounds of the estate.
Like childhood images of farm animal illustrations, the dozen or so geese of Selva Negra line up like a single file of wibble-wobbling soldiers as they exit the water in perfect cadence to an unheard beat and march in a perfect line on one of the paved pathways that interlace the resort. Their mission, known only among their flock, includes marching past manicured flower beds, guest cabins, and decorative gazebos in search of a midday resting spot before returning to the pond. All humans in their path quickly step aside as if to acknowledge that the geese have established their supremacy over all they oversee.
It is obvious this flock of geese spans generations when the size of the largest goose, their leader, is compared with the smallest goose, which has grown its all-white plumage but still paces much more quickly than its superiors to hold its place at the end of the line.
The animals at Selva Negra include, but are not limited to the typical inhabitants of this self-sufficient farm estate. There are chickens, dairy cows, beef cattle, horses and pigs, all of which are fed organically and help sustain the residents and visitors of the resort with their food products. In addition to domestic animals, there are two troops of howling monkeys in the jungle forest overlooking the estate. Their chorus of hoots and hollers echo back and forth across the hills like a raucous alarm clock at first light, drowning out any roosters who maybe thought their crowing to welcome the new day was their exclusive right.
Beyond the captivating beauty that makes one reluctant to ever leave Selva Negra, there is the other important offering – their coffee. It’s not just good coffee; it is world class great coffee! Each morning is made more pleasurable as we roll out of bed in anticipation of wandering over to the restaurant for an exquisite cup of freshly brewed coffee, espresso, or cappuccino. I still sometimes wonder if the coffee producing nations of Central America have perhaps passed federal legislation banning a bad cup of coffee. The coffee adds a little something extra to all that makes every day living here special.
Note – The title for this story was originally conceived as inspiration for a children’s book, a work still in progress.