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All Episodes Talk: Developments In The Jungle

A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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I am sorry I want to believe you all are not stupid and naive but you failed. Jimmy jr. who's name I am forgetting "answering their questions" was simply giving them info that should have been in the sign up package and was still complete bullshit but there was sustainable booze and a drum circle.

The notion that they are spending $3 a meal to serve these people with 80% from their farm our neighboring farms crazy and clearly not true. 

My aunt who had celiac disease and functioned before most people even knew what gluten was visiting and wanted to punch our tv when gluten free girl is like it's in the air,  there was bread near this surface at one time. That's not how gluten works asshole it's not a nut that can leave oils behind.

I haven't looked into SM but the recruitment video, Jimmy and the shit show in the jungle I don't understand they thought this place was going to be amazing and Jimmy makes my skin crawl so I also don't get him as a draw.

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I thought the interns said they paid $5K, is that one shot or per month?  At one point creepy Jimmy says they are taking in $150K per month, which doesn't make sense, math wise.

The Panamanian unit of currency is the balboa (thanks Google), which as of now is 1:1 US $, so it's not like there's a favorable exchange rate.  But those hundred dollar bottles of wine sure do add up!

Like I said in the Network Talk thread, I try to be open minded because there are a lot of good intentions, but it just seems like they're screwing up the jungle for reasons.  Jimmy did say what I had read, that the land was bought to sell at a profit, which didn't happen, so he's doing this.

What are the interns actually learning?  At least the farmer is actually farming.   As far as the draw, for a certain age (even Creepy Jimmy said it) 18-25ish, it's doing something different and feeling like they're making a difference - I just don't think they are.  The Q&A just made them all feel better without actually answering questions. 

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31 minutes ago, raven said:

I thought the interns said they paid $5K, is that one shot or per month?  At one point creepy Jimmy says they are taking in $150K per month, which doesn't make sense, math wise.

I think it does. 80 people x $5000 / 10 weeks = $40,000 / week = $160,000 per month. Revenue obviously, not profit.  I'll try to pay closer attention to the money when rewatching episode 3.

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What are the interns actually learning?  At least the farmer is actually farming.   As far as the draw, for a certain age (even Creepy Jimmy said it) 18-25ish, it's doing something different and feeling like they're making a difference - I just don't think they are.  The Q&A just made them all feel better without actually answering questions. 

According to their website, the courses at the moment are: Sustainable Agriculture, Biology, Business & Entrepreneurship, Culinary Arts, Public Education & Community Development, Public Health & Wellness, Outdoor Recreation, Design Thinking, Media Arts, Hospitality, Engineering, Political Science, and Construction Arts. It's very possible they weren't all in place when this was filmed.

Let me just say that the term "Design Thinking" bugs me. It sounds like they just took two broad terms and stuck them together to sound important. And yes I know the term isn't unique to these guys. And yes I'm probably a hypocrite because if it was called "Principles of results-oriented design" I likely wouldn't be complaining. But to me it sounds wishy-washy AND smacks of "ivory tower".

(For example, they might say "Design Thinking involves both analysis and synthesis." Which sounds very lovely but doesn't help me sit down to build a better mousetrap. If you're advocating use of the scientific method, teach that.)

Just a pet peeve and not really about the show. But it keeps coming up on the chyrons so I felt the need to say something.

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3 minutes ago, Amarsir said:

I think it does. 80 people x $5000 / 10 weeks = $40,000 / week = $160,000 per month.

Ah, thank you.  I didn't realize there were 80 people paying the $5K.

My question about what they're learning was more rhetorical :)  I've seen the little blurbs under people's names with what they're doing - we just don't see much learning, though it is only Ep 3.

I think the director (?) said salaries were $80K per month (not outrageous, though I don't know the # of paid staff), leaving let's say $80K left over.  He said something about course materials costing $10K I think (I deleted the episode already) per course?  I think I've see at least four courses mentioned so let's say $40K, heck let's say $50K, leaving $30K per month for food and other items. 

Before I guess too much I'll wait till you rewatch & confirm the numbers, heh.

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37 minutes ago, raven said:

said salaries were $80K per month (not outrageous, though I don't know the # of paid staff

Again if these interns weren't so easily swayed they should how much Jimmy gets paid on top of travelling and convention exppenses.

The look in his eye when he thought he might have to spend a night there when rain was threatening should have told them all everything. Not to mention even if had rained he could have hiked out like they apparently make the interns do.

Also, when the sustainable agricultural dude talked about Kalu Yala 2.0, I was like sit down son Kalu Yala’ is not even close to passing beta but then it showed that the basically just bought the land of people who clearly had been there longer than Jimmy et al and will obviously outlast them, I just hope they only leased their property to these idiots.

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14 hours ago, raven said:

My question about what they're learning was more rhetorical :)  I've seen the little blurbs under people's names with what they're doing - we just don't see much learning, though it is only Ep 3.

Gotcha. I don't really know what any of their thinking is. The show's not doing a great job of relating that, and I don't know if it's slow-rolling until the end of the season, or there are too many people to go deep, or Vice doesn't want to say, or they're just sloppy.

The "interns" for example. Several of them said "this isn't what I expected". OK, well what did they expect? A fully-functioning utopia in which we learn that the concepts of durability and efficiency are just capitalist fictions?  They knew the place wasn't built yet, but they seem to want the functions as if it was? The conversation was "I wanna grow food. I came to grow potatoes." Well that's maintenance, not growth. Do they not get that or is it clipped that way?

It's also not quite clear what Jimmy's plan is. My guess is that he couldn't do what he wants traditionally, so instead he used investor money to buy the land and tuition money to pay locals to build homes, which he can then sell for return. (And if the interns produce more work than they require - which is questionable- that's a bonus.) But to whom is he selling? Was growing your own crops always part of the story for this town he's building? Or did he invent it as an angle to get millennial hippies to pay money to visit?  Are these structures they're living in meant to be the salable homes? Because they don't look it.

The instructors seem the most interesting because they're the most into the Kool Aid. They're in a stasis where it isn't clearly short-term and they're also gaining personally. Josue (the bearded "Farm Manager") clearly loves being out there in nature. Esteban (the director) is definitely the guy keeping it together. 

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I think the director (?) said salaries were $80K per month (not outrageous, though I don't know the # of paid staff), leaving let's say $80K left over.  He said something about course materials costing $10K I think (I deleted the episode already) per course?  I think I've see at least four courses mentioned so let's say $40K, heck let's say $50K, leaving $30K per month for food and other items. 

Every month there is $80,000 in salary, over 45 employees. $20,000 on food and $10,000 on projects. (And that's not per course. It's split, weighted by the # of people in each course.) And then $15,000 for utilities, supplies, cars, maintenance, "wild" (not sure what that means, it was on the board).  So thats $125k in budget per month. Over 3 months (which rounds in their favor) that means $375k spent of $400k taken in, for an overall profit of only $25k.

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If I was paying 5 grand for 10 weeks i.e. 500 bucks a week--and sleeping in a hammock under some leaves--I would want a decent amount of food.  IIRC they listed their expenses in a way that these other things were the priorities, and well, what's left over is the food budget.  Ummm..that doesn't work for me.  Lose some staff,  actually--stop inflating your costs...whatever.  It doesn't matter what else they need to spend on,  food should be a priority.  It's a huge red flag that (well of course) they are being bilked.

I don't blame any of the participants for going--it's an adventure.  But it sounds as though ol' Jimmy realized these interns are a great cash cow to finance this land venture.  If something actually comes of it-- not with any help from him obviously,  then fine. but meanwhile Jimmy can jet around on their dimes high and dry.   He tries hard to project that he believes his own bullshit for this idea,  but as someone pointed out above, he can barely stand to be near the place.  

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24 minutes ago, seasick said:

 

If I was paying 5 grand for 10 weeks i.e. 500 bucks a week--and sleeping in a hammock under some leaves--I would want a decent amount of food.  IIRC they listed their expenses in a way that these other things were the priorities, and well, what's left over is the food budget.  Ummm..that doesn't work for me.  Lose some staff,  actually--stop inflating your costs...whatever.  It doesn't matter what else they need to spend on,  food should be a priority.  It's a huge red flag that (well of course) they are being bilked.

 

Also, because many are doing physical labor. And I wonder how many paid staff are local and most likely making a small percentage of the imported staff.

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I think it's clear enough from this episode that Jimmy believes his own spin. He's knowledgeable on town development and happy enough to be there that I think the 2 weeks at the Hatch conference were an exception not the standard. (And that sort of publicity would be his job anyway.)

What he's not he's not apparently is a great details guy OR someone who's willing to change himself to someone else's point of view. He's the boss because his father was the boss and non-boss roles don't come easily to him. So I'm still wondering why they don't have better shelters, what the plan is for developing them, and why his city planning doesn't seem to have more directed use of space. His anecdote about standardization of Charleston porches doesn't seem all that applicable here.

So the feeling I'm starting to get is that he wants a town where everything "works" but for everyone else to figure out what the "works" is. That's why he calls it townbuilding, because he is recruiting for more than just physical labor. But that results in a lot of it not being figured out by anyone.

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Tough to watch all the way through ep. because of the impending goat slaughter.  Not really  problem with the idea,  Jus.t not my thing to watch. So kept FF'ding when probably didnt need to.  

Interesting how we don't get much of the story when people leave.  The staff member who was apparently fired in Ep1 or 2--then then the recreation girl Paige leaving after a hike.  Not sure if she was tired of the wet conditions and hikes to probably more of nowhere,   or if the staff guy made her feel inadequate somehow because of her hip  problem, but I'm pretty sure there are No Refunds.  

Allergy girl--hasta la vista sweetie.  You can't expect to be catered to in this setting.  I get that you felt that you were not 'supported' but it was a need that did set you apart from the others.  This isn't the place where they must accommodate your special needs AND  coddle your feelings.  I know you likely grew up where everyone was mainstreamed, accommodated, and big sensitivity to making sure you didn't feel different but it's not always that way in the big wide world.  

Almost thought I was wrong about Jimmy not being around much but then I realized "the press' was there so he needed to make his pitch.  I get the impression that he and that main guy are getting cockier by the minute-- more and more seeing these idealistic young kids as just dumb suckers who will pay a lot to get very little--so pile them in-- and they will stop attending much to the 'education' and brainstorming element and see them all as just dollar bills.  This is one sweet pile they stepped in.  

13 minutes ago, Amarsir said:

So I'm still wondering why they don't have better shelters, what the plan is for developing them, and why his city planning doesn't seem to have more directed use of space. His anecdote about standardization of Charleston porches doesn't seem all that applicable here.

So the feeling I'm starting to get is that he wants a town where everything "works" but for everyone else to figure out what the "works" is. That's why he calls it townbuilding, because he is recruiting for more than just physical labor. But that results in a lot of it not being figured out by anyone.

All good points.  enjoyed your post.   True--doesn't seem the charleston model makes sense unless they are going to cram these houses in. Who wants to look at a blank wall with all that space. 

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1 hour ago, Amarsir said:

He's knowledgeable on town development and happy enough to be there that I think the 2 weeks at the Hatch conference were an exception not the standard. (And that sort of publicity would be his job anyway.)

Interesting I thought he had nothing ,other than buzz words about actual town developmen. That and the fact that one of these Hatch conferences funded the still said all that needed to be said. Nothing of development was talked about it was all bullshit people blowing smoke up others asses. 

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9 hours ago, biakbiak said:

Interesting I thought he had nothing ,other than buzz words about actual town developmen. That and the fact that one of these Hatch conferences funded the still said all that needed to be said. Nothing of development was talked about it was all bullshit people blowing smoke up others asses. 

Well, buzz and anecdotes play better on TV. But he did have a complete lesson so I believe his comprehension is full enough that it would provide value if the other pieces were in place. But what I think you and I are sensing is that those other pieces aren't in place.

At the risk of generalizing, this is the issue with youth, with hippies, and with Jimmy - lovely theory that's perhaps turning out incongruous with the real world.  For example, look at the guy who was a catalyst for this week's goat story. He's a hunter so he was comfortable with the idea of getting a goat to slaughter. So they got a goat. But he didn't set a schedule for it. Didn't have food for it nor know what kind of food it should have. Didn't step up to say "today's the day, we do it". And wanted the hide but hadn't researched how to treat them. His answer for this was "nobody told me".

That may be the resounding theme for all of this. Lofty abstract goals from people who lack the experience to know what hurdles they'll face and the proactiveness to figure it out ahead of time.

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30 minutes ago, Amarsir said:

Well, buzz and anecdotes play better on TV. But he did have a complete lesson so I believe his comprehension is full enough that it would provide value if the other pieces were in place.

Did he? That wasn't apparent and he can't even articulate to the film crew asking him basic questions he didn't have an answer when he was buying processed food and malbec. But at the entire conference all we really saw was him pontificating buzz words without hearing a grand plan or people telling him how awesome he is back at him. Jimmy comes off in the first episodes like a piece of shit but Hatch comes off maybe worse. 

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22 minutes ago, Amarsir said:

Lofty abstract goals from people who lack the experience to know what hurdles they'll face and the proactiveness to figure it out ahead of time.

I think there's quite a bit of  "Music Man' mentality in Jimmy where for now,  we'll use the 'think method' with little thought of a nuts and bolts plan for actual action.    I'm not sure any of these ideas are going to be revolutionary--people have been building little microcosms of this idea in their homes for years.   (admittedly my ability to think outside the box is limited by age and experience) 

OTOH it is fun to watch these young idealists be given a think tank -- it seems it is only the very wealthy who have the priveleged time and money to do this --even these kids are in that category to some extent-- but the young educated mind is a great resource if you can catch them before they are put in a cubicle so they can pay their car payments.  So you never know.  They themselves will likely benefit if nothing else--for various reasons--even witnessing the 'dirty' side of real estate investing.

This is an interesting show all around for me.  I don't think Jimmy can escape his roots from the 'dirty' business of real estate and bankers and investors. That is where his mind goes is despite the front of community and planet welfare.  That idea is getting 5k'investors' though so ....

Honestly some of the descriptions sound like a pleasant senior citizen community where they have activities and can walk around little ponds and take the bus into town.  Medicare for health care.. where "they can pay their bills' with pensions and SS.  Just throw in a farm/ranch and it sounds complete to me.  Is concrete sustainable?  I don't know about living in bamboo but I'd give it a whirl.   

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Glad to see a forum has been created! I was immediately hooked when I saw the first episode, and I'm glad there are others who want to discuss the show.

One of the reasons I am intrigued is because I can very much relate to these interns.  When I was in college, there was a collectively-run vegetarian restaurant on campus.  The first week after I arrived, I mentioned to someone that I wanted to become vegetarian, and that is when I found out about this restaurant.  I ended up working there for the next couple of years. We were a bunch of young idealistic kids, just like the ones on this show.

Looking back, it just makes me laugh. There was no official boss because we were a collective. So all decisions had to be made by the group. We would have these five-hour long meetings where we tried to come to an agreement about things. Somehow it worked well enough because the restaurant kept on going.  We did catering at events on the campus, we made sandwiches and sold them at various shops, and then we served breakfast and lunch, and had music events on the weekend.

One of my highlights was the day I had to make banana bread. I had to make a huge quantity since it was for a restaurant, which meant multiplying all the ingredients. The pan came out of the oven, and I let it cool a bit. Then I took a knife and cut into it, and it was pure crumbs. Turns out, I forgot to add the 24 eggs!!!!! lol

Anyway, I have a lot of fond memories of that time in my life, and these kids remind me of that.

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Ugh, Jimmy is the worst kind of CEO, coming in and rambling ideas of the top of his head with no plan or thought as to how things get done.   Then, of course, if you ask questions or don't fall in, you're not seeing his vision.  Just admit you're flying by the seat of your pants, Jimmy.

All that hand-holding and how are you feeeeeling and poor gluten allergy girl (they left me alone to take care of my food!!) - stop whining, all of you.  I know I sound all "get off my lawn" but just learn to deal with things not being perfect and your feelings getting hurt once in a while - it's going to happen.  We SEE her leaving and saying goodbye to people then we cut to someone complaining that awww she left and didn't say anything.  Good grief.

I like Pulum (the culinary staff member) - he talks about what he's doing, what he's trying to teach, a bit of his own life and then just does it.  I guess I could cut off a chicken's head if I were starving and I appreciate his all business attitude.   "This is how we do it, be happy about it".  Boom.

The idiot (who's studying Media Lab, FFS) with the goat pissed me right off.  Uh, no one told you what to do?  Then don't go out of your way to take on the responsibility for another living creature, moron.  I could tell the first time they showed the goat that it was limping.   I sort of blame Esteban (the guy in charge of the camp), who bought the goat and said "I want the interns to do this!! Yay!" with again, no plan or direction. 

Thankfully Josué and the farmers stepped up and it was quick,

It's that aimless, no direction thing that annoys me.   That's how Jimmy is so I shouldn't be surprised that there's that kind atmosphere in the camp. 

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So in Three Years of development their water delivery is pvc pipes held down by rocks.   Some progress.  It was said recently that the 'handwashing sink was built last 'semester'.  (love that clever term).. as if it was a proud accomplishment.  Still washing clothes in the river.  

Jimmy with his hair--bobbing and shaking it--swishing it around -- just reeks of narcissism and vanity to me.  He gives me such the creeps.  

His little girlfiend with the underwater logging corp--- "Alana's first time to the jungle" ..yet an entire operation is up and running there?   

"yeah" says Alana. It cant be easy.  You're creating a community in the middle of the jungle!  Like, that's insane" .   Why,  it's not the first one Alana-- there was another "Jimmy" who did it--ending with some Kool-Aid.  That was "insane" too.  

Miss Montana thinking "hey--get kids to PAY for the privelege of building my pit toilets.  Hmmm seems like a con--but I can swallow those ethics if it will work. "     Well I would say she had better hurry up because thru the magic of Social Media word may travel quickly  about their  5 thousand dollar "semester" at Kalu yala .      "kids can come down and be in the building program and learn all the techniques for building an entire house"  says Jimmy  Funny--I saw no one building a "house" .

Coming attractions:  The no refund policy is explained.  (FU)  

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Okay I hated Cahill last episode but he wasn't bad in the meeting with Jimmy that said why would not all land, soil, water, environmental studies be easily accessible to the interns and staff if they exisisted and this was a real lomg term project for Jimmy. Also, debriefing meeting at the end with Jimmy and Esteban with at least selected members of each intern teams seems entirely appropriate. 

Also Ms. British Columbia whoso family help decimate old growth forest in BC saying she wanted to start a thing from Kula Yula cutting wood and sending it to China and Vietnam to get manufacturered sent back and then sell it and both Jimmy and Esteban agreed was grotesque. 

Ashleigh's home visit was straight up heartbreaking so I am glad she found some people to give her some hope and a family.

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I think this was the best episode yet. I get what Jimmy thinks he's selling: "Come here for the opportunity to run experiments." And I get why interns are unhappy about it: "I think my experiment was totally awesome so who's going to continue it after I leave?" The build labor is an angle, but I kind of believe Jimmy when he says they aren't doing that much physical labor. (Mainly because the only people we've seen building anything structural are paid staff, mainly locals.)

It makes sense to me as a summer camp model. As a kid I went to Scout camps. All cost money and there were chores and camp improvement projects. And I learned (e.g.) Lifeguard training from a kid 2 years older than me. It was a good experience for me and obviously for a lot of people. BUT I know first-hand a lot of people would look at that experience and not find it appealing at all.

That said, who the hell is going to pay $1000 to build toilets in Montana? I can't even picture what she thinks she'd be selling there.  I think her presence, and that of Jimmy's obviously-from-money high-maintenance ex, was to make him look good by comparison.

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44 minutes ago, Amarsir said:

The build labor is an angle, but I kind of believe Jimmy when he says they aren't doing that much physical labo

I get what you are saying but Jimmy has no fucking clue what the interns are doing. Notice after he was told that he was on dish duty he left and gave up to drink more "champs". He disappears constantly and we see the interns actually doing a lot of physical labor driven by the payroll staff with no real guidance. We have watched as they drug trenches, tried to save the water supply, hack through the jungle, etc.

The thing that is troubling to me is we have seen many locals who clearly live in this land and that they ignore when it's problematic or embrace when it's about killing a purchased goat so we can run down everyones hopes, feelings etc. about the goat. Why was everyone fine with the chickens? 

I am here everyday for people understanding where their food comes from it doesn't require a community vote or foreveryone to come to terms with it. I found the attitudes so privileged.

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8 hours ago, seasick said:

Well I would say she had better hurry up because thru the magic of Social Media word may travel quickly  about their  5 thousand dollar "semester" at Kalu yala .

That was the old price. $6500 for Summer 2017, $7000 for Fall 2017, and $7500 for Spring 2018.

6 minutes ago, biakbiak said:

I get what you are saying but Jimmy has no fucking clue what the interns are doing. Notice after he was told that he was on dish duty he left and gave up to drink more "champs". He disappears constantly and we see the interns actually doing a lot of physical labor driven by the payroll staff.

Not construction labor, that I can see. That's the thing about their model of "sustainability" - if you aren't using tractors, it takes a ton of physical effort to grow potatoes. If you aren't running sewers you spend a lot of time literally shoveling shit. That's the real conflict I want to see more of. Some people get it, but a lot of others like the idea this living-off-the-land more than the reality. I don't think Jimmy would like Kalu Yala if he wasn't the top of the foodchain.

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1 minute ago, Amarsir said:

 

Not construction labor, that I can see. That's the thing about their model of "sustainability" - if you aren't using tractors, it takes a ton of physical effort to grow potatoes. If you aren't running sewers you spend a lot of time literally shoveling shit. That's the real conflict I want to see more of. Some people get it, but a lot of others like the idea this living-off-the-land more than the reality. I don't think Jimmy would like Kalu Yala if he wasn't the top of the foodchain.

After three years in a rainforest environment they don't have a functioning water supply, thats the issue Sewers aren't an issue because they are running on compost toilets and using the compost for soil. Which isn't as weird or disgusting as it may sound.

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1 minute ago, biakbiak said:

After three years in a rainforest environment they don't have a functioning water supply, thats the issue.

Nor do they have anything that looks like a salable house that I can see. That's kind of my point - this labor they're getting isn't moving them forward. We can say making people pay to build for you is a scam, except they aren't building for him.  Everything they're working on will be gone in 6 months, replaced by the temporary labor of the next group.

And the stuff the interns seem to have problems with is that it isn't in-the-moment enough. I totally get the complaint - if your intent is to be sustainable you don't want to be importing peanut butter and dumping soap in the river. But I'm saying that replacing those with other methods isn't going to be less work. 

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I admit I have a little trouble following some of the points that the interns make ( and certainly the circular nonsensical hyperbole of JImmy)  so help me out here,  Wasn't Cahill's point,  or at least part of it is that there is no continuity after they leave so nothing actually gets accomplished?  

I really know nothing about town building but my instinct tells me that water treatment is a big business and undertaking because it's exp;ensive and complicated.  Would the Geo survey reveal underground springs and aquifers that they would need to know in order to tap and also not contaminate.?  I guess my point is that it's over their heads certainly for the interns--but a good education if they had a truly experienced and knowlegeable staff who was actually doing this.  

It sounds as though once again--they are using the 'think method" but Jimmy admits they don't provide the money and resources to actually  take on these real projects.  The barrel washing machine is a big innovation after 3 years. 

1 hour ago, Amarsir said:

hat was the old price. $6500 for Summer 2017, $7000 for Fall 2017, and $7500 for Spring 2018.

Incredible.  I wonder after this airs if  'enrollment'  will drop off.  

 

1 hour ago, Amarsir said:

Not construction labor, that I can see. That's the thing about their model of "sustainability" - if you aren't using tractors, it takes a ton of physical effort to grow potatoes.

It sounds as though right now they are 'gardening".  I don't know if they are against using traditional big farm machines, but I would say you need them to sustain a community.  But JImmy--they are very expensive--cutting into the travel, profit and booze budget so-- don't see that happening either.

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Gah - I still think Slick Jimmy is a flimflam man.  Just with a different brand of Flavor-Aid.

For some reason I was inordinately annoyed by mover-son ranting about people being so attached to their possessions that they freak out when you damage them.  Hey snowflake - they are paying you to do a job, which does not entail trashing their sometimes irreplaceable personal treasures.  And what was that about dear old Dad possibly losing his home for your education debt??? [/rant]

The interns' doubts can easily be assuaged by jungle juice, fireworks, field trips or a bullshit pep talk.  Oh, to be young, idealistic and naive (probably on someone else's dime).

 

ETA - Bitch that would love to have 20 "students" to pay $1,000 each to build her composting toilets?  I'll PAY someone to come to sunny SoCal to do the same for me, because fixing my fucked up plumbing is beyond my budget for the next year.  :-)

Edited by walnutqueen.
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5 hours ago, Amarsir said:

his labor they're getting isn't moving them forward. We can say making people pay to build for you is a scam, except they aren't building for him.  Everything they're working on will be gone in 6 months, replaced by the temporary labor of the next group.

But most are doing what is asked of them. And digging trenches but 3 years in your only water supply should not be miles of pvc pipes and rocks. Maybe avknowledge that the land you "bought" had several families there in the jungle before KY invaded and they continue to treat them as part of a tour not as a resource.

.

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3 hours ago, seasick said:

I admit I have a little trouble following some of the points that the interns make ( and certainly the circular nonsensical hyperbole of JImmy)  so help me out here,  Wasn't Cahill's point,  or at least part of it is that there is no continuity after they leave so nothing actually gets accomplished?  

I think so. And that matches some of what I've seen online elsewhere. (Such as glassdoor reviews). One example I remember is someone saying that a community stage was built by interns, but fell into disrepair becuase no one maintained it after that group left.

I believe Cahill's point is actually an even better one: that if interns are driving the projects, and they're only there for 10 weeks, nothing bigger than a 10-week project can ever be accomplished.  You need staff buy-in like the Iguana Farm. I do think it's fair to some extent to say "You're an adult, initiating plans and pitching them is how the world runs. Get on it." But when it's a clearly necessary project like drainage, it's also fair to ask "what were you planning if I didn't show up?"

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It sounds as though right now they are 'gardening".  I don't know if they are against using traditional big farm machines, but I would say you need them to sustain a community.  But JImmy--they are very expensive--cutting into the travel, profit and booze budget so-- don't see that happening either.

Maybe that's a good word for it. But I thought we saw a plowhorse in an early episode. (I could be wrong.) If the plan is just token gardening then that's even less of a self-sustaining town.

If Jimmy has a plan he isn't selling it to us via this show. I'm tempted to say he doesn't, but Cahill's criticism was "planning for the long term but not for the now". Which does imply a plan.

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1 hour ago, Amarsir said:

f Jimmy has a plan he isn't selling it to us via this show. I'm tempted to say he doesn't, but Cahill's criticism was "planning for the long term but not for the now". Which does imply a plan.

I think selling the idea that "they are planning for the long term" may just be a useful phrase to explain away why the current interns aren't able to see "the vision" and feel  that nothing is really adding up to anything while they are there.  Again I remain confused but it sounds as though if it's not "done for the now'   then when will it ever add up to accomplish the "long term'  "Vision".     

It appeared that there were lots of colored-in communtiy plans laying around..  Probably each done by that group each semester with the idea it's going to happen--not just give the next group the same "fun" of drawing a planned community --to be put into the pile.

1 hour ago, Amarsir said:

think so. And that matches some of what I've seen online elsewhere. (Such as glassdoor reviews). One example I remember is someone saying that a community stage was built by interns, but fell into disrepair becuase no one maintained it after that group left.

I would be curious to see what else has been posted.  Any chance providing links, etc?  

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I went back to get the link and can't find what I remember seeing. Either I misremembered the source or they've done some sort of purge. (Conspiratorial though that sounds.)

Here's the link, but it's vastly briefer and more positive than I think I remember. And there's a separate Interns section with just 2 reviews: one long and negative, one short and positive.

https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Kalu-Yala-Reviews-E946218.htm

Also of interest, these are the expert architects Jimmy got to plan out their city. Hope they went into more detial than shown here:

http://www.mparchitects.com/site/projects/kalu-yala

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Am I the only person that finds it odd that you can't really find ANY information from past "interns"? I have read one blog post from someone but that was from years ago..

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On 4/26/2017 at 0:59 AM, seasick said:

Jimmy with his hair--bobbing and shaking it--swishing it around -- just reeks of narcissism and vanity to me.  He gives me such the creeps.  

Yup.  Creepy Jimmy.   "Two interns left because they didn't understand the vision" what blather.  At least Esteban seemed to feel badly that they left, and the documentary team found them so why didn't anyone check with them to see WHY they left?  Why did they scoot out in the middle of the night - yeah, sloth, don't want to bring everyone down, blah blah..but like an exit interview, just call them and ask why.  I say this since it was commented by Esteban and others that these were good interns.

Of course Jimmy doesn't care what interns leave.  He's already got their money.  Cahill annoyed me last episode but I understood him and the biology intern with their questions about testing, biodegradable soaps, what happens when they leave - and Jimmy is just blank faced and he doesn't want to sit down one on one.  I liked the intern asking Jimmy point blank what the strategy is and Jimmy gets defensive.  They had legitimate questions about how to do things that seem to be needed in the community,   Eventually they have to give up because their intern questions were no match for Jimmy's professional BS. 

I found this article from a former intern - http://osu.uloop.com/news/view.php/104693/a-few-months-in-panama-an-overview-of-the-kalu-yala-entrepreneurial-internship-program.

It's from 2013 but it mirrors what we've seen - they might be directed on a project by a staff member and then half their time is spent on their own projects.  My guess is that most interns, even those who leave early, feel that they took something positive away from the experience.   What, I don't know, but I'm old and jaded. 

"Spaghetti factory, you fail more often than you succeed"  At least Jimmy's ex called him out on that!

Just like Montana woman saying it's a win-win to have people come to her property to build for her - what are THEY winning LOL?  The important thing is being a good salesperson apparently.

I'd never heard of underwater logging and what I found was interesting - the logs have been down there for years, but could also now be part of an ecosystem.

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I find this 'docu-series curious.  I wondered who was behind it as it is not flattering and therefore not promotional. which is what I would have expected. I find out that the woman behind it is a well-respected indie documentarian  who seemed very excited about the place and seemed to believe in "The Vision".  They are selling the series footage to VICE to fund her ultimate goal of doing a full-on documentary.  (and a few more $$ for the company I would assume)  I can't help but wonder if either of them are aware of the product VICE is showing.  It comes across as an expose' and I'm not sure if that's what either of them had in mind.  

On 4/27/2017 at 10:03 AM, Dmc306 said:

Am I the only person that finds it odd that you can't really find ANY information from past "interns"? I have read one blog post from someone but that was from years ago..

I do find it odd, but then again I'm not sure where millenials would post--i.e. more on their own facebooks,  snap etc.  I'm not on these so not sure how well this info would be disseminated.  Not sure if blogging is a common platform now.   I  have some curiousity around this too--I was interested in a  (somewhat small but very active) travel group company and tried to find reviews.  I know I looked at Trip Advisor and likely anything google would uncover but found about nothing if I recall.  I found that odd also. I would have thought Trip Advisor would provide a platform for it being all things travel but could not find.  

I think they go there in this episode as I hear them say the two ''defectors" threaten to expose and bad-mouth the place and Jimmy saying something about them signing documents.  Its' possible the documents he refers to are "no refund" documents and not 'non disclosure' agreements (can't imagine that) but we will see.  

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I may very well be shallow, but I WANT some dirt, shade or spilled tea.  Looking forward to the disenchanted interns' take on the place, and Slick Jimmy's attempts to spin it.

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58 minutes ago, walnutqueen said:

I may very well be shallow, but I WANT some dirt, shade or spilled tea.  Looking forward to the disenchanted interns' take on the place, and Slick Jimmy's attempts to spin it.

Oh  for sure I'm 100% in on that idea.  For one it makes for a better Tuesday nite view esp. since I can't stand Jimmy and his bullshit self-aggrandizing 'visions--but the expose' on the ""Institute" as he has termed it, to part families with their money.  It's no coincidence that he has a stand-up comic explaining the financials etc.  

I hope there's a follow up on the miss Montana's 'semester in Montana" where I can pay a thousand bucks to build pit toilets.   

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2 minutes ago, seasick said:

Oh  for sure I'm 100% in on that idea.  For one it makes for a better Tuesday nite view esp. since I can't stand Jimmy and his bullshit self-aggrandizing 'visions--but the expose' on the ""Institute" as he has termed it, to part families with their money.  It's no coincidence that he has a stand-up comic explaining the financials etc.  

I hope there's a follow up on the miss Montana's 'semester in Montana" where I can pay a thousand bucks to build pit toilets.   

Ooh, I'll be taking a virtual seat next to you to watch, just not on one of those lucrative pit toilets.  :-)

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I'm not sure if I post this here or on one of the other threads. My recent googling led me to finding that the "Dean" (stand-up comedian guy,) is no longer working a Kalu Yala. I thought that was rather interesting.

I can not wait for tonight's episode! I really would love to know how the woman behind this series sold him the idea to document everything considering so little about it is online, and the show does not show him in a favorable light at all...

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43 minutes ago, Dmc306 said:

I'm not sure if I post this here or on one of the other threads. My recent googling led me to finding that the "Dean" (stand-up comedian guy,) is no longer working a Kalu Yala. I thought that was rather interesting.

I can not wait for tonight's episode! I really would love to know how the woman behind this series sold him the idea to document everything considering so little about it is online, and the show does not show him in a favorable light at all...

Actually I noticed that about Esteban myself.  I was researching HATCH and they actually did do the HATCH Panama at Kaluyala (I want to call it colleyahoo)  in February this year.  It listed the bios of all the attendees and he was there but says he currently teaches Creativity at a university in Chicago area IIRC.  Many of the bios were (to me, anyway) a bunch of doubletalk and word salads of buzz words.   One said 'they "identified" as an adventurer..  

It is an invitation only event, but one can apply, but could not easily tell the cost if any, to attend.  Was also curious if there were venture capitalists that attend or grant oppty's-- i.e. funding for these looney ideas-- but it did not appear so..  

Ondi Timoner is the woman who started the documentary idea and she is in the credits as Exec. producer and director.  I don't have the link but not hard to find her through the Jungletown Viceland search.  There is a video of her with JImmy being interviewed about the idea.  Like I said, she seemed very enthused and 'on board' with the whole colliyahoo idea.  But as we see the doc series is anything but flattering  ( IMO anyway.  Who knows they may think these issues are typical in the world of bullshit and don't see them as unflattering)  Perhaps she sold the raw footage to Vice and they did the edit. Or-- she saw the BS and decided to keep her credibility to her craft and reputation.   I just wonder 'what Jimmy knows and when he knew it'.  Wonder if there will be a season 2?  

Not surprised Esteban and others move on eventually--even under better circumstances.  One can only play pretend for so long.  

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4 hours ago, seasick said:

  It's no coincidence that he has a stand-up comic explaining the financials etc. 

I did think he was a smooth talker who easily turned that question session into a fun fest.

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1 hour ago, seasick said:

Not surprised Esteban and others move on eventually--even under better circumstances.  One can only play pretend for so long.  

Plus if they haven't made a significant progress on building the town, well, having outside plumbing and water issues probably gets old.  Some really love living there - Josué for example, I wouldn't be surprised to hear he is still there.

As far as not finding negative reviews - like I said before, probably the interns, even if they felt some dissatisfaction, felt like they took something positive away.  Young and enthusiastic, you know?  So for $500/week (10 weeks unless I'm mis-remembering) they get room, board, food - as bare as some of that stuff is - to bond with others, see some of Panama and work on their projects.  They know it's not accredited or anything, and let's face it, for most of them their parents are probably footing the bill.   It's not a cult, they can leave whenever they want if they don't like it and I'm sure it's explained that it's non-refundable (which does make sense, as much as I think Jimmy is a shyster).

It will be interesting to see if there are any serious complaints tonight.

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1 hour ago, raven said:

As far as not finding negative reviews - like I said before, probably the interns, even if they felt some dissatisfaction, felt like they took something positive away.  Young and enthusiastic, you know?  So for $500/week (10 weeks unless I'm mis-remembering) they get room, board, food - as bare as some of that stuff is - to bond with others, see some of Panama and work on their projects.  They know it's not accredited or anything, and let's face it, for most of them their parents are probably footing the bill.   It's not a cult, they can leave whenever they want if they don't like it and I'm sure it's explained that it's non-refundable (which does make sense, as much as I think Jimmy is a shyster).

 My thing is that there aren't really that many reviews of the place period. I've seen a few posts by individuals that have been there (There was one from a few years ago.) This isn't a new place, Kalu Yala has been around for years, and I think they've had interns for atleast 4 years if not longer. 

 

3 hours ago, seasick said:

Ondi Timoner is the woman who started the documentary idea and she is in the credits as Exec. producer and director.  I don't have the link but not hard to find her through the Jungletown Viceland search.  There is a video of her with JImmy being interviewed about the idea.  Like I said, she seemed very enthused and 'on board' with the whole colliyahoo idea.  But as we see the doc series is anything but flattering  ( IMO anyway.  Who knows they may think these issues are typical in the world of bullshit and don't see them as unflattering)  Perhaps she sold the raw footage to Vice and they did the edit. Or-- she saw the BS and decided to keep her credibility to her craft and reputation.   I just wonder 'what Jimmy knows and when he knew it'.  Wonder if there will be a season 2?  

I really want there to be a second season.

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I suppose one way to get your money back would be to get a paid staff position.  One must appeal to Jimmy's capitalist senses; not sure counseling those who already paid is appealing, unless Jimmy is still not aware of the bad PR from intern complaints in the documentary.  

Laughed a bit that the two defectors saying they will spill to the production company-- it appears they are already 'On It".  

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20 hours ago, raven said:

As far as not finding negative reviews - like I said before, probably the interns, even if they felt some dissatisfaction, felt like they took something positive away.  Young and enthusiastic, you know?  So for $500/week (10 weeks unless I'm mis-remembering) they get room, board, food - as bare as some of that stuff is - to bond with others, see some of Panama and work on their projects.  They know it's not accredited or anything, and let's face it, for most of them their parents are probably footing the bill.   It's not a cult, they can leave whenever they want if they don't like it and I'm sure it's explained that it's non-refundable (which does make sense, as much as I think Jimmy is a shyster).

 

18 hours ago, Dmc306 said:

 My thing is that there aren't really that many reviews of the place period. I've seen a few posts by individuals that have been there (There was one from a few years ago.) This isn't a new place, Kalu Yala has been around for years, and I think they've had interns for atleast 4 years if not longer. 

I have to agree with the weirdness of no reviews.  Last night they said bad reviews are deleted--I'm guessing off the KaluYala promo website.  

I agree that in the end many will see that it was a good experience overall-- good memories of partying with the moonshine they make and their "inspirational week" of partying in Panama and the Kumbaya hugs and new friendships, but surely there are those who would caution others as to what they can expect in terms of a learning experience and any actual sense of accomplishment they would hope to gain.  

"Failing more than succeeding is expected' (i.e  not having your ideas supported IMO)  appears to be Jimmy's mantra and somehow he seemed to allude to the millenial stereotype of expecting participation trophies to which he seemed to think failing would be the valuable (5k) lesson for them overall.  

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Just finished the most recent episode.. anyone else enjoy Vice's disclaimer before the interns started bashing Kalu Yala? I was reading a Kalu Yala Reddit , and totally agree with some of the most recent posts. I really hope they do a follow up with some of those disgruntled interns, and we see what really happens. I'm still over here scratching my head wondering where all the past interns/staff are hiding, and why no one has interviewed them for articles.

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Jimmy comes off worse each episode, LOL.  Sorry you shyster, even having a cute doggie doesn't make you look better.

I would love to see what the document looks like that the interns sign when they pay up.   I'm sure it's carefully parsed legally; something about coming and experiencing the Panamanian jungle, help build a sustainable town.  Something that make it easy for Jimmy to say "hey, you didn't do YOUR job" when the interns complain about things not being built or done - that's because that's why the interns are there!  To get things done!  It was Cahill I think who said his request for materials for his project was denied.

It's not a good look when the guy running the place really wants to be standup comedian instead. 

I did laugh at the one intern who was writing up her own job description - at least she somewhat got it, that to justify a paid position she would need to be making money for them.   I did laugh at Jimmy mocking them for thinking they're going to get paid to lie around in a hammock all day.  It's a weird mix of Jimmy's shady capitalism and the interns' wanting to hang out in the jungle I guess?  Wasn't there one intern who made a comment about studying architecture for 7 years?? What the hell is that person doing there? 

I'm curious as to what more the two who quit have to say.  I'm sure they didn't get any money back and they're not all over the internet complaining, so maybe we few and the ones on Reddit are the only ones who care.  Which, thanks for that link @Dmc306.

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On Friday, May 05, 2017 at 4:12 PM, raven said:

Jimmy comes off worse each episode, LOL.  Sorry you shyster, even having a cute doggie doesn't make you look better.

I know Jimmy was even super dismissive of Esteban when he was trying to point out that Jimmy talks a different game than the contract.

Esteban was hugely unfunny but it was nice to get a time frame for when this was filmed.

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So the big intern rebellion ultimately fizzled out, except for Cahill.  He seems to be regretting it; I'm not surprised, the social aspects are probably a big draw once the interns are there.

One of the "wanted to quit" bunch mentioned something about credits, so I guess they do get some kind of academic credit if they complete their term?  I'd like to know that for sure.

Jimmy is still so full of it.   There are pretty drawings but no actual plans that I saw - what about permanent water, septic, etc?  Electricity?  How are they drawing power now, do they have generators?  At least they admitted they're not sustainable it and took it off the website.

There's no lack of money because according to the website, the fist 20 homes have been sold, though they won't be built until 2019.

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On 5/6/2017 at 11:21 PM, biakbiak said:

I know Jimmy was even super dismissive of Esteban when he was trying to point out that Jimmy talks a different game than the contract.

I didn't pick up on that. ( I don't doubt it)  Was it when they where in the office re; the two that quit?    I guess not even Esteban can continue to blow smoke.  Jimmy seems  to have no problem displaying what,--in reality--  an arrogant phony shithead he is since he is aware that he's being filmed doing it.  

I read on another site that he can't start development until 2018 and apparently that's in the works.  I suppose with that as real his end-game he can't even pretend to give a rats' ass what they think while waiting for his permits and collecting their money.  He shows obvious disgust and contempt for those so stupid  as to buy into his own scam.   

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On 5/11/2017 at 5:46 PM, raven said:

So the big intern rebellion ultimately fizzled out, except for Cahill.  He seems to be regretting it; I'm not surprised, the social aspects are probably a big draw once the interns are there.

One of the "wanted to quit" bunch mentioned something about credits, so I guess they do get some kind of academic credit if they complete their term?  I'd like to know that for sure.

Jimmy is still so full of it.   There are pretty drawings but no actual plans that I saw - what about permanent water, septic, etc?  Electricity?  How are they drawing power now, do they have generators?  At least they admitted they're not sustainable it and took it off the website.

There's no lack of money because according to the website, the fist 20 homes have been sold, though they won't be built until 2019.

I was so disappointed with the "rebellion" as well! And the way the staff treated the one girl, (and then seemingly tried to brush it all away) was crappy. Of course they fed them some bull, and everything was once again sunshine and daisies... If this was treated more as a camp type experience that they're attending and not some "internship," then I could totally get the it's so wonderful koolaid. But it's not. Interesting side note, one day while googling I found a resume from someone that interned at Kalu Yala, and one of the first skills they listed as learning was using a lawnmower and weed eater.

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