May 30-June 5, 2005
Volunteer situation: Hannah and Montana arrived on Wednesday night, and Jackie on Saturday night. They will be staying through the summer, except Montana, who leaves mid-July. He is staying at the Bahia B&B. (Hannah was actually one of students in the group I led in a previous job to Costa Rica for the Experiment in International Living.) We now have 6 people living in the house. Two brothers come for two weeks in July and will also stay at the B&B. In August there will be new volunteers coming on the heels of those who leave so I expect the house to remain full until October. I revised and updated the contents of the Volunteer Manual.
Fencing: Afran Hidalgo, the property owner of our km 4 site, also sells wood. He will get me as many moyuyo posts as I need for $1 each. We may be able to get two posts from one as they are quite tall. I am thinking of doing individual fences around the trees in the ditch at the Cherry Tree site using scrap wood that we have in the bodega. The barbed wire I would use for a ditch at the Dairy Farm, and also the entrances to the Fernando site.
Watering: Trip Martin says we can have whatever bamboo is left over from the dock complex construction within the next month in order to make more watering pipes. It turns out we were using the wrong technique with that. I discovered after a trip to the Bella Vista revegetation area (I’ve been up there a few times, including with the mayor), that you’re only supposed to make a small hole with a nail to perforate the membrane inside the bamboo stalk so that water slowly trickles down and the soil stays moist. We had been removing the entire membrane so the water shoots straight down. The plants are not showing any signs of lacking water yet and look quite healthy.
New sites: Maria Piedad is having her site cleared before we come to visit, which should be this week. Plan to plant the Leonidas Plaza site on Thursday.
Week’s Activities: Caitlin was intensely sick last weekend and so was not able to work a few days this week. She did some research for the Seed Bank though. I took her around to the doctor, hospital, etc. It turns out she had a mystery virus which hit hard and then left.
Carley made a no littering sign in Spanish using scrap wood and paint, which was put up by the greenhouse as the Universidad Catolica footballers always leave their trash behind. The University had a minga (community workday) for Environment Week, which we also helped out with – clearing the underbrush and putting it in a large hole, which happens to make it easy to collect for our composting purposes. We watered, continued fixing the seed beds, removing dead plants and prepared plastic bottles for transplanting later on. The compoyo seeds planted by the Bioregional Education Program have started to come up already!
The minga (community workday) in El Bosque was successful. We had participation from 2 schools, the Defensa Civil, Maria Auxiliadora, and Bella Vista communities, and the BEP students. After an introductory talk, we cleared trails, picked up the garbage at the bottom entrance (which still has open dumps on either side), planted trees and made benches from wood donated from a lumberyard. They are located on the summit and under the big Poinciana / flamboyant tree (by the “ceibo inmaduro” sign). We did not remove dead wood from the forest because we thought efforts would be better spent otherwise.