A week without rain

January 2-8, 2006

Congratulations on finding a new projects manager!  The timing sounds good. Now I know I’ve got to get cracking on my future plans! 

We haven’t had any more rain since those two days over a week ago. Nonetheless, we started with a small planting at Inter-Americano School where principal Dr. Sanchez suggested. I have heard that real rain isn’t expected till the end of the month. We went back to Inter-Americano to check on the newly planted trees which were looking good, and we also constructed some shading structures from heavy black fishing net resting on sticks of wood, with thatch on top where needed. I made a new map for Inter-Americano as some of the old ones were impossible to follow. I also spoke to Dr. Sanchez about the upkeep of the site, and asked if it would be possible to leave more vegetation in place rather than chop everything down beforehand, including trees not planted by Planet Drum. They treated us all to lunch in the cafeteria.

I spoke to another property owner in El Toro – Marconi Zavala – who has land between the Espinozas and Pedro Ortero. We will meet in order to take a visit. The contract from the Municipio should be ready any day for the Marianita Jesus hill, and  I will keep trying with Flor Maria and Galo Espinoza. I told Ricardito in the Fanca part of El Toro (shaded property) that we would be planting on his land. He says he will work on clearing a path for us as it is pretty impenetrable now.

A lot of seedlings have come up in the greenhouse which are from seeds planted months ago. Since the beds were resowed a few times, I have to now figure out which is which!

We fixed up some steps and signs in El Bosque and did the usual maintenance, watered both Jorge Lomas sites, Cherry Tree and Dairy Farm twice, and Endara. I also made new maps for Cherry Tree and Dairy Farm because some of the old ones confused even me. There was another burning incident at Dairy Farm, only this time, they were caught in the act, and it was the owners themselves doing the burning!  They said they were clearing for maiz planting, that the trees would come back to life, and that they will be planting Algarrobo in other sections of the property. At any rate, although we had a discussion about it, it didn’t seem like they cared too much. 

We transplanted about 40 little Algarrobos that were growing underneath their mother trees in the driveway at Cherry Tree and probably destined for death. They are now recuperating in the greenhouse.

Some administrative work was done by volunteers to create an Excel database for local contacts. It is still in progress.

I went to a community meeting one night in Astillero about a hill stabilization project being undertaken by a private company. The community was up in arms because of lack of communication about the project. The company had razed the hillsides with fire removing the little vegetation that was there in order to plant one exotic species, and Guayacan, which is very slow growing. There were many points of contention and it was good to hear the points brought up by the community.

Megan left us at the end of this week, and is being replaced by Valentina from Italy, who arrived this morning. The next volunteer – Claudia from Germany arriving on the 20th – will replace Steffi who leaves the 12th.


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