May 28-June 1, 2007
It rained consistently from last Wednesday through Saturday night. Although very late this year, they have been real rainy season rains, every night, almost all night long. Some people are talking about delayed rains since they were never that strong during the actual rainy season. The climate has definitely changed from winter (typically wet season, hotter and sunnier) to summer (typically dry season, cooler and cloudier), except for the rains. We haven’t had multiple days of rain in a row all year until now. We’ll have to see how long they last, but they’ve been great for our trees.
[Click on photo for larger version]
Another week began with a greenhouse trip. We turned compost, cut Caña tubes, and took some big Guarango trees to replace the nine trees that died at Maria Dolores. Some of us stayed home finishing up Bioregional Education materials for the class which begins on Wednesday.
On Tuesday we installed cut Caña tubes at Bosque Encantado. It’s quite a feat carrying sacks of bamboo up the hillsides to where there is a site of over one hundred trees. Fortunately the numbers of volunteers are strong these days.
On Wednesday a group went to buy and cut more Caña. Others were working on some bunk beds being built for one of our rooms, so it can hold four volunteers instead of only three. That will bring the total spaces for volunteers in the house up to six. Lise and I put the finishing touches on the Bioregional Education booklets and had them printed (photocopied). That afternoon we handed them over to the latest class of bioregionalists, twenty bright students who will receive bi-weekly instruction from Ramon. Look for reports from him in the coming weeks.
On Thursday the Bellavista neighborhood invited Planet Drum to help out with some of the environmental work that they are doing. We helped them plant some trees and did maintenance on their greenhouse. I took a trip to La Universidad Catolica to get a signature from the director for the Cordillera el Balsamo private protected areas group. While there we discussed the idea of using the greenhouse at the Bahia campus as a model for the two other campuses they have in Portoviejo and Chone. It is possible to start eco-clubs at the other schools to get interested students together. We would then help them construct their own greenhouses; and show them how our current greenhouse is run. They would then be able to maintain the greenhouses on their own and with just a periodic check in. Clearly this project will take some time, but I think it’s quite feasible. Thursday night two new volunteers showed up: Farhad and Angela from Berkeley California. There are currently eight volunteers, four of whom are staying at the Hostal Bahia Bed and Breakfast.
On Friday there was a field trip into the woods of Fanca to hike through some of the dry tropical forest we are working to restore. Jaime led the group along the ridge between the El Toro and Fanca watersheds, in which there are multiple reforestation sites. Along with a great view of Bahia at the mouth of the river Chone, we saw hundred year old Guayacan, large Caoba, Ceibo, Dormilon, Seca, and Matapalo, among other trees. It was a beautiful hike and everyone enjoyed getting to see what the trees in the greenhouse will look like in twenty, fifty and a hundred years.
I’m taking a couple weeks of vacation, part of which I will be heading back to my home town of Philadelphia. I’ll be leaving our most senior volunteer Lise in charge, so she’ll be taking care of the next two reports. See you all again in two weeks.
Nos vemos. Cuídense.