Natalie Pollard, Volunteer
Planet Drum Foundation
Hola Planet Drum,
Thursday morning, 2/5/04, Renee and I headed to the greenhouse — transplanting, watering, and preparing beds for planting. Back to the apartment for pescado de Koke (yum!) In the afternoon, we headed to Jorge Lomas with Brian and Cheo to do some cribbing along the hillside, so that we are able to plant without causing further damage (Renee’s suggestion) It was my first time using a machete — took a few tries, but quickly learned how to swing it in style. An older woman came by to ask us why were making a trail for the thieves to escape through her backyard….ha! Back to the apartment for a relaxing evening of cooking and reading.
Friday morning we had a meeting to discuss the plans for the Eco-city festival. We had sopa de pescado y chifles de platanos for lunch — definitely my favorite local dish so far. Rita appeared at our door, and now we are five! She and I sat on the sidewalk listening to classical Latin music on the radio, watching passers by, and husking seeds for the greenhouse. A very pleasant and therapeutic afternoon. That evening I was introduced to Gordon Blue’s and caipiriñas, though I headed out the door before all of the scandal was underway.
Eleven of us piled into Jorge’s Jeep and drove up the coast to Juan’s future dream home on the beach near Jama for his 46th birthday. Lounging on the beach by day, sitting by a fire at night (in the rain) and to bed very early due to all of the sun and whiskey. In the morning, Renee and I headed to Canoa for more beach combing and some surfing. I asked for lessons from one of the local surfer boys, and soon enough I was surrounded by many eager teachers, most of whom I could barely understand. Que rico!
Yesterday I took new volunteer Rita, who has proven to have a green thumb, to the greenhouse in the morning. She is a great addition to the group and will hopefully stay with Planet Drum for her three months in Ecuador. It is Monday, so we headed to the larger market to pick-up household supplies. I passed up the opportunity to buy a beach towel with a Latin woman in a thong riding a motorcycle — still holding deep regrets. Renee and Brian buzzed around town meeting with all sorts of people regarding this month’s many Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the Eco-city Declaration activities.
Went for a run and swim last night – ran into the surfing crew again and will take more surfing lessons on Wednesday afternoon here in Bahia.
That takes us up to today, 2/10/04. The whole gang just returned from the greenhouse, where we picked up 4 large buckets full of plants to be planted in the bosque Park later this afternoon. I have a few hours to spare, and plan to help Marcello paint a mural along the Malecon.
It has been raining nearly every night for three nights, so we will plant at the Bosque tomorrow. I began taking photos today — I wanted to be a familiar face on the street before taking out my camera. Took a few portraits as well as pictures of the greenhouse and compost. The view of the university site from the rooftop didn’t work as there is a huge tree blocking most of the hillside. I will seek out a different vantage point in the coming weeks.
I am enjoying the pace of life here. Waking with the sun and strolling to the market for the day’s produce and ending the day with a swim in the sea at sunset. Bliss! Being directly immersed in Bahia through the revegetation project, I have met so many warm people in the community and feel very at home here.