Installing more caña tubes and rice hull mulch.

Lise Tjorring 
Planet Drum Foundation
Report: June 4-June 8, 2007

It has been a busy and interesting week. Clay has gone on a holiday to his homeland and left us with a long list of things to do, but at the same time new volunteers have arrived to help out with these tasks. The Planet Drum work force increased with two new volunteers this week, Maria from Argentina and Melissa from California. Maria studies biology and environmental science and speaks fluent Spanish and English, and Melissa, also a Spanish speaker, studies literature and environmental science back home. We are now 10 volunteers, and with such a big team we have had time to get a lot more involved with the community.

We started the week with a good clean-up of the house and the bodega (storeroom) downstairs. Two volunteers went to the greenhouse to check on our trees, do watering and empty the compost. In the afternoon I took a group of volunteers up to the neighborhood of Maria Auxiladora to celebrate El Dia del Niño (Children’s Day) with the kids. We had a fun afternoon singing, dancing and playing games.

Tuesday was dedicated to art. We went to El Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas Park and brought one of the entrance signs back to the house to repaint. Other volunteers painted colorful signs for the greenhouse, so that volunteers and visitors can easily identify the different tree species. We also had a couple of volunteers working on designing new presentation signs for Planet Drum displays, as some of them were damaged by water last time we used them.

On Wednesday a couple of volunteers stayed back in the house to cut Caña trunks. The rest of us went to our site in Don Pepe to install Caña tubes there. The ground was hard, but we managed to install tubes for all the trees, and we should be able to water the site more efficiently now without having problems with water running down the steep hill.

On Thursday we did the same procedure as Wednesday. A couple of people stayed in the house preparing Caña tubes for the next day and our by now well-experienced tube installing team went to our la Cruz site to install about 75 tubes. The process went smoothly. The ground was more humid than at the Don Pepe site the day before, and it was a lot easier to dig holes for the tubes. One of our volunteers went with Ricardito on a field trip to Charapoto to get a truck load of rice hulls. Within the next week we are going to put handfulls of rice hulls on all our trees. The rice hulls are going to decompose slowly and through this process create nutrients for the trees, while also providing excellent mulch.

Friday morning ten school kids and their teacher knocked on our door. All the kids had prepared questions and wanted to know about what we do and how they could help to protect the environment. They were very interested in coming to help us one day and within the next couple of weeks we will take them on a trip to our greenhouse. Later that day we divided into groups. A couple of people stayed in the house cutting the last load of Caña tubes that are going to be put in el Toro on Monday. Another group finished painting the signs for the greenhouse and the entrance sign for El Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas. The rest of us took bags of rice hulls to the sites at la Cruz, Don Pepe and Maria Dolores.

The week finished off by going fishing with some of our local friends in Bellavista. We caught 10 big fish, cooked them on the fire and had a feast!

Con conciencia verde,


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