July 9-13, 2007
This is our last complete week with a full house. Many are beginning preparations to take off and soon our numbers will dwindle. Nonetheless spirits remain high and everyone is enjoying themselves and working hard. Despite the occasional nighttime drizzle and lots of overcast days, we continue watering. We are also planting seeds like crazy in the greenhouse to have more trees ready for next rainy season. Additionally, the first issue of Eco-Noticias, assembled by Planet Drum volunteers, was turned into the environmental department of the municipality and will be printed soon.
Unfortunately this past week we had a couple of hang-ups with watering at one of our sites. One day water had not been delivered yet, and the next, our ride broke down while going from one site to the next and so two of the days weren’t as productive as they could have been. Part of the problem was that the water source at the El Toro site has fallen through due to waning cooperation with the landowner there. Alternative solutions will need to be investigated. In the meantime we need to truck water into this site when watering there, and hopefully we won’t have any more breakdowns.
On Monday, as one big group we went to do an overhaul of the greenhouse, planting Caoba and Tierramonte seeds and preparing other seed beds for planting soon. Old seed beds were dug up and the nutrient-depleted soil was replaced with a fresh mixture of compost. We also watered, weeded and dropped off the compost collected daily at our apartment. In the afternoon we did some cleaning and tidying up around the house.
On Tuesday we were back at the greenhouse watering recently planted seed beds. From there we walked over to the Don Pepe and Maria Dolores sites to do some watering of the reforestation sites. There was time to catch the bus back to Bahia and water at the La Cruz site before calling it a day. Meanwhile, Flaca and Ana put the finishing touches on the first edition of Eco-Noticias.
On Wednesday a big group went to Bosque Encantado to water the large reforestation site. Upon arrival they discovered that there was no water, and after waiting for awhile found out that the water wouldn’t come until the next day. Others did more watering at the greenhouse. On the home front, Flaca and Ana used their bi-lingual skills to help do some translating of Bioregional Education materials. Also, Flaca and I did an interview with Flor Maria Dueñas for the second issue of Eco-Noticias.
In the afternoon I wrote a letter, which was well received, to the director of the Javier Rodríguez Mieles School, where Ramon (our Bioregional Education teacher) also teaches. The letter asks permission to take groups of students out to work with us, show them the reforestation process and also have them help out in the greenhouse. So now, every week or so we will be taking a group of students out to volunteer during the day, in addition to the afternoon Bioregional Education classes. It will be great to give the students more environmental exposure as part of their education.
Thursday there was yet more watering at the greenhouse. Freshly planted seed beds need lots of regular H2O. We also went to the El Toro to water there. On the way out Ricardito’s truck had some problems and couldn’t make it over one of the hills. There was a wait for another truck to go by and haul it out. Fortunately after making it over the hill we were able to drive away, but because of the delay there wasn’t time to water Bosque Encantado for the second day in a row. Ana and Flaca continued translation and Eco-Noticias work at the Bahia office.
Finally on Friday there was an opportunity to water the Bosque Encantado site, and also water the trees in Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas, and one last time at the greenhouse before the weekend.
Despite the setbacks, all the ground we needed to cover for the week was accounted for. We had to say goodbye to Flaca and Ana, two volunteers from Argentina. They are continuing their travels North, through Colombia to Costa Rica. Almost entirely by themselves, they put together the first two issues of Eco-Noticias—Bahia’s first green-city newsletter. Here’s to keeping it going and thanks to them for getting it started. Disfruten Sud America.