One week of rain in early May and trading seeds with Fundacion Futuro.

May 1–7, 2006

If I take but one thing from Ecuador it won’t be weavings from the village of Otavalo or turtles from the Galapagos Islands… it will be a new found respect for the farmer’s almanac! The locals had said there will be one week of rain in early May and here it is! We’ve had a shower every night for the last week, giving the plantings a last growth spurt and everyone a sigh of relief. Water has been restored in town and after 45 days without water our cistern is now full!

With clean hair and spirits we managed to maintain and water while walking all of Bosque Encantando site in one day last week. It appears as though we will be there twice weekly and there is enough water to last the dry season. Cherry Tree site, although a grassless desert right now, appears to still be growing quickly. There are no longer any cows grazing so we’ve taken the opportunity to heighten the existing fences and have begun water twice weekly. As the rights to the property are currently under dispute between landowners, the cistern has been robbed of its contents, however we’ve been told that we can draw water from the well up the road.

El Toro site has suffered some serious drought related setbacks. We have lost all the Guasamos and Guyacans planted at the site in the last month of the season. Having spoken with Sr. Espinoza it is clear we will have to purchase a truckload of water if our trees stand any chance. Water prices are normal again and I have ordered a truck to head out this Tuesday for the low price of $12. He has agreed to provide use of a separate cistern which we will keep under lock and key as they have made over 4000 adobe bricks in the last two weeks (all the while their animals and crops are dying).

There was a weeklong seminar on the Dry Tropical Forest in San Vicente last week, which I attended in the afternoons. Many in the Planet Drum household participated in a field tour of Isla Corazon and a field afternoon in Bella Vista/Cerro Seco. With over 90 participants from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru it was a booming success. One of the highlights for me was Friday’s dedication to seed collection and selection. With our current explosion of Aguia seedlings (500+) we will be trading some with Fundacion Futuro to increase the number and variety of species we have. 

Gabriel, a member of our Ultimate Frisbee team, joined us at work this week. Also joining us last week was Heather Crawford, back from the Galapagos Islands! Having rested up after her year as project manager here in Bahia, she will be with us for a week before heading back to the States via Peru. We wish her all the best, welcome her warming smile and hope she enjoys, as we will, the hot showers that now run in the house!

Hasta pronto,

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