Provincial Environmental Assembly, and Ecuador wins Futbol game.

June 5-11, 2006

It rained three times last week! This isn’t supposed to happen. It was fantastic to hear the pitter-patter of rain on the roof! Otherwise, pretty quiet down here on the work front. We’ve settled in to a pretty regular schedule for watering twice weekly at El Toro and Bosque Encantado. We get out once a week to maintain and water our plantings at Cherry Tree and La Cruz. There have been people in the greenhouse every day during last week. Following the aphid infestation there was a backlog of transplanting to be done, as well as pruning and caring for the insect-damaged seedlings. In the end we only lost 28 seedlings… most of those that were heavily damaged were pruned back completely and are showing signs of new life!

Last Wednesday I helped represent the city of Bahia de Caraquez on the provincial Environmental Assembly. This was a 40 member panel whose task was to identify the environmental threats and possible solutions here on the coast. There was a lot of energy, people seemed impressed with Planet Drum’s position on reforestation and reinhabitation of the area. Following a press conference and a signing of a declaration by the provincial government, the Assembly’s findings will be presented to the National Assembly in Quito (mid-August).

The highlight of the week was definitely the start of the 2006 World Cup. For those that don’t know, South America loves their football! Ecuador has qualified this year and played on opening day against Poland. As Ecuador rarely qualifies, the president declared all days when they play as national holidays. With the opening games on Friday, not only banks, but schools, city hall and most businesses closed at noon. When the game kicked off at 2pm the streets were quiet and the bars were rowdy. Ecuador’s first goal shattered the silent streets as cheers rang out and bottles broke! When 90 minutes had passed, Ecuador had won 2-0 and the streets filled up. Within a half hour there was a 500 car parade doing laps around town… the yellow jerseys of Ecuador celebrating their first World Cup win! Truly an experience most Ecuadorians, and myself, will never forget!

Our longest serving volunteer, Brooke Tuveson, left the house last Thursday. We all had a great last night together, celebrated with a bonfire on the beach. Here’s hoping Brooke has a great time traveling with family and Planet Drum friends here in Ecuador and afar in Colombia! On a house note, and for those reading along on the internet, Art Night has been moved from Monday to Tuesday night. Drop on by after 7pm for a little community interaction if you ever find yourselves passing through Bahia de Caraquez!

Hasta pronto,

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