June 9-23, 2008
Summary: A second week in a row without volunteers. Jaime and I do what we can in the greenhouse and I successfully acquire my permanent work visa in Guayaquil. Then more volunteers begin to show up and we tackle watering and site maintenance.
Monday I translate more of Ramon’s reports and edit Bioregional education materials. Jaime cleans weeds at the greenhouse, waters the trees and pays a visit to ‘La Granja’ revegetation site to check on the trees.
Tuesday morning Jaime and I set out to water the Astillero site and it begins to drizzle. It is necessary to change plans at the last minute and collect Pechiche seedlings which have germinated in an abandoned lot in the neighborhood. We take the seedlings to the greenhouse and transplant them into three-liter bottles, one hundred and fifty new Pechices! In the evening I soak some Palo Santo and Guachepeli seeds in water for planting later in the week.
Wednesday I go to Guayaquil to visit government buildings. Jaime places the booster soil mixture (compost, rice hulls and Tierramonte leaves) on the trees at the Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas site. He also visits the 2007 Bosque Encantado site and cuts back the weeds that are overgrowing the year-old trees.
Thursday morning I navigate more government offices and as the result of much luck and hard work, receive a permanent work visa. On the way home I stop off in Portoviejo to check on the status of the Planet Drum Ecuadorian NGO status. The documents are still making their way through the bureaucracy. Back in Bahia Jaime, despite catching a bit of a cold, does some work at the greenhouse, clearing weeds, watering and mixing compost.
Friday morning Jaime takes me to an Algarrobo tree he has seen in Leonidas Plaza that is dropping seed pods surprisingly early in the season. If we can get the seeds to germinate quickly, we will have some very nicely sized (not too big or small) 5 month old Algarrobo trees to plant for next year. Then we go to the greenhouse and plant the Palo Santo and Guachepeli seeds, which had been soaking for 2 and a half days. We also plant a bed of Chirimoya seeds (unsoaked).
Over the weekend William and Jaime Heaps from San Francisco arrive for what will be a month long stay.
On Monday we water the Astillero and Tamarindos revegetation sites.
Tuesday we clean weeds and fix up the bowl-shapes around the bases of the trees at the Don Pepe site. Each tree has a bowl-shaped trench around it to make watering more efficient. These depressions also serve to hold the booster soil we are giving the trees. We also give each tree at the site its dose of booster soil and water half the site.
In the afternoon, previous Field Projects Manager, Brian Tienert, from 2003-4 returns to Bahia to visit old friends and checkup on Planet Drum operations. He even agreed to help out with work! Welcome back! It’s good to hear stories about Planet Drum and Bahia from back in the day.
On Thursday we returned to the Don Pepe site to finish watering. Then walked to the other side of the watershed and started work on the Nuevo Globo site. Trails and weeds were cleared, which after 2 months had grown significantly. We also began placing booster soil on the trees and even watered part of the site, but because clearing the weeds took so long weren’t able to finish putting down soil and watering, so will have to return another day.
The seeds were then sprinkled on the bed and a layer of soil sprinkled on top of the seeds.
Once at the greenhouse we peeled the seeds out of the pods for planting. A large seed bed was prepared for all the seeds.
On Wednesday the morning is spent at the greenhouse. The objective of the day: to plant the Algarrobo seeds I’d left soaking in water since Sunday night. The seeds pods had been slightly broken up before soaking to facilitate the water reaching the seeds inside. The pods then need to soak in water for three days.
Friday we watered the La Cruz and Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas sites and collected a batch of three-liter bottles from the beach.