April 10-16, 2006
All is well here in Bahia de Caraquez, and we have working hard to get the greenhouse in order while we have a little spare time. Just as you are all thinking about tulips, daffodils and lilies up North, we have next year’s forest sprouting in the greenhouse! It’s been a battle transplanting the hundreds of new seedlings before they get too big and die back, but this is a spectacular batch of hard working volunteers right now. Nice work!
The much awaited compost has not yet arrived from the City despite several visits to see Ernesto Cuzme over at City Hall. We agreed this past Thursday that I would be better to go out there myself and pick it up. Ricardito Lopez (of Bosque Encantado fame) has offered to take me in his truck this Tuesday. Muy amable! (very nice)
Blas could not make the meeting about bioregional education last Monday, and I was unable to track him down throughout the week. If he is not at Art Night this Monday I will head over to Canoa and speak with him personally to find out what his plans are. We will need to start finding students if we are going to begin the program. It was great to hear that Valentina is interested in helping with that project in a few months… they would make a great team!
Following our field tour with the Planning Department I have signed two convenios for the upcoming planting season. Both sites are in the Maria Dolores neighborhood; the first site is adjacent to Cherry Tree and the second is behind the housing project on your right. I will be attempting to meet this week with the other two Maria Dolores landowners with whom I spoke on the tour. A visit to El Toro is planned for the first week in May. Flor Maria Duenas’ site, EcoAmigos, in El Toro has been approved for planting by the City and we can start at our leisure. I spoke with Flor last week and will show her the plan before she signs a convenio. We will be working out there this week to produce a site plan and map of how many trees and where we can plant next rainy season.
Next rainy season? The rainy season in Ecuador is supposed to last from December to May does it not? Why not plant this week?
The consensus in town and in the house is that the rain is done. We have not seen a drop in almost three weeks now and the ground is dusty and cracking. The past week we continued to water plants that were waiting to be planted at El Toro and Bosque Encantado, but the lie is over. This week we will be bringing all our seedling friends back to see their families at the greenhouse. Should we catch a little rain in the coming weeks we may plant for a few more days, but chances of survival would be slim. Let the watering and maintenance season begin!
Finally, on a cultural and social note… this past week was Semana de Santas here (week of the saints). Easter, in a way, lasts all week down here on the equator! It was quite a sight to see hundreds of Ecuadorian tourists in town on Thursday night to visit church and come to their vacation homes here on the coast. The sounds from the cathedral that filled the narrow streets in Bahia were absolutely beautiful! The Plant Drum office was closed for Good Friday and Easter Monday, and while the volunteers headed down to Montanita and Machilla National Park with the rest of Ecuador, I headed up to Otavalo for some mountaineering and to see the famous craft market.