April 17-23, 2006
Great week down here, 30 degrees and sunny! We spent a few days making some new maps for our sites and gathered up wood for the Planet Drum signs that we will be putting up at each of our planting sites. Work has begun on the handrails and stairs up at Bosque en Media de las Ruinas. Wednesday we measured all the handrails and began collecting the wood.
On Friday morning I was stopped by the neighbourhood representative, Angel, who asked if I could help them with a project proposal. The city is issuing several $3000 grants for ecotourism projects in Bahia and Angel wants to use theirs for the park to build bamboo stairs, handrails, improve/shade the viewpoints and place several concrete benches in the former garden. He also wants to elect a guardian from the community to protect their investment of time and money. I told him we could not do the proposal for him, but I could help with the use of our camera for photos and show him how to assemble a proposal. Thoughts? Obviously we have stopped our work in the park for now.
I met with Ernesto Cuzme this week at the sanitation department regarding the delivery of compost to the greenhouse. As it has not yet arrived and Ernesto didn’t seem optimistic about it getting there by weeks end, I took a trip out to the city composting facility. It now appears as no order was ever sent to the workers at the plant, therefore no compost ever arrived. The plant supervisor wants to charge $3 a bag for our order, which I politely declined. Last I heard, Ernesto was in Cuenca, however will try to speak to him this week.
There was a going away party on Friday night for Don and Thea (Peace Corps workers and our Frisbee teammates). It’s always sad to see friends go, but wish them all the best in their travels and grad school studies! In other news, our new German volunteer who was scheduled to arrive at the house this week had a run of bad luck in Peru and won’t be able to join us. We hope all goes smoother and hope she might make it down in the new year.
We brought all the unplanted trees back to the greenhouse near the end of the week. While we were collecting them we took a survey at each site to see when we will need to begin watering them. I believe we need to start working in El Toro next week, although there is currently no water in the Espinoza’s tank.
Watering in the greenhouse has been stepped up with the onset of the dry season. As such we bought a truck of water for the university as their supplies were dangerously low and wanted to keep the greenhouse just that – green! The volunteers have spent in the greenhouse this week: fixing beds, transplanting and general maintenance. We have expanded the trench outside to accommodate more compost when it arrives and also began some work on the raised beds/storage platforms. We will send photos when we wrap it all up.