Water is in short supply all over Bahia.

August 4-18, 2008 

Summary:  Our volunteer numbers continue to dwindle, but we carry on watering. More seeds are collected, prepared and planted in beds in hopes that a bunch more trees will germinate and be ready for planting in 2009. I leave Bahia for a visit back to the US of A and close the doors of the house for a week and a half.

Andrew has departed to spend the last week of his Ecuador trip relaxing, instead of carrying water with the Planet Drum crew, so it’s just me, Stephen and Jaime left. Nonetheless we keep the watering routine going. Monday we hit the Astillero and La Cruz sites. I collect a few Tierramonte seeds in El Astillero. Tuesday the Ruinas and Tamarindos sites are watered. In the afternoon Jaime collects some Guarango seeds up in Bellavista.

On Wednesday we ride out to the greenhouse on the bus. 

A view of the Rio Chone estuary where they have begun construction of the 2km, $90 million bridge from Bahia to San Vicente. It will take 3 years to build.

The house compost is dropped off and we water the top section of the greenhouse revegetation site that gets the most scorched by the sun. Then we proceed on foot to the Don Pepe site and water all of the trees there.

Thursday morning we reorganize gallon jugs used for watering. Some of the jugs have cracks or holes, others are missing lids. Damaged jugs are swapped out. Then Ricardito shows up and we drive out to the Nuevo Globo site, filling up water at the greenhouse on the way. The Nuevo Globo site is watered.

Friday we start off by breaking open Guarango seed pods to get the seeds out. We hitch another ride with Ricardito out to Fanca. Along the way we snap some pictures in the Jorge Lomas and Mangle 2000 neighborhoods for Andrew’s project on natural disasters in coastal regions. Once in Fanca we water the Granja revegetation site.

Monday is Stephen’s last day, and we happen to get a surprise visit from Diana, an old Planet Drum contact, who has been living in Manglaralto (near Montañita). She has come to say hello to Planet and check out Bahia. We give her a warm welcome and take her out watering. We attempt to water the Astillero site, but can’t get a hold of any water. Instead the Tamarindos site followed by La Cruz is watered. Water is in short supply all over Bahia and the surrounding areas. That’s how it goes this time of the year.

Diana and Jaime walk from Reales Tamarindos to La Cruz carrying supplies for watering.

By Tuesday, Jaime and I are the only ones left. Undeterred, we continue watering. We return to El Astillero, this time water is arranged ahead of time. From there we water the site in El Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas.

A coral snake that we came across in El Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas. Apparently they are quite rare in this area, normally restricted to more untouched regions.

On Wednesday morning seeds are prepared for planting by soaking them in water.

Jaime waters a Cedro tree planted in 2007. Even though it is from last year, its leaves are turning yellow so we decided to water it anyways.

 They will soak until Friday. Then we get a ride to Fanca with Ricardito to water at Ricardito’s farm (Bosque Encantado). But the water truck is broken and Ricardito doesn’t have any water at his farm. So we have to fill up the water jugs at Jaime’s house in Fanca and then drive them into the farm.

Seeds that will soak for 48 hours before being planted.

On Thursday the site at the greenhouse is watered and then Jaime and I prepare seed beds for planting.

On Friday we spend the day at the greenhouse. A fresh batch of soil is mixed. The usual ratio of 1/3 sand, 1/3 compost, 1/3 humus, with a dash of saw dust is used. 

Jaime transplants Chirimoyas.

Chirimoyas that have germinated and are ready for transplanting are moved into 3-liter bottles.

A transplanted Chirimoya tree.

The last of the baby Algarrobo’s are transplanted, bringing the total number of Algarrobo’s that will be ready for planting next year to over 750. 

Transplanting an Algarrobo tree.

Then we plant seed beds of Guarango, Guachepeli, Cascol and Dormilon. ly.

A seed bed planted with Guachepeli. The seeds are sprinkled into the bed and then a layer approx. ½ to 1- inch thick of soil is deposited on top.

The seeds have been soaking for 48 hours and hopefully will germinate quick

Jaime waters the seedbeds after they’ve been planted.

Monday the Don Pepe site is watered. From there we walk to the greenhouse and water the plants inside and at the extension.       

On Tuesday, Aug. 19, I depart for a short visit to Philadelphia. While I am gone, Jaime will keep the greenhouse in order and water what he can at the revegetation sites. Additionally he will continue collecting seeds. When I return we will focus our energies on selecting and preparing new sites for 2009. We need volunteers for September, October and beyond!  So if interested, email me at planetdrumecuador@yahoo.com or visit our new volunteer webpage: http://www.planetdrum.org/volunteerbahia.htm

Pásalo bien,

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