MONDAY MAY 13th
i had to leave the house early this morning, we have a full day of travel ahead of up. I met Paula at DIA and we quickly made it through security. Our first plane went to Miama, then from Miama to Quito, Ecuador. Once arriving to Quito it was already dark and going through customs was a little difficult. Neither of us speak spanish fluently and I can only understand verbs here and there. Everyone was so nice and helpful though so this wasn´t a huge problem. As soon as we left the airport we were able to find a really nice helpful taxi driver (who did not speak any english) but was still very bvery helpful to say the least. He took us to the bus station and also helped us purchase our tickets to Canoa. The bus ride from Quito to Canoa is a 7-9 and didn´t leave until 10pm. It was a long trip, and i tried to sleep as much as i could but it was also very uncomfortable.
TUESDAY MAY 14th
It was nearly 5´30 am when we arrived to Canoa and was a ghost town. We sat in a lit ally until the sun came up and then made our way to the beach where we laid down until the Rio Muchaco Farm office opened at 8:30. The beach was amazing, and the water was really warm as well. After such a long trip here it was very relaxing. After registering we were taken to the farm in an old red truck. The drive up to the farm was kind of far but so awesome. So many little homes all with some sort of garden or farm animals of thier own. Once getting to the farm i was amazed at this place i would call my home for the next month. I learned that this area used to be a desert when nicola and dario first purchased the land 30 years ago. Since then they have been planting over 400 trees a year to make it the paradise it is today. I also learned that Ecuador is nearly 95 percent deforested about only a few km of natural trees still remain.
The room the gave us to stay in is shared with 4 other girls. It´s on the top floor of the main house and basically the center of the farm which is 10 hecters big. Two of the volunteers are from Boulder, Colorado and know my really good friend Dax! Such a small world ¨:) They are both very fimilar with the gunnison and crested butte area giving us tons of commmon ground.Everyone here does their best to speak only in spanish, and it´s great! Only being here a day i feel like im picking it up again and am able to understand them since they aren´t as fast as the locals who are said to have the coastal tounge. The do not pronounce thier s or z. Lunch consisted of rice beans and juice. all coming from the farm except for the rice.
After lunch i helped installing the irrigation system. At ths time of year in Ecauaor it is the end of the wet seasn going into the dry making irrigation needed. The water is pulled from the river. We worked on the irrigation of only about 20-30 of the 100 plus beds on the farm, so theres still tons of work to do on that.
After we were done working on the irrigation we all enjoyed an Ecuadoran orange :) it was delcious! We even ate it the way the locals do thwere they cut off the peel and slice just the top off, then you drink the juice out. Dinner was similar to lunch except we drank tea insted of juice. After that we went to a tienda down the street to have a few cervezas! SUCH A GOOD FIRST DAY!
(sorry for any mispelling and missing letters, the keyboard here at the internet cafe are old and quite different than those in the states!)