Sunday, January 20, 2013

Adventures in Ecuador continued 01/17-01/19

Thursday January 17th. In the morning we all woke up early and started our pie time (daily chores), Claire and I (Sunnee) were the firewood people Thursday-Saturday, which was followed by a breakfast of oats and nuts. In the afternoon we ventured to Palugo farms underground water tunnels. The tunnels were 3-6 feet tall, challenging our flexibility to maneuver throughout the tight spaces. Our legs were knee deep in Titanic like water and at times reaching our chests. We were dressed in rubber boots, long pants, and a shirt. Preferably those in which would dry quickly because we do not have a dryer here on the farm and a select amount of clothes to wear. After maneuvering through the tunnels and the Indiana Jones like jungle, we came to an underwater hole in which most of our classmates were brave enough to swim through with the help of our guides. Unfortunately Claire and I were unable to make it through, leaving both of us with a few bumps and bruises. I managed to mess my head up on a rock, which resembles that of a stick figure or as some say, a running man. After the tunnels and a satisfying lunch we journeyed on a bumpy hour bus ride to a natural hotsprings. These springs consisted of multiple pools icy, cool, warm, and hot in which our group all relaxed and enjoyed our time socializing after a long day trudging along in the icy water in the tunnels. Our day ended with a dinner out at this little restaurant where we were served fish, rice, and French fries. We returned to the farm at 11:00 pm and all immediately crashed out of exhaustion.

Friday January 18th. In the morning we all awoke with great difficulty and stomach pain. Some of the group could not even leave their beds for the day. The day started like any other, minus a few participants, with pie time. Next we had breakfast and a meeting. In the afternoon some of the group went to catch and kill a chicken for dinner while the others sheared an alpaca as well as helping with the feeding of the baby cows. The shearing of an alpaca is a bit of a complicated process. We had to first separate the male from the rest of the pack since he was the one we were going to shear. Once he was in the other pen we were told to hold his legs and tie them together while laying him down on his side in order to complete the process. Our next action was to cut off the wool. Using the scissors we took turns shearing the wool off of him. After the two tasks were done we returned to the Chozon for dinner. Part of this meal consisted of the chickens caught earlier in the day. After dinner it was time for dinner and sleep, Goodnight!

Saturday January 19th. In the morning, just like every other day, we had pie time. Following pie time we had a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, a special treat for all of us. After a delicious breakfast we had our classroom time and prepared for our midterm.We also had a discussion of permaculture as a group. Following this we went on an irrigation walk and talk. To our surprise this walk was more of a treasure hunt for the irrigation source. We were separated into two groups with different tasks. One was digging trenches and watering trees while the other was sent on a mission to find the irrigation source and clog up that source to put in the fertilizer for the plants in the garden. The irrigation source group ended up getting lost on the property and having to re-trace their steps to their original starting space. Finally they were able to find their way and completed their task. The other team thought they were just going to water plants; however they had to dig ditches along the rows of trees. After the irrigation journey we all returned to the farm and had dinner. After dinner we studied for our midterm, while very exhausted from our irrigation walk.

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