Hello, and welcome, to a New Year in Ecuador.
Here, at the end of the Old Year, loads of guys overdress as “women of the streets” (a sight to behold!)and extort money from passing car-drivers in an overtly “sexy” manner. Then at 12.00, fire is set to the range of cardboard ‘guys’ that many have spent days and weeks preparing, and such goes New Year here!
On the land, work has finally begun on the construction of the quarantine/clinic! A local expert builder and his assistant are undertaking the bulk of the work on a paid basis. We hope to have enough resources to at least have the building weather tight and secure, and so, even though we may not be using the building for its primary intention to begin with, we will have additional accommodation and covered building resource available for other volunteers and visitors, and ourselves, of course.
The dam is also complete! Many thanks are due to Glen, Miriam, Pete and Wilson for their hard work preparing and constructing this. It looks great, and is scarcely visible in the jungle setting where it is camouflaged. The pipe connections are yet to be fitted – this is planned for early in this new year.
Our next plans also include more research activities using the trap cameras, sound equipment and other materials on the land and we have had several requests by researchers (botanists, zoologists and more) to assist us. We are lacking in accommodation at the moment, although hope to be able to enable people to work with us, using our limited resources, as best possible.
One of our younger supporters here in Ecuador, Dayana, alerted us last week to her discovery in a busy street in the centre of the town of Puyo, of a stranded Banded Amphisbaena! Her prompt action in advising meant we had time to rescue, and immediately release it in a suitable wild area on the outskirts of town. Thanks, Dayana – very well done!
It has been really great to have had the support, energy, passion, fun and commitment from Pete and Miriam over the last several weeks and months. Haste ye back!
Finally, I am delighted to be able to add a great, positive message sent by Pete, which I hope that you enjoy reading.
All the very best for all the coming tymes………..
What an amazing trip to the Foundation!! Much thanks to Gary for his hospitality! He let me stay at his flat on the weekends in Puyo where I met all kinds of awesome artists and musicians. There is also the Ayni cafe on the ground floor that serves handmade and natural desserts!
I had traveled to Ecuador in 2007-08 and spent time with Flor de la Amazonia – Santa Marta ( on the Arajuno road ) where I met Glen, Gloudina and Gary. Since then I had been planning a return trip and it only took six years! Over the years I continued to donate money and I planned to return and contribute in more ways based on my interests.
This time I was able to bring a portable solar panel that I combined with motorcycle batteries to enable some lighting and cell phone charging!! I will upgrade the system with car batteries and a larger panel in a few months when I return. I also presented some COB building ideas and made a test wall using materials found on the land. This could save a lot of money, create a fun activity for volunteers and create forms that will blend into the environment. I also brought another trap-camera, two-way radios, rechargeable AA, AAA batteries and chargers, portable digital microscope, first aid supplies, snake tongs and other neato and useful stuff.
I also like to get dirty and lift heavy stuff and dig holes n things, too…And, there is plenty of that! There is a great deal of labor needed to create the Centre and we worked alongside local dudes to achieve these goals. Thank you Wilson and Jose!!!…They must’ve carried 100 bags of sand and rocks and cement (50kg!) while I was there. Gary was clear in explaining that I could be involved up to the limits of my abilities…and to be safe! And, of course, much thanks to Glen, and Miriam, the other volunteer……we did it!!! You guys are the Best!!! Team Awesome!!
The abundance of wildlife at the centre is amazing….granted most of the creatures are on the smaller scale…none-the-less the diversity of amphibians, insects, arachnids, and birds is incredible! I saw a toucan, toucanette, hawks, kites, tarantulas, frogs, leaf and stick mantids, an armadillo, a swarm of swallows and, of course, lots of colibri! There are also many animals that are heard and not seen during the night. The air and water quality is ultra-pure as well…superior.
I hope to spend the next year returning to the Fundacion and contributing as much as possible. The Fundacion is doing vital work in an ever-dwindling environment…I’m proud to be a part of this project and am doing what I can to help preserve our ecological heritage. I hope you can visit, too….!!
Cheers, —Peter Archer / CHROMO SAPIEN @ reverbnation.com