Sometimes nature dictates the tasks of the day when you’re living in the forest. We had such a day last week here in our cloud forest. A heavy storm overnight knocked out both the electricity and the water, and worse knocked over a tree close to JP and Alexandra’s house. Luckily the tree only clipped the edge of the roof so major damage was avoided. However it did leave one large tree in the middle of the lawn that required clearing. This of course had to happen on a Friday night. With the arrival of Monday morning one team was dispatched to fix the water supply, engineers arrived to fix the electricity and the rest worked chopping and chainsawing the tree and fixing the roof. By the end of the workday the question that was being asked was… what tree?
In fact the tree is now providing new sides for the beds in the vegetable garden, the sawdust is in the hen houses making it a little cosier for them and one night soon a bonfire will be lit using lots of the small twigs. As they say, when life gives you lemon makes lemonade. Which by the way, we just did.
Two birds at the volunteer house. The first sat on the line for a couple of days before unfortunately dying – we think he was in a state of torpor. In better news, the toucan which flew into one of the windows was treated by the magical hands of Freddy and soon recovered to fly away.
In other news, La Hesperia’s resident pig “La Peggy” was the focus of much attention this week and one of the volunteers, Anna, tried to artificially inseminate Peggy. The event included Freddy catching teh bus back from the animal supply store with the, ahem,,,,required stuff, a quick look at a video on youtube to work out what needs doing and lots of food to distract Peggy while she lost her virginity (sort of). We’ll keep you posted as to how things work out.
Latest update from La Hesperia Reserva Natural.
Volunteers this week enjoyed a walk to the High Point, taking advantage of the man-made and natural swings along the way and tried out the medicinal properties of the Sangre de Drago sap.
There was a new visitor to the dining room who decided to (literally) hang out there for a few days.
Macro lenses have been out in force for some close up shots of some of the innumerable insect species that can be found in the reserve. Though some of them are rather large for insects…
Beetroot and radish are stable ingredients for lots of meals currently – and they taste seriously good…
The garden is looking particularly great this week – there are eight beds planted with various goodies and the never ending battle with the weeds was aided this week by the cutting down of lots of the old Agave plants – the leaves from these have provided complete coverage between those beds.
This week we also planted some soya and corn in the areas where the Pig (La Peggy as she is affectionately known) has helpfully provided nutritious and weed free earth. Gracias La Peggy.
About the Role:
La Hesperia is seeking an English teacher for students aged 3 to 8 at our Montessori school in the cloud forest of Ecuador. The teacher should be open-minded and comfortable working in new environments. The position is scheduled to start in May 2013, and the individual should be able to commit at least 6 months to the project. Training will be included in the role.
The individual will live in our volunteer house on-site with other volunteers from around the world. In addition, outside of teaching the volunteer will be free to work side-by-side with our other volunteers, undertaking sustainability activities such as reforestation and working in our organic vegetable garden.
Medium / Advanced Spanish
Willingness to live in a relatively remote part of Ecuador
Prior teaching experience
Familiarity with the Montessori philosophy
Accommodation and three meals a day
HOW TO APPLY
If you are interested, please send a cover letter and resume to Alexandra Hoeneisen at firstname.lastname@example.org. At a later stage, the application process will include a criminal background check and a child abuse history report (required to teach in the U.S) or letter of reference of your previous work.
This week La Hesperia welcomed a group of students from Denmark who came to enjoy some hikes around the reserve, learn some Spanish and enjoy some relaxation in the White House. Unfortunately the Danes v Volunteers/Staff football game was called off due to bad weather, but they did enjoy making some chocolate from cacao beans and a night camping high up in the reserve (the weather behaved too allowing a traditional campfire).
For the volunteers, work continued on improving he garden and nursery, we spent one day high up in the reserve reforesting and the Pond Trail had shiny news information boards posted around it.
The reserve welcomed a new addition this week with the birth of a baby calf (another expected any day), and Filomon the mule has maybe gone into retirement (or at least he is having a well earned rest – he is 20 after all).
Any suggestions for a name?
Hi, Ceri here – new volunteer coordinator (along with Grace). I’ll be here at La Hesperia for the next four months, so will be updating on what’s happening here.
Its been a busy couple of weeks here – we’ve been high up in the reserve fixing the campsite, the garden is looking a lot tidier and with a better ratio of weeds to vegetables, trails are being cleared, our (tree) babies in the nursery are being cared for and some made it to new reforestation lines yesterday.
In new exciting news, we’ve had lots of other babies arriving this week – baby fish and baby chickens to be precise. Two small ponds have been dug in the vegetable garden and stocked with small Tilapia fish. The plan then is to transfer them in a few months to the newly cleaned and cleared pond to grow. Then it will be plentiful fish all around. Also a new hatchery for chicks is now housed by the milking shed, so more chickens and more eggs will no doubt follow soon.
There have also been several rare animal sightings recently – the Capuchin monkeys are still around, and there are always the amazing array of birds and butterflies, but also spotted this week were an anteater outside the volunteer house, a possum with babies, and a young armadillo.
Pretty rare sighting of one of these, calming walking around outside the volunteer house at La Hesperia.