Ecuadorian time

Hey everyone, sorry i’m a bit late again on updating you all. Hey, this is ecaudor, after all, and i’ve gotta do my part to conform with the society… Better to take on the lateness aspect than the machista one, eh.

The last time i wrote you all, i got a lot of failed sendings, and my provider almost shut me down thinking i was spamming. So i’m sending this one a bit at a time, and asking everyone who’s interested in my quarterly updates to please email me so that i can put you on a special list. Thanks for your cooperation.

Anyways, it’s been an interesting summer, to say the least. June began pretty quietly, with just a few of us holding down the farm. We didn’t get much done as far as projects go, but a couple of volunteers and i began getting together a new organization, the Vilcabamba Bioregion Reforestation Project, which i hope will allow me to get alot more trees planted on much more of the mountainsides here. One of the volunteers, Jen, and i began to get more than just serious about reforestation…

By the end of the month, the quiet was swept away by a full house, but unfortunately even less got accomplished. Lots of people came on their school vacation, turned the place into a social vortex that drained the worker spirit out of anyone who had it. I tried to keep up good spirits as i developed a garden irrigation system (though could never test it since the dry season only ended up starting a few weeks ago) Though there was some work on the dry greenhouse, and the chicken tractor recieved a new model cage, it was a bit disappointing to have to host so many people, and see less done than if there were only a few of us. By the end of the month, Jen and i ran away on a little holiday. Back to Baños, where i could enjoy hot springs between writing up the bylaws for the VBRP, and hitching around the Ambato region where we managed to acquire several varieties of no-chill teperate fruits to bring home.

August turned quite again, thank goodness, Jen and i finished the dry greenhouse, doing in days what a crew couldn’t get done in weeks. The trees throughout the system recieved a map, markers, and an easy to use watering system, the laundry space was developed, and a base put up for the future wood oven. Jen left in the middle of the month, supposedly to return to university herself.

Then we had a bad moment. One of the volunteers tied The goat, Santi, beside a bee hive, and of course they swarmed her. When i ran to her horrible cries, i saw a ball of bees thrashing amongst a swarming cloud. Just getting in to free her from her rope got me over forty stings, but i can’t imagine how many the goat got. Luckily we had a hydro-cortisone shot left over from when sweet little Maia was here last year, and thank’s so much to Sarah’s donation last winter of a small pharmacy. The goat got the shots, anti-histamines, and anti-inflamatories (as did i, when i began to weeze and swell). For a few days, it looked like Santi wouldn’t make it, but she pulled out of the toxins. One morning when i visited her, she stood up and i noticed what looked like an organ dangling from her vagina. Calling the vet, i was told it was probably het uterous, which i was to have to clean, push back in, and stitch the vagina to keep it from coming out again. I was horrified, but as i began to clean it, i noticed some familiar features. No uterous, but actually a set of aborted fetuses. Looks like her little son, Sabroso, was a very very naughty boy. (Speaking of naughty boys, it turns out that though it may be cute, it’s not a good idea to play butting heads with a baby goat-when tierno grew up, the old man i gave him to got a regular beating by a now grown up goat)

Santi got slightly better, than a few parts of her body turned from swollen to infected, to the point where she eventually lost her chin and most of her ears. Antibiotics killed the infection, but left her unable to digest her food, and for a week she wouldn’t eat, had lots of diarrhea, and began to just lie around, shivering. Some more meds, and for the past week she’s been eating like crazy, and has even got her talkative voice back. She looks to be recovered, but it’ll be another month before i pair her with a male and see if she can give birth again after the trauma of her abortion…

So this month has been relatively quiet. Some great people have come through here, actually, finishing the laundry and wash stations, and building the new wood oven (which i hope to test real soon!). We also revised the source for the tank so that we can read the water flow, and hopefully have less problems with air bubbles getting trapped. We’ve also started work on measuring future pasture areas to rotate the animals in once we’ve got all the materials for an electric fence. I’m also working on borrowing a pig or two to see if they’ll eat the bracken fern within a rotating elecrtical fence.

Though we might not have made much progress on major projects, i have to thank everyone for helping with all the little projects lately. Putting in stone steps, stitching all the torn saddlebags and clothes, all the daily chores, and especial appreciation to all of Santi’s little helpers.

Well, that was the past, but i want to share with you some of my dreams for the future. First of all, it looks like Jen will not be going to school this year after all, but instead will be heading this way again. It’ll be great to have a partner on the farm, especially as we plan on making some big changes. Sacred Sueños is going to become a more official education and demonstration site next year. We plan on having interns on 5 month overlapping terms who’ll be taking on the majority of maintenance responsibility, taking courses that Jen and i will be teaching, and designing and developing new sites, beginning with the social project. We’re currently working on the bylaws to incorporate in Canada (and beyond, if we can get some support), and this may even include a name change. Also, this summer, i plan on heading back to north america where i can take the Permaculture Design Course, and the Perm. Teachers’ course, so that i can give interns certification. If anyone is interested in helping Jen care for the farm while i’m away, please get in touch. Also, i’m looking for a way to fund my trip (as i’m pretty much completely broke personally). I’m looking for donations, and was thinking of auctioning myself off. I’ll hitch hike to the highest bidder in North America, give them a home made diggerydoo, do a fire spinning dance and cook them a lovely dinner. We’ll start the bidding at… $10 (i like to stay humble). Oh, and also fundraising for the farm, we have calenders to sell, full of amazing sunsets. They’re $20 each. Write me if you’re interested.

OK, so that’s pretty much all i have to say right now. I hope everyone is doing well, and look forward to hearing from many of you very soon. Take care,