… first, wake up… “ohh! what a wonderfull view!”
Here is one of our “perfect days” at the station. We want to share a bit of our happiness and an example of a typical day.
—- Journal entry from a travel day to the community of San Vicente.
Teaching volunteers: Louisa (UK), Amelie, Nathaniel & Jacob (USA). —-
8h00 – 8h30 – waking up with the sunlight and a beautiful landscape! Time for a little breakfast and a morning jog.
// You can walk, jog or bike or even take a bus to the nearest town, Dos Mangas. Here, we are on our way to the swimming hole and Herlinda’s workshop //
8h30 – We arrive in “Dos Mangas Town” and visit “Herlinda’s workshop.” She is one of our best friends, and is the coordinator of a group of widows that do straw handicraft for necessary income.
// Above, Herlinda is making some handicraft. Making these straw and tagua products is an important part of the heritage of this local community. Tomorrow she can provide a class of how to make straw bags//
9h00 – We keep going until we pass through the Dos Mangas natural reserve entrance (Municipal land) and follow the river trail until we arrive at the “Poza del Tigre” (Tiger Natural Pool)
// The water of this pool comes from a natural spring and is fresh and healthy with a lot of beneficial minerals. The water is clean but looks green as it reflects the trees and is mineral-rich.
This is such a nice place for a rest in the hammock, floating on the water, swimming or for using the rope and jumping in! By the way, lying in a hammock is a very traditional thing to do in Ecuador!//
10h00 – After our swim we enjoy delicious Ecuadorian food from the neighboring plantation
//…Farm to table freshly cooked plantains and a light, soft cheese. Yum….//
11h00 – …On the way back to camp, we decide to stop at a straw production facility
// The straw production facility is family owned and operated. We learned about the necessary steps to the production of the famous Ecuadorian white straw that is so fine in both color and texture (world-famous Panama hats are actually made in Ecuador). The family painstakingly slice each piece of straw, then boil and dry and hang every piece. This process can only be done on dry days as the straw can mold and discolor. The profit margins are slim but the family is proud to carry on this unique tradition…//
12h00 – …Our favorite spot for a complete traditional ecuadorian Almuerzo lunch meal usually consists of two courses.
// We decide to stop at one of our favorite spots on the beach in Manglar Alto for lunch. The chef varies the cuisine daily and it makes our mouth water in anticipation for the shrimp soup and the main course. By the way, our favorite place for lunch costs less than $3.00..//
14h00 – …The new San Vincente dam
// Standing in front of the new San Vincente dam. San Vincente is located in a very dry desert climate. The dam is new and it now provides water to the community. The main area of the community has also recently gotten access to electricity. Up the ridge from this site is a future Vivientes camp and community workshop site. The site has a tremendous view of the neighboring mountains. …//
14h30 – …Time to teach and start having fun with the children!
// We arrived at the town center with our well-planned lessons. First, we engaged the children with individual, unstructured play. Then, we started with a lesson about the ancestral legend of Huancavilcas and played a game relating to this lesson. After, we began our lesson relating to Shamanistic healing using the traditional Valdivia figure. Of course, we also played a related game! Fortunately, we still had time and enough teachers for individual instruction and intervention….//
17h30 – Sunset
19h00 – A grilled chicken dinner
// The drive back to Manglar Alto from San Vicente takes a bit more than an hour and we decide to stop and eat at a traditional restaurant along the way. The huge plates of grilled chicken and rice “calme la leona” (the big hunger) inside our tummies….//
20h00 – A horse is stuck!
// When we returned to the camp, we noticed half of a horse was sticking out of the bushes. He did not look happy. We grabbed a lantern and discovered he was stuck. Then we got some supplies from the workshop and cut some wires and released the horse. Then, we repaired the fence. Finally time for bed:)…//
21h00 – Thanks a lot of this perfect day