Today was our service day, where we worked at Fundar Galapagos most of the day. We ate breakfast there, then put on rain boots, received work gloves and planting tools, then hiked down to the greenhouse located at another region of their property. Their main mission, so we heard from a couple of volunteers, is to help with planting trees the repopulate areas that were subjected to deforestation, to help local farmers with organic methods of farming, and removing invasive species of plants from the local region. Everything they do is for conservation of the area of Santa Cruz.
Our jobs today were to help out in the greenhouse. Their local farmer had to leave, so it was basically in desperate need of some weeding, picking the ripe tomatoes (that were used for our lunch), watering and removing the dead leaves. That was in one greenhouse. In the next greenhouse, we weeded some more, used a hoe to loosen some soil, then pulled radishes (that were used for our lunch). We also picked ripe eggplant and weeded a walking path for others to use. We did all of this in about 2 and a half hours. We were very hungry for our lunch and very wet from the rain!
After about an hour break, and waiting for the heavy rain to stop, we went back down the path to an area to plant some bamboo trees. We planted 128 trees in about 30 min! That is what I call team work! We went so fast because there were fire ants in every hole that we dug, and were all getting bitten many times.
After this, we walked back to the information center, washed up, returned our boots, and got ready to leave. We will return again tomorrow to remove invasive plants with a machete. Many students got very excited about this (which is a little scary to me...)!
After our service time, we came back to the hotel for several hours of free time before supper. Some walked around town, others hung around to relax, some did some shopping. I think most, though, took a shower and changed out of the nasty clothes from working in the mud! Tomorrow, we pack up our things and head to our ship after our service time - Yeah!! I am not sure when I will have internet again (or as one of the guys at the lodge at the coast called it - wee fee), but I will try from the ship!