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2010 Daily Journal

June 28, 2010

2010 Itinerary
2010 Meet the Team

Last night we ended the evening with a smashing poetry session. Each group wrote a syntu to describe a feature that made an impression on us during our visit to the cloud forest. Here is a sample of some of the poetry that we enjoyed:

The cloud forest in MindoClouds
Smokey translucent fluffs
Tranquil and mysterious
Floating like ghosts

Our day began bright and early with a 5:45 am departure to Guayaquil. After a smooth and quick flight we arrived at the airport to meet our new team members: Stalin, Wilson and Calixto from Heifer Ecuador and Adelaina, a volunteer from France. We were also reunited with our driver Mesias and headed to the Heifer project in the Sinchal community. We received an incredibly warm welcome from several members of the local farming organizations. To make the farm successful, several groups work together and collaborate to share sustainable agricultural practices.

Organic PineappleWe were led through a maze of fruit trees including banana, pineapple, pomegranate and mandarin. It is amazing that such a rich diversity of flora can be sustained in this arid region. The farmers were grateful to Heifer for their irrigation systems. To show their thanks, they bestowed gifts on all of us.

After the tour, we experienced yet another incredible meal provided by the community. We had the great fortune of being treated to a spread that consisted of several local dishes including ceviche, sweet plantains, rice, cheese, fried tuna and mandarin juice. There was also a salad with potatoes, onions, carrots, beans and eggs. Everything was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed the company of our hosts.

Organic Farm Owner Peeling Organic OrangeAfter lunch we visited Sitio Nuevo, another farm that is part of ATAM (Association of Agricultural Workers in Manglaralto) and supported by Heifer Ecuador. Like the previous one, this farm also uses only organic and sustainable techniques. We found a plethora of fruits, some of which we had never seen before. Papaya, grapefruit and lemon trees towered above our heads and the sweet smells of coffee and cocoa trees lingered in the air. Guava, "Ice Cream Beans" and the acacia seed pod were new tastes in our repertoire. The richness of the fruits surpassed any we had experienced in the States. We graciously thanked our hosts and the head farmer, Pedro, and boarded the bus to the Hotel. Within minutes we all had our toes in Pacific sands at the beach.

—Angie, Carly and Sara

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