Day 4

 Posted by Gabrielle Appiah at 11:59 am  Ecuador
Jul 112014
 

Today we harvested veg for our kitchen and got the chance to use the machetes. We started with the plantains. Jonas (pronounced Honas) makes using the machete look like a piece of cake but that it is not! We took it in turns to cut the plant and each time, in your mind you think you’ll do better at it but that definitely was not the case. It took 10 times as many swings of the machete than Honas had demonstrated and then took more time as we’d all get the machete jammed in the plant. What’s interesting is that we cut down the whole tree for 1 bunch of plantains. Moving onto what I’m best at harvesting, the yuka. It looks like yam/sweet potato and they eat it A LOT here in Ecuador. It grows a whole twig-like tree which needs to be chopped in order to pull it out of the ground. After chopping it with the machete which is far easier than the plantain tree, you have to find the right angle where it will come out with ease and voila, you get a bunch of 3-6 yukas. I got a pat on the back from Honas so I am over the moon with my yuka harvesting. Another interesting fact is that you plant the stem of the yuka tree in order for it to grow. After another tasty and hearty meal cooked by our beloved chef Alfredo, we returned to the reserve with 2 new Ecuadorian and far more experienced volunteers. We trekked to the cocoa trees and there we used the machetes to clear overgrowth around the trees. Having completed that task we cut down a few cocoa plants and cut them open to find what looked and felt like brains but tasted like a fusion of mango and pomegranate. After consecutive late nights we hit the pillow early.

 

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