Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Hike to San Miguelito
We had some visitors on Monday. Catie and Stephanie are volunteers in communities relatively nearby. They hiked 6 hours with 3 people from Catie´s site, Juan, Magdalena, and Miguelito to arrive at our site right after lunchtime. We had a nice visit and made some delicious campo foods like patacones (slices of plantains that you fry and smash. they taste kind of like french fries.) and rice and beans. We had a very non-campo drink: sweet, iced tea! There is no electricity in our site so we don´t have any ice but a truck brought some in for an activity that the community was having that day and they were nice enough to send a block of it up to our house so we could make our chicha nice and cold. Right when I saw it I knew what kind of chicha I was going to make. The only problem was that Lee was not home yet from his trip to talk to one of the agencies about our Iguana project. And I was about to make his favorite drink. I waited as long as I could before I put the ice in there and started pouring glasses for people but the ice was melting... And a couple of minutes later Lee arrived in the darkness and misty rain of evening and was greeted with a big glass of sweet, iced tea.
The next morning we left at about 8:00 to go see the rice tanks and fish tanks of a group of farmers in a community 2 hours away. We hiked for 2 hours, arrived in San Miguelito, asked for directions to the farmers´group, kept walking, entered a different community, then entered another San Miguelito (yes, there are 2 of them). Then we went ahead and got lost again in the new San Miguelito (we took a wrong turn and ended up walking up a steep hill with no shade only to find that the road ended at someone´s house). In the second picture Stephanie and Lee are at the top of the hill and are not happy about it.
The first picture shows Catie in front of a beautiful waterfall about 20 minutes from our destination. Yes, we did make it(walking a total of 4 hours) and we had a very productive day. Feliciano and Fidel came from our community and they got to see the rice tanks at each stage of production and talk to other Panamanian farmers about their experiences with the technique. We are going to plant rice in the first tank in our community next week!