When Pete joined us from the USA at the end of October, he very kindly brought with him our donations from Idea Wild (www.ideawild.org) of a trap camera, a laptop computer and audio equipment. (He also brought many other useful items with him as donations including battery chargers, binoculars and loads of interesting ideas and information for us too!). The laptop has been in use daily since its arrival and has already saved the Fundacion lots of dollars as we no longer have to use the Internet cafes so much and can access free Wi-Fi locally. The audio equipment has been experimented with and we are able to record some of the interesting and amazing sounds of the jungle around the land. We hope to be able to send you some jungle sounds in the very near future and we also plan to use the equipment to identify some of the ‘invisible’ animals around us. The trap camera will be placed in an experimental area very soon in order to verify what animals are living around us.
And in mentioning trap cameras, information has reached us that the stolen (and therefore missing!) borrowed trap camera has allegedly been traced to someone’s house. Through ‘appropriate’ means we hope to be able to recover it and return it to its owner.
Almost every week we are encountering more snakes and other reptiles – and the more dangerous of these we are removing from the land and relocating in areas close to the Llanganates National Park. One of the other useful items that Pete brought with him was a set of snake tongs and they have made the process very much safer for all, including the snakes! Miriam has greatly enjoyed her regular contact with our reptilian neighbours.
The team has all but completed the dam in the smaller stream, and this will enable us to have a continual water supply no matter the season. Now, we are in the process of completing the ramparts, placing stones around the base to prevent erosion and completing the plumbing system, which will give us a supply, wherever we need it in the new Conservation Centre.
Also, we have cleared and marked out the area where the quarantine and clinic will be located, and have asked a local ‘maestro’ (‘master builder’) to start work with his assistant in the next two weeks. A big step forward! Our plan, once the building work is completed, is to power its facilities using solar energy, and we are already pricing the equipment, identifying sources and looking forward to being able to use our facilities for the further benefit to the environment around us in a sustainable way. We already have access to solar energy powered battery charging on-site!
All the donated trees that we planned to place on the land have now been planted (thanks, Miriam). We continue to rescue bromeliads and orchids from where they have fallen along the access road to the land and re-place them on appropriate trees around the site.
We are also looking into the possibility, in the future, of constructing accommodation in the form of ‘cob houses’. These are buildings constructed using sustainable materials – clay; appropriate vegetable materials and other natural ‘ingredients’. There are many around the world and some have been in use for hundreds of years. We don’t yet know how such structures would fare in the jungle environment and so need to undertake further research and experiments before making any decisions on this.
We are delighted to say that the funding granted by the Lush Charity Pot (http://www.lush.com.au) has now arrived and is enabling us to start the work on the clinic and quarantine, are very pleased to be able to use the equipment donated by Idea Wild, and we continue to value very much the support from Vegware (www.vegware.com). Thanks again to all these organisations for their great support. Thanks also, to all those many friends/supporters who continually help us with their positive comments and support, and to all the Flor de la Amazonia Group (www.flordelaamazonia.org) members in the UK for their hard work on our behalf here.