We had a change of plans (seems to be the usual here), and are still in the Pantanal, but at a different lodge about an hour and a half away (Hotel/Fazenda Sta. Tereza) with internet connection! Here we are meeting Eduardo with some tourists for dinner, and then hitching a ride back to the his lodge. Tomorrow night (June 3rd), two of our architects will arrive at the lodge , and over the next week plans will be finalized with our construction contractor in Pocone.
Alright, now 5/29 through 5/30.
Our two hour drive from Pocone to Jaguar Ecological Reserve was criss-crossed with toucans, macaws, parrots, parakeets, hummingbirds, jabiru storks in the sky, and crocodile-like caimans in the water - not to mention about a giant herd of cattle. No big cats yet, but we are on the look-out. We arrived in time for a dinner of rice with beans and Pantanal beef prepared by ground-manager and cook Milton with help from lodge assistant Maria.
The next day, our first activity was lot surveying. We walked across the road (Transpantanaleira) to Eduardo’s home, next to which we will build PCER and now have our 40 m x 15 m lot. The rest of the day was spent bird and monkey scouting, helping make lunch while learning kitchen vocabulary, exploring an abandoned government field station about a half-hour walk away, and finally finding out that there’s about twice as many stars as I thought there were – we see the Southern Cross, Gemini, and the Milky Way and many other constellations on clear nights.
Milton, Maria, and local guides have all expressed interest in learning English and we will be working with Eduardo to figure out the best way to set-up adult night classes. Our other exciting piece of news is there is a school bus for sale in Pocone, which we may receive at a large discount or for free to transport kids from Porto Jofre to the Jaguar Ecological Reserve (a half hour commute each way).
Soon to come, 5/31 and 6/1.