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6/27 and 6/28

posted Jun 28, 2010, 5:14 PM by Julie Bateman   [ updated Jul 4, 2010, 8:43 AM ]
So we were a bit curious about how these trees were going to come down, but we had no need to wonder because morning of the 27th, we walked into the forest with Eduardo's driver, Gercione, and there was our giant tree already felled to the ground. Quite a sight, pictures to come.

Five Americans traveling in a van through
South American showed up the night before, and on Sunday they helped us trench and dig. Their crew, Verdant Collective, has a diesel/vegetable oil-powered van and is documenting the open road and conservation. The night before too, Miltom decided that with 27 Americans around and a couple of Brazilians, it was time for festa. We taught the Brazilians how to dance in exchange for cachaca.

And onwards to today 6/28.

A master builder, pedreiro, named Alain, who is working on a nearby lodge kindly stopped by our site to check that the foundation was sound, and also to give us tips for the next stage - walls. We think after the 13th, Alain will be hired to the team to help James in roof construction for the school while we move on to laying brick for the field station. So we had dug another new septic hole because the current one is where we want one of our researcher's rooms to be, and it appears that we under estimated. So today was new septic hole digging, actually not septic hole, on site it is strictly called the "honey pit". So I started hacking away, and suddenly felt something I hadn't felt in three days - a shower. Fortunately, we are now experts at fixing ruptured water pipes - rubber from a used tire is far superior to duct tape and string. Very excitingly, we also poured cement in the original honey pit to eliminate that delightful odor seeping through. We also laid another layer of bricks for the foundation, and very exciting set up a temporary hand-pump for the well behind the site.

Verdant Collective was also kind enough to take some video footage of construction and a bit about the project, they are nearing the close of their five-month trip, and are on to Amazon next. This afternoon, another holiday, was Brazil vs. Chile, 3-0 so still very happy Brazilians in the Pantanal, let's hope they keep winning until they play the U.S. Wow, just realized, U.S. vs. Brazil will be a very dangerous game for us.