Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016
Our power went out today. I thought it was a general power outage and didn’t think too much about it at first. After a couple of hours it still wasn’t on. As we were sitting on our balcony trying to stay cool in the breeze, Heidi noticed two of the street lights on (yes, even though it was daytime).
Our building has been undergoing some construction for a few weeks now. Seeing the street lights on, I wondered if the power was intentionally turned off due to the construction. I went downstairs to ask, and sure enough it was. The power wouldn’t be on for at least a couple more hours.
Fortunately Heidi had an appointment to get her shoulder worked on, and I was going with a friend and his employee to help cut some Teak trees in the forest. Heidi and I both left the condo and we hoped power would be back on when we returned.
The place I went to was only about a 15 minute drive away. When we got there, the big gate crossing the road was locked and the farmer wasn’t around to unlock it. So we used the machete and walked our way through the trees and foliage, circumventing a large wall, until we got ourselves onto the other side of it and the gate.
The property used to be owned by a German man in the late 1800’s who created a botannical garden that was one of the best in the southern hemisphere. We followed what was then, and continues to be, the road into the property. It is 5000 acres and goes back ten miles.
In the 1800’s the German owner had railway tracks laid and used a train to bring guests back into the gardens on the property.
The railroad tracks have long since been removed, but occasionally one can still find a rail spike along the route.
We were walking down the road to find the guard who could open the gate to get the truck through. We came upon a very basic brick Ecuadorian home with the farmer’s wife and his two children at home. The wife was going to try to reach her husband by cell phone since he was somewhere on the vast property which was now used for farming various crops.
While we waited the wife had her son pick a watermelon from the garden and bring it to us to eat. Her daughter brought out a large knife to cut it with and spoons for us to eat it. The three of us amigos sat in the shade and ate it. In that humid heat it was a very refreshing treat!
I believe this family earns about $300 per month, and provided the house to live in, for working the farm.
As we waited I saw three dogs who seemed friendly but were obviously starving. I’m sure the family didn’t have extra money to feed them. It was extremely sad to see.
The wife was never able to locate her husband the farmer, so we made our way back to the truck and decided the tree cutting was going to have to wait until another day. It was incredibly hot and the mosquitoes were rampant, but it was a beautiful area to see.
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