As a volunteer last phase, I got to take a field trip out to Hector’s Island- stopping in Coca on the way there and back for pastries, chicken, internet, and other grocery shopping. This phase on staff, 3 staff members went, leaving Jenn, Jas, and myself to take care of base camp- and boy did we live it up. Let me start by saying, meat is very hard to come by. With no electricity and the lack of land, time, and ability to raise chickens- we are limited to the option of a local plate of seco de pollo- a chicken dish with rice at the market on Saturday mornings. However, when you no longer have to cook for 30 people and vegetarians: the statement ‘when there is a will, there is a way’ takes on a new meaning. Thursday morning I briefly woke up at 5am as I heard the volunteers making their way to the road to catch the morning bus to Coca. I woke up again at 8.30 which was a lovely sleep-in from the traditional 6:30am morning. Having a breakfast of scrambled eggs and fruit, I was absolutely thrilled to not eat porridge. I got ready to teach TEFL down at Puerto Rico for the Thursday lesson. Still on base camp were a couple of graduates from the Yachana technical high school doing internships. So, they helped with teaching the lesson and more importantly buying a chicken from the small shop.
It was really neat actually. We looked at a couple different hens outside before deciding to look at one. The store owner said she was going to call Tyson. I was expecting some teenage nephew or farm worker to appear, but instead it was a slim german shepard. She picked up a pebble, threw it at the hen, and told the dog to catch it. Tyson took off like a rocket, tail wagging, and with a playful bark, the dog had caught the hen within minutes despite its attempted escape up the hill side. Listening to the command to drop it, the Ecuadorian students took the chicken form the dog and we paid our $15. To skip the details of killing and gutting the chicken, it ended on our plates for a delicious dinner of seco de pollo and produced a delicious chicken noodle soup the next day. Some afternoon swimming on Friday complimented the pancake breakfast well- this is life in the jungle. Saturday morning at the market consisted of eating chicken, buying chicken tuna, and enjoying a scenic bus ride back on the bird watching top of the tourist lodge’s vehicle as oppose to the traditional canoe we take. For lunch, we had fried chicken, dinner was tune, and Sunday we enjoyed chicken soup again. We made a couple of jokes as we put lentils on to boil Sunday afternoon because the volunteers would be back for dinner which meant we were back to eating beans. We did accomplish a lot of dirty work consisting of attacking termites every day, repairing broken boardwalks, and hauling gas tanks around for cooking- but why dwell on the bad when there was so much good food.