I saw Raul in Norwich through Greenpeace 27/7/10 talk about the threats to Ecuador’s ecosystem and his own efforts to make a difference with his rainforest reserve and from then on wanted to visit in order to help as a volunteer, which I was unable to do while working. There was a reshaping at my work and I took voluntary redundancy.
June 2011: Date set for my redundancy: July 29th 2011. More had happened than I expected and I now have 5 jobs. Organising a gig for Norwich Greenpeace and increasing our online presence. Through my Citroen 2CV I became involved in helping look after a lot of tortoises via re-designing their website. The RSPB voluntary work up as Strumpshaw Fen has been very rewarding and increasing my knowledge. Setting up plans for the future slowly.
August 2011: booked my flight to Ecuador, 14th Sept 2011 to 14th Dec 2011 for nearly £900. Saving the planet doesn’t come cheap! Raul needs voluntary work help at his bit of rainforest and I also want to report on it all and the situation in Ecuador to spread the word and make the world aware. Coz they are chopping it all down. So yes, I will add to my carbon footprint considerably but I hope it will achieve more in the long run. Its certainly not going to be a comfy holiday.
Have booked my course for a STCW licence at £1000 then apply to work on a Greenpeace ship, the redundancy training grant of £500 will help towards it.
Pretty soon I was on my way to Ecuador:
Set out from my mums thinking how cool my waterproof boots and waterproof bag were, just down the road the heavens open and I curse the lack of waterproof clothes. Caught the train to London and at Kings Cross where I go to Northfields Hostel.
At 4am I am outside waiting, no taxi. I phone them as they thought it was 5am I wanted picking up. They get there quickly and am at Heathrow in no time. Customs was quick and I wonder why I didn’t have more sleep.
The flight to Washington was fairly boring 8 hours. Had to do customs check and not enough time to get to the next plane, the security staff kept saying there would be enough time, not really! Ran, nearly passed out. Lucky I only had hand luggage as my cases would never have kept up. Small personal jet to Houston. Then 737 to Quito where the advertising was unbelievably heavy, beamed at us from the big screen and the rear seat monitors. More mad customs. Then taxi to hostel.
A day in Quito, quite boring. Then onto Puerto Quito. Raul says that there is a German man going on the same bus. The man was called Bernard. We arrive and Raul picks us up.
My first view of the house and the small forest around it.
The Choco region where I arrived to is a ecological hotspot. The area is mega diverse in plant an animal life which is due partly to the fact that there are no winters, therefore no down time in reproduction.