Welcome! Since I will not have the resources to e mail my usual circle of friends and family while in Ecuador, this is it. This Blog will be my vehicle for "dropping you a line..."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lodge Living

The staff dining room consists of two tables with picnic style benches. There is a TV and the staff like to watch action videos. The TV is in a cabinet with doors, so that during staff meetings it is closed. This is where everyone assembles for meetings, after the evening meal. Generally the meeting is about the next day’s tour schedule, staffing and food for the guests. They are very organized. and plan well. Every supply has to be brought in and carefully accounted for. The chef and a helper or two prepares the food for the guests. We have a cook. The food is placed on a pass thru or delivered to the tables. The utensils are in a tray on each table. Condiments are salt, sometimes mayo. On the rare occasions that we have bread, there is jelly in a bag. In the a.m. there is hot water for tea and instant coffee

Fruit flavored drink is available is for the other meals, at 6, 12 and 6. It is in a big covered bucket that has a spigot. You sit elbow to elbow to eat. When finished, plates are out on the pass -through. The servings are huge! The storeroom is off to the side, and careful inventory is kept, as most food has to be flown in, knowing what is on hand is very important. Fish is purchased from local fishermen and is fresh and good! Also from local is green bananas and yuca.

Kitchen is large and has gas stoves sink, and large prep areas. Screened back area. The arrangement is good, kitchen, butler’s pantry, and guest dinning area. The "L"is the staff dining and storage. Internet is available there; some staff have computers.

Housekeeping this "tour of duty" are Marta, Theresa and Catalina. They sweep and clean the rooms every day. New linens once a week. Washing is a big job! The linins are transported by boat to Kapawi community, where woman wash using big tanks of water pumped up from the river. The linens are hand scrubbed, rinsed and hung to dry. Make one really appreciate a clean towel!

I am into a routine of closing all of the curtains over the screen windows and the around my bed before gong to dinner. The critters come out by dark. I also apply insect repellant. I have not had many bites at all. Stephanie seems to be the bug magnet. By 9 the guests have had their briefing and the bar closes. Then is dark and quiet except for the insect and frog interrupted, occasionally by an owl or potoo.

One thing is certain, there is nothing like waking up a dawn with a mist over the trees. The big white crane swoops in every morning at this time, to start the day's fishing. This is the time of day that I might heat the howler monkeys. As the sun rises, other birds add to the sounds, and take turns on a popular dead branch located in the lagoon. On that branch  I have see kiskadee, hawks, scarlet crested vermilion, cardinal, heron and ani. When I take a break from writing, I take a walk to see if there is anything new in the neighborhood. The most astounding to me was the tiger heron. In the rainforest it is difficult to see birds, but along the rivers and on lagoons, it is a paradise!

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