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Week 2: The project | Nourish International

June 16, 2011 | Posted in 2011, Ecuador, NC State, UC-Davis, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest | By

Wednesday June 1, 2011

So today was pretty epic building the greenhouse. Binoy and I (Harsh) were on 2 pieces of wood on top of the greenhouse frame. At first when Luchito randomly found some planks of wood, I looked at Binoy and was like I think he expects us to get up on top of the whole thing…and of course we had to in order to put on the top wood at the top of the greenhouse. Both of us were extremely skeptical on whether the planks were safe to stand on but when we got up there it was pretty cool. So next we lift up the log and nail it down, Luchito looks at it….and it’s too high. Now we had to un-nail the log, rest it across the structure then use the hand saw to saw off about 8 inches off both sides of the middle pillars. Believe me when I say this process was extremely arduous. To be up so high and cut a log sideways on unstable planks….definitely an experience and I’m not talking about a fun one. Afterwards, we took the machete and hammer and split 20 bamboo sticks to allow them to bend and flex properly. Next, we needed plastic wrap and some tools so we had to go to Quicentro Sur Mall to go buy stuff. Afterwards, we went back to the site and wrapped 20 bamboo sticks in the plastic and afterwards called it a day. Later when we got back home, Tachi (Alicia’s sister) took us to the crystal palace at ITCHIMBIA. The view there was amazing; we could see every part of Quito. The crystal palace was nice but the view around it is definitely worth the trip. Then, we went out for coffee in “Gringoland” at Republic de Coco. This coffee and chocolate was probably some of the best we’ve ever had.

Thursday June 2, 2011

We took the bamboo that we wrapped up and started putting it across the whole structure in order to create the roof. It was very strenuous trying to bend bamboo against the poles; it literally took all the strength we could muster up in order to hold it down while someone tried to drill holes then nail it down. Some of the bamboo had ends that were too thick and the tension across the whole bamboo after one side was nailed down was too much that some cracked. For instance, Kunal was bending one of the bamboos that he straight broke it in half essentially; it was pretty sweet! But for the ones (3) we cracked, we had to replace them with newly wrapped bamboo sticks.And in order to get the bamboo over the top log Binoy and I put up; I (Harsh) had to get up to the very top and hold the bamboo, drill it and nail it in making sure there was enough arc on both sides to create a semi-circle for the top of the greenhouse. Not to mention the middle posts of the structure were lacking proper support and were shaking the whole time I was up there trying to nail and what not…lol. Finally when we finish that we took metal wire and ran it across the greenhouse for the tomato plants to attach to.Then after that was done we wrapped around 20 wooden sticks in plastic with help of the school kids.

Friday June 3, 2011

Today was baller….literally speaking. Yesterday, the kids had made us promise we’d play basketball with them so today they dragged us to the basketball courts. J As soon as we got to the court, the kids swarmed us wanting to play with us. Most of them wanted to be on my (Harsh) team but we had to get everyone a fair time at playing. Haha. Anyway, it was Binoy’s team verses my team first… the result: my team won.  Oh and mid-game like while Binoy’s team had the ball before I got to react I was swarmed by little kids on the court asking for autographs. As soon as the first game ended we all got swarmed for autographs and phone numbers lol. The 2nd game was Kunal’s team verses my team; the same result as the first game occurred. J Even during this game we were all bombarded with little kids asking for autographs after autographs…haha what can I say? We were kind of famous. The last game we played was me, Binoy, Kunal and one of the kids that was at our height for his age against all the other kids in one massive game. But, due to so many younger kids coming up to us asking for autographs we just ended the game. At one point, our little kids (the ones that always came to the garden where we were building the greenhouse to help or ask questions and what not) started acting like our bodyguards telling kids no more etc. It was hilarious and pretty awesome! Lastly, we painted half of a wall white for the base of the mural we are going to paint.

Saturday June 4, 2011

After our first heavy week of work, we decided we needed to relax so we went to hot springs with the whole Guzman family and Suka: a golden retriever. It was amazing; the water was geo-thermally heated and natural. Also, right beside the hot springs ran a river from the mountain that was literally Ice cold! And there was a pool that the river water was routed to for the people who couldn’t go into the river since the rocks were slippery and became dangerous. But, the three of us went into the river twice! We were also told to go from the hot water and then go into the cold water then back to the hot water because apparently that’s really good for your skin and body so we did that several times. It felt weird but good at the same time because it was the Icy Hot feeling and tingling sensation at the same time. For lunch, we had trout for the first time and it was the whole fish! The head, skin, tail and bones were all in there…it was delicious! When we got back to Quito, we had some of the creamiest ice cream ever and the flavors were all so different than what we find in the US!

Sunday June 5, 2011

We went to Anna’s (Alicia’s sister) Capoeira class; which is dance martial arts. It was stupendous; the teacher was doing flips and kicks so gracefully. It was just phenomenal watching, we thought about trying but we acknowledged we would probably have hurt ourselves more than doing anything properly. Lol. Also today was Alicia’s birthday, so when she returned from her hiking trip we all celebrated with cake and relaxed.

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