Written 7 September 2016
Today, I woke up at 5 am and tried to kill a mouse with a machete. No suerte. Later, I learned that “el rato es muy rapido”. Anyways, it turned out I would be using the machete a lot today as I spent 5 hours cutting through brush to clear out a path to the remaining Cocao trees. I have been pruning those damn trees for the past few days, so the machete was an excellent change of pace. El machete is muy divertido…en este situation.
Aimee and I again had lunch with Inez (one of the two workers Mateo hires to work the farm). It sounded like Aimee got some good information about “Mindo”, a town we plan on visiting Saturday. (We will add a separate page on the website solely for pictures of the places we visit so we don’t bore everyone’s facebook, and so that we can add pictures in a more timely manner.) I tried my best to ask Inez to tell me about a town called Pacto. Pacto is a very small town near Guanabana, the village where we are staying these two weeks. Pacto is actually about a 2 hour walk from Guanabana. Although it is the closest town to Guanabana, good luck finding both of those on google maps. We would like to walk there to see some of the country side, but there are just way too many stray dogs all over the place and we did not take the rabies shotS. Thankfully there is a bus that takes about 20 minutes, although that bus stop is about a half hour walk from our Finca/estate.
Most of the people that live in Pacto work on Fincas similar to the one we are working/living on. They work on the farms all year long, during Ecuador’s “seasons”; there are two seasons, rainy and summer. The Pactonians get to work via bus, motorcycle, or the back of a pick-up truck. Inez may have joked that many of the women drive the motorcycles so they can leave without the men. Most people work Monday through Friday, some work on Saturdays. Almost no one works Sundays, at least on the Fincas.
I think I learned that Pacto has no attorneys although one comes from Quito on Sundays. Pacto has a large market on Sunday afternoons. I imagine that is why the attorney shows up, the market gives him access to many potential clients. Inez made it seem like much of the attorney’s work deals with property sales and property disputes, which arise regularly between the Fincas. Aimee and I will try to talk to the attorney when we go to the Market on Sunday (we did not).
The center of town has a park and a covered “stadium” used for soccer, volleyball, and festivals such as “Dia de Pacto”. The streets around the stadium and park have various small stores and restaurants. However, the non residential area is no more than a block deep; the residential area does not extend much further.