A day in the life. I awake at dawn with the birds at about 6AM. Ryne is up and on the trails birding by 5:45AM. I feed/change Cypress and we start our morning on our lovely porch over looking the verdant valley. I prepare hummingbird food (sugar water) and put out 3 feeders. It takes less than a second for the first hummer to arrive. Cypress watches intently as the hummers buzz around going bananas over the juice. Part of our job here is keeping track of what species of hummingbirds visit the feeders daily. There are usually 12-15 species seen daily at the feeders!
Cypress is happiest in the morning so it’s fun to talk/sing to him. He will giggle and have permagrin for an hour or more then it’s nap time at 8:00AM. While cypress naps, I fix breakfast for Ryne and I (and for guests for $5 if we have them). An hour later i’m playing with Cypress again. He loves toys now and will reach out and grab them with his newly found hands and then try to shove the toy in his mouth. 11:00 – Nap again so I do laundry. The volunteers that stayed here left me with 8 sets of dirty bedsheets that i have to hand wash plus I have Cypress’ diapers and Ryne’s dirty jungle wardrobe. Drying takes 2-5 days depending on the weather. The last 3 days have been perfect with sunny mornings and afternoons (low 70’s). It typically rains late afternoon though so all laundry has to be moved inside or under the covered porch. If laundry stays wet for too long it smells moldy and has to be re-washed. Noon – lunch, spanish lesson, then a hike with baby in tow. Unless we have guests then Ryne makes some cash guiding nature walks! His dream job! I am making some change cooking for guests! We also have some down time as Cypress needs his quiet time swinging in the hammock before he naps. Since we have no electricity, we are in bed by 8:30PM after we read for a while by candle light. Going to town is an all day affair. It takes 1 hour to walk out to the road, another hour to walk to town (all downhill) unless we hitch a ride down, but cars are scarce in the late morning. It seems like everyone is going up. And we are too frugal to pay a taxi $6 to take us 2 miles when we have good walking legs! I have only done this twice so far as it is exhausting carrying a 14lb. Baby for so long. I do love the walk though, good for birding and it is great exercise. Ryne is strong as a mule and carries 70lbs in food on our return trip!
The first time we went to town, we came home to no water. We get our water from the Nambillo River 45 minutes upstream from the reserve. The piping is very poor and often gets clogged after heavy rains due to soil and debris run off. Fixing the water system is a half affair as Ryne has to hike bad trail trail along a mountainside through the jungle up waterfall where he has to suck on a pipe to restore water flow.