Location: Rio Napo
Today was an early start and under the direction of our Leader-of the-Day, Meredith, we ate our 6:30 breakfast and left 7:15 for a long day of community service with our guide, Hector. We arrived at the dock shortly before the first batch of trees. Much to our surprise, we were not moving full grown trees but instead tiny saplings, and instead of a couple hundred, there were 800! We shortly discovered the most effective way of moving the saplings was by assembly line, and soon we had loaded, transported along the river, and unloaded on the bank of the river 1,600 saplings! Well, almost 1,600. A few of the more slippery ones never made it. We then ran out of the rain, which had soaked us all to the core, into the local school for a piping hot chicken soup served to us by the community we were helping. After lunch, we were told that we have to carry all of the saplings inland about 100 meters. This would have been easy if we were all doing it at the same time, but eight of us were divided off and had to go to Coca and get the last 300 plants. So the remaining members of our team and a bunch of the villagers had to finish off the remaining 800 to 900 plants. Then when the 300 plants were picked up, we had to carry them inland as well, which was easy because we did another assembly line so instead of the plants just going from boat to shore and then from shore to inland, we had them carried from the boat to inland. This got the job done fast. After we had finished carrying all of the plants inland, we huddled up for a group picture and got back in the boat to go back to the hotel, but we made a stop on the way to drop about 30 plants off at hectors island. Because he said that we were going to be cutting down a few trees tomorrow and that he never cuts trees down without planting at least two more for each one he had cut down.