Thursday, March 22, 2012

Calling All Past Volunteers!

Before our volunteers leave, we have a book where they can write a note to future volunteers telling about their experience working and living at Hacienda Tranquila. Whether about working on our projects, enjoying life in the community, or cooking meals in our new oven, the stories reveal what life will be like in the Galápagos Islands. Those notes are always so valuable, and we appreciate the thoughtful words our volunteers contribute. I can remember each time I have looked through that book and thought about how exciting everyone's adventure must have been! 

Just another day in the life of a volunteer: making pizza for lunch.

Since the number of people coming to view this blog seems to be growing, we've decided to try out a fun, new project. It's special because we want to involve all of our past volunteers out there who have a knack for storytelling or writing, and want to have their words put up here on our blog! 

So, here's how it will work. Send us a funny, interesting, or exciting story about your experience at Hacienda Tranquila and any pictures that might go along with it. These stories don't have be long, so go ahead and start typing! Please send them to us at by April 13, 2012. 

After we have all of the submissions, we'll pick a few to put up on our blog. Your words will be here for everyone to see and share in your experience! Plus, imagine how helpful your insight can be to those out there that are interested in volunteering at the Hacienda! We know our friends across the globe have some great stories to tell.

Loved lounging on those hammocks? Tell us about it!

To help you understand what we're looking for, here's a story about my experience working at the Hacienda:

Let me start by saying I would not consider myself "outdoorsy". Ask me to go camping? I might say yes. Ask me to hike the Inca trail to Machu Picchu? I will take the train, thank you very much. But as a city girl living in the Galápagos and interning at Hacienda Tranquila, I was far from my familiar surroundings. I was smack-dab in the middle of the highlands of San Cristóbal.

I had limited outdoor experience, so when Geovanny asked me to help another staff member repair a fence one of my first days, I gave him a look of absolute terror. I really wanted to impress my new boss though, so with a machete in one hand and a bucket of water in the other, I set off trailing Carlos with the determination to try something new.

We needed to cut some branches down for the posts, so Carlos showed me a good one to work on and I started hacking away. Needless to say, in the time it took me to cut down one, Carlos managed to cut four! I tried as hard as I could though, and had a lot of fun in the process. That was only the beginning of my experience at the Hacienda, and before long, was doing things I never thought I could possibly do. Now, I can easily identify the endemic species we are growing here and wield a machete like the best of them! Those unique and powerful experiences would develop a passion deep within my soul for the plants and people of the tiny island of San Cristóbal and the Galápagos archipelago.

My other favorite memory? I helped plan a spontaneous wedding at the Hacienda! But that story is for another day...

So friends of Hacienda Tranquila, that's not too hard, right? What story do you have to tell?!

We can't wait to hear from you!

Hacienda Tranquila

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