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All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 10: Tenerife - bananas, sheep, and the water problem

Today I ate a banana fresh off a tree. That's some good stuff! I also walked on a black sand beach, chased some of the sorriest sheep I've ever seen (owing to their being woolless), and gained about 5 pounds from all of the food that the school keeps feeding us.

The Canary Islands provide all of Spain with bananas and before being outbid by Morocco, sent tomatoes to the UK, Spain, and Germany. Those are their only two exports. While they also grow some papayas and make a (supposedly) delicious goat cheese, those stay on the island. Tenerife imports around 90% of its food.

Fresh water is a problem. There are many convolutions to the process of mining, distributing, and paying for water rights, and some "black business" in the background. The wells (caves/mines) are privately owned, though the water itself is a public resource.

All this and more I learned today, and both my brain and belly are overfull. Tomorrow, we hike through a cloud forest and go to a goat farm (cheese right off the tree, I hope). The weather, the scenery, the views--all have been remarkable. Even the few moments it rained, it was such a gentle and cool rain, it was beautiful.

Some of the Mayco school cabins

Looking down at a small waterfront village

Canarians and the British prefer a larger tomato than the mainland Spaniards

At the banana farm

Short-haired lambs running frantically from our approach

Birds of Paradise are all over the place

Toes in the Atlantic, on the east side of the island, facing Africa

Windy, cool, perfect

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