Monday, May 17, 2010

Pulling an airplane

I'm currently volunteering for SalvaNATURA, a conservation NGO here in El Salvador. My volunteer work here usually consists in field work like assisting with bird banding, or office work like contributing photos to SalvaNATURA's audiovisual database, collaborating on reports or press releases, or whatever other capacity I can somehow be useful in.

Yesterday, I found myself pulling an airplane!

Rather to my surprise, I was asked at the last minute to fill someone's spot on the team to pull an airplane 50 m. This event, organized by SalvaNATURA, was a fundraiser for the conservation of biodiversity in El Salvador. Twelve teams competed to pull an airplane over a distance of 50 m in the shortest amount of time.

Here's a picture of the team that won, Benson Communications. On the right, in the orange safety vest, SalvaNATURA's Executive Director Álvaro Moisés, and on the left, in a white T-shirt, SalvaNATURA's Communications staff and presenter of the event, Rocío Juárez. Members of this winning team wore Flintstones outfits, and certainly exhibited primordial strength.

Our team, which went first, actually came in last. In fact, we didn't even finish! There was some discussion about whether certain team members perhaps stopped pulling, thinking we had finished already. Personally, I think the pilot in the cockpit braked too early, for the plane came to a sudden halt while we were still pulling.

This Airplane Pull was the second event of this kind. Another, longer-running fundraiser each year is SalvaNATURA's birdathon. Please consider becoming a sponsor of bird conservation in Central America.

I'm about to go on a bird banding expedition to Montecristo, in the northwestern mountains of El Salvador. I'll be offline this week, but will probably find time to post about this field work sometime next weekend.

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