Wednesday morning was our BIG event at the Moravian Gym. Approximately 250 students came to hear the presentation about the environment and composting. The students that came to the presentation are the same students who are going to be going door-to-door with us in Santa Rosa for our education campaign. Our main message to relate to the students was:
- Throw away trash in a trash can,
- Separate garbage into organic and inorganic waste, and
- Compost organic waste.
We then went over the steps to compost at home.
With so many students at the gym it was nerve-wracking to organize, but we think it went along as smoothly as possible. Our scout friend was the MC for the morning and was fun and interactive. We split the students into groups to do small activities and practice how they will talk to people door-to-door on Wednesday.
As all 250 students left we handed out bags of compost. These bags said ¨La Cancha, Santa Rosa Augusto 11, 2010 7am¨ Hopefully, the compost bags will be a reminder for the students to show up for the education campaign next week.
All-in-all it was very successful and we are extremely pleased! Now we just need to be prepared for 250 students to go door-to-door in Santa Rosa!
On Wednesday afternoon, we headed over to FUNCOS, another organization in Bluefields that focuses on composting. Getting there was more of an adventure than a typical taxi ride. The first taxi driver had not heard of FUNCOS before and drove us to where he thought it might be. We did not see it anywhere, and although I had been to FUNCOS before, I could not remember how far it was off the beaten path. We went back to the Park and started asking taxi drivers if they knew where FUNCOS was. Eventually, one of the drivers knew and we headed off to our destination.
It turned out that the first taxi driver drove us in the right direction, but FUNCOS lay just a little farther along a dirt road. Our perseverance to meet with the FUNCOS director paid off, and we learned all about the different kinds of composting with which they experiment and tweak. They even gave us a tour of their beautiful and thriving gardens, a testimony of their rich compost. Even though FUNCOS did not have a typical household organic waste compost pile at the moment, we did get to take a sample of their vermaculture compost in which they use worms to break down manure. On another positive note, they are planning to start building another compost pile soon, and we discussed helping them with that. We are meeting with them again today to plan that further!
On Thursday morning we went on another site visit with one of our friends from the Scouts. The place we went to is a rehab center for youths who used to be addicted to drugs. This center provides counseling, food, and a variety of activities to keep people busy. The woman in charge of it showed us the different hand-made sculptures, paintings, and coconut flower pots that these youths had crafted. This facility also produces a lot of its own food from their gardens and composts their vegetable waste and animal manure. She showed us the gardens and dug up a sample of their compost as well. She also asked us for any suggestions we had about the proper methods of composting and asked if we could come back next week and give a presentation to the adolescents there about our project and composting. We are all for it! We are looking forward to coming back and helping them in any way we can. The center had an open and friendly atmosphere, and I really admired all of the hard work and positivity this woman put into it.
One of our ongoing projects is to help design and paint a mural in the Park. On Wednesday and Thursday we headed over there to lend a hand to our friends working on it. Together we whitewashed the wall where we plan on painting and outlined more than half of the design. The process of doing a mural is much more complicated that I thought. First, we clean and whitewash multiple times the spot where the design will be (check). Next we draw grid lines both on the sheet of paper with our design and on the wall (check). We use this grid to amplify different sections of our drawing piece by piece to put it all together with the correct proportions. Then we outline our design in chalk (check). Then we paint over the chalk with paint so it is permanent and therefore will not wash away in the rain (check). The sketches which we want to redo we do not paint over and the rain will take care of it. All of this we have done so far. From here, we will continue to chalk and paint the rest of our design. Then we will start to fill in our outline with paint!
Although my artistic talent is somewhat limited when it comes to chalk, I tried my hand at it and had an awesome time. I loved working right alongside our Bluefields friends on this project. It makes what we are doing here much more about us working together with Bluefields rather than us simply teaching Bluefields. I really can’t wait to continue working on our mural!
We hope to add pictures of our adventures very soon!!