Friday, January 16, 2015

Day Nine: 1200+ More

Day Nine, Thursday, January 15: 1200+ More

All right.  This bag thing is getting monotonous.  BUT!  Today was our last day to do it and we learned that there are still more than 1000 saplings that need new individual homes.  So, we got our motivation on by talking about rescuing these trees that would otherwise be doomed to death, and how such a fate would be against the will of the SMC students from last year and the community members here who helped to plant them. 

The morning crew stuffed at least 600 bags while Shawny and Jesse were off at the cellular oasis (a clearing in the forest) where there is enough of a cell signal to send off our blog posts.  After lunch, we returned to the beach to haul more loads of sand to the fish food factory.  After we transported about three cartfuls, the distress call came from the garden saying that we HAD to stuff more bags to save the saplings, so the whole group hustled back over there and got into position. 

We turned it all into a mock competition, where we were trying to produce a lot of filled bags really fast, but where we established absurd quality standards by which to evaluate them.  Jesse started doing ridiculous analyses of individual bags, eventually assessing grades on them.  We got more and more into the whole thing and despite the messing around that resulted from this crazed competition, we really cranked out a LOT of stuffed bags.  There was a count of 1250 or so that was the last official tally but more emerged after that moment. 

As we left the garden this evening, our hosts there – Zé (pronounced like the second syllable of José) and Adson (pronounced not that much differently from what you would think) – gave sweet tributes to our group about how the work that we have done with them has forwarded their plans.  Jenny gave a tribute to them from us, telling them how grateful we are that they invited us into their garden and how wonderful it was to work and laugh with them.  She talked about how much we appreciated communicating with them across language barriers, using music, gestures, and lots of sign language.  We will see both of them (and the garden) again, but we are ending that portion of our work as of today.

After work, we got up another beach volleyball game and kept it going until sunset.  Some of us swam during the game, some after.  We then had a leisurely dinner and hunkered down with our computers to get as far as possible on the various projects that we have going simultaneously. 

Each group is working on at least one section of the visitor’s guide to Anã (which currently consists of pieces on the beekeeping enterprise, the fish farm and food, the garden, and the water system).  Additionally, each team is planning three final projects, all of which meet parts of the College’s Core Curriculum.  One will cover issues related to the Common Good, another will address our understanding of Community Engagement and the third one will convey our broadened sense of Global Perspectives.  There are more details about all of these ideas but for now we are just getting organized about how to produce projects on each of these areas.

As a reminder, we are hoping to present at least one project from each team on Wednesday, February 18, at 7pm in Galileo 201 on the Saint Mary’s College campus.  Please join us if you can.

In the morning, we will focus on packing things up and heading off for a four-day boat trip, during which we will visit other local communities that have different enterprises and subcultures than what we’ve seen so far in Anã.  We will have a little bit of time to relax and then return to Anã to get back to the construction work on the fish food factory and the painting of the guest area (where we are staying). We will have a hard week next week, so we will be sure to use our boat trip to conserve our energy for our final blast here in Anã. 

We may have trouble posting from the river or we may find that there is actual clear signal out on the water.  Either way, keep looking and we will catch you up when we can . . .

Daily Photos

After two days of rain, mushrooms popped up on our path toward the nursery and fish farm. (photo enhanced)

Our friend, Toto watches, us while we fill our bags of dirt for the nursery. (photo enhanced)

The beautiful path on our way to the nursery. (photo enhanced)

An interesting anthill formation right outside of our pousada.

The view from our boat of the sandbar that we docked over night. (photo enhanced)

1 comment:

  1. Your energy and joy in your work is most impressive! May this short boat trip reenergize you for the next leg of your adventure. God bless each one of you.