Wednesday, June 16, 2010

school garden

So I´ve been doing a garden with the 4th graders of one of my schools. I´ve been teaching them in the classroom for about 4 weeks every friday. So the ministery of education here wants every school to have a garden here to teach kids nutrition and gardening and whatnot, it´s a pretty good idea. Some schools just hire ppl to make them for the shcool and some schools make them theirselves (i think it´s best if they do it theirselves and of course let the kids do it).
The school I´m doing it with is a city school with no land to plant a garden on in the school grounds, so when i mentioned the project about doing one they got really excited since they didn´t have one and it´s something they should have. We found a place to do it (behind the principals house) and last week we went out to make the tablones (raised seed beds). That´s all we had time to do, hopefully this week we can plant some stuff and transplant the seeds we planted 3 weeks ago in almacigos (transplant boxes).

yesterday i went to the school and the vice principal told me she, another teacher and a parent were going back to redo the tablones because.... they´re not pretty enough!!! they have this thing in their head that each raised bed needs to be exactly the same hieght and width and of course, has to look lindo (pretty). I wasn´t to shocked because, well it´s something I would expect here, but still disapointed. The kids (kinda) made the garden and i feel that they should be proud of their work, not be told that it´s being redone because it doesn´t look pretty enough. I guess it´s the whole social idea of conformism instead of individualism here in PY, ideas left over from the dictatorship. Everyone and everything should be more or less the same. (That´s why cheating on tests is ok, so long as everyone passes together to the next grade)

But the farther they get away from the dictatorship i´m sure the more that will change.

Here´s some pics!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Five and a half month in site update

I know it’s been awhile so here’s an update!

I’ve been teaching a weekly garden class with the fourth grade of one of my schools. This Friday will be my fourth class and we have yet to even go out to the garden to make it! Last week we did plant some seeds to transplant though, hopefully they’ve been watering them and giving them sunlight… next week we’ll start the garden.

I’ve started working with another school who seem very into all the stuff we do and teach! They’ve had a garden and a compost pile and we’re going to make a hole to burry garbage and make garbage cans. They also want to plan a kindergarden campout as well as a mural on one of the walls. Oh and make a playground out of recycled stuff. I’m looking forward to working with them.

I’ve also started working with a highschool who wants to so a clean up of the stream that runs through the town. Last week I went out with a couple of teachers and we followed the stream all the way to the spring where it comes out of the earth. It runs out through the campo (countryside) right outside of town and is mostly on private property. It is also a dumping ground for garbage coming out of the sugar factory near town. So I will be working with the students and teachers to help clean it up.

I’m planning on starting a radio program with a fellow volunteer as soon as we get out and talk to the guy.

So that’s what’s on the burner for me workwise.

I’ve had a taste of winter last week…lots of rain. What I’m up against…damp cave house and mold!!! It rained for about a week last week and my house is still drying out. I can see on my walls where it’s wet and where it’s still drying! Today I just noticed that all my pants that were in my wardrobe were all moldy!! As well as my hat and a shirt and my kitchen table, my burkenstocks and my hemp role I brought for bracelets. And worst of all, my pillows!! I went out and bought new ones don’t worry. Every thing was just damp that week including my bed, it was not fun. And there’s really nothing I can do about it but dread the rain and put on fans. I just got over a pretty bad cold/sinus infection..wonder where that came from.

In other news container garden is coming along nicely with lots of sprouts from all the rain.

Nick is here visiting me for a bit and he’s done some wonderful fix ups on my house! So far he’s fixed the drippy toilet string flush, put in more lights in the kitchen so I can see when I cook at the stove (important) put in a switch by my bed so I don’t have to get out of my mosquito net and warm bed to turn it off at night and put in a light over my desk so I can see when I do stuff there. He’s gonna put the door up in my room, chop some of the branches off the mango tree to get some sun through my window and build me a bigger garden space, compost space and worm compost space!!

V happy

The kitties have been spayed! Their stitches need to come out this Monday and that will be the end of that. No kittens for us! My hand raised kitten is so easy to handle to clean out her wound, but the bigger street cat is not having it. very scary to clean out hers out, it takes gloves and a towel and an enclosed space.
But chisme is proving to be exactly like Sadie, my dog from home. She has to be the center of attention and would rather be squished, as long as she’s sitting on or near me.

Like I said before I’ve had a pretty bad cold and for some reason my thumbnail is doing something funky. I’ll put a pic down below.

I was feeling pretty frustrated because I can’t just guess what people want from me. I can go in and tell them what I can do and ask them what they want but usually I just get the answer “whatever you want to do” which is fine to have free reign but also It’s not just for me I want them to get something lasting out of it. This town seems to have a pretty good consciousness about environmental issues but I felt like I was on the outside of a fence looking in when people don’t tell me things. For example, we had a parade for Carapegua’s birthday and they had a whole section of students marching for the environment with signs and all that jazz. Why hasn’t anyone told me about these kids?!
That’s why I’m glad that the two new schools I started working with know what they want, I can work with that!

I’m heading off to the states soon for my cousins wedding and quite looking forward to it, plus it will be summer there and I can get away from the cold here! No heat in these houses!

The world cup is starting! First match to watch; England vs. U.S.A then Paraguay vs. Italy!

Everyday I try to do one Peace Corps thing, as I call it. Be it going to the school to organize something or visiting a family, it helps keep the guilt away when I feel like I’m not doing anything. It’s like being self employed and having to get yourself out there to get your things done, if that makes sense.

I exercised for a month and now having in a week and a half. Gotta get back on that.

Gonna head down to Argentina to the Iguazu falls for a few days with Nick 