Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Tomatoes and notebooks for all!
Isn't that what we want for everyone in the world? In my two years here, never have I been able to say that our school garden is successful. But right now, we have tomatoes for everyone! A success! From January to March is summer break here in Panama and all the kids are out causing mischeif with their slingshots (at least they ate the poor parrot), or sitting around lazily in the house. So I looked at the kids and I looked at the school garden, both in disaray ( i no longer know how to spell well in any language, english, spanish, or ngobere). And so I said to myself, now is the time.
So I bought a fence for the garden, because without it there is no hope as long as the pigs, chickens and cows are still around. And I bought some school supplies. And I rounded up those hardworking kids early on a saturday morning and told them that they could work to earn their school supplies. So we weeded and planted and cleared the grass and trellised the tomatoes. And now every saturday I have 15 to 20 students ages 6 to 17 working in the garden and saving up points to earn notebooks, pencils, erasers, rulers, and toothbrushes. And although the project is currently not sustainable as I am the one buying the school supplies, at least the students are learning that they can make a future possible, that their work is worth something and best of all, that they can grow delicious vegetables. Three have already started their own gardens. So for now I am taking the kids off the trails and putting them in the garden and in school!