Today was the day of our service project. Unfortunately it was so crazy that I didn’t get any pictures of the actual project as it was occurring. We had about 30 junior youth from the neighborhood come out to help plant some lavender and evergreen bushes. The other groups of kids divided into different areas of the neighborhood and sold lemonade, jamaica and lemon-bars. We raised about $76! Which covered the costs of the plants and new soil for the ground. Pictures of the gardening project will be added to a later post.
It was a very interesting experience. First of all, we had 3 adults helping – not including Kevin and myself. It probably would have been good to have 1 more, but those extra 3 were very important to the success of it. They helped make sure that the JY were constantly engaged with their work and helped them get what they needed. Kevin was in charge of the gardening portion, and it was some heavy lifting for him, let alone the junior youth. After 2 hours, they were only able to put in two plants. Hopefully the soil was changed over enough so that the plants will live forever. Past gardening projects had poorer results, though they were able to actually plant more at the time.
Most of my time was spent going from group to group making sure everything they needed was there, whether it was more ice or more lemon bars. We ended up moving everyone away from one area because there was no one walking by where they were. At one point I had to go to the store to buy more soil. At the end everyone came back for lunch and to relax. Several of the boys hosed themselves down because they were so sweaty.
Later in the evening, a friend who used to serve with us in this area but has since moved to China came back to visit. Armando now works as a 4th grade teacher in a Baha’i inspired school in Macau. Though people mostly speak Cantonese there, he has elected to study Mandarin since has wants to some day move to mainland China. He practiced his Chinese with her and we learned about some of the efforts in Macau.