Alright, where do I start!? Here are some highlights of my experience so far:
In training last week we learned how to use machetes properly (and safely), as well as how to use other garden tools and tools to put in fence posts. That was our first hands on session and it was really exhilarating to get outside and do some work. We have Spanish classes in the morning and technical sessions in the afternoon. We are starting a community investigation project/ research paper in our Spanish class. We are going to investigate natural medicines people use and the historical context, as well as what they eat and why. They eat a lot of rice, that’s for sure!
Second highlight: my trip to Los Santos! Everyone went on a volunteer visit. The community I visited was very small, about 55 people total. I think I met half of them! They were very welcoming and willing to share. On Saturday we cooked arroz con pollo with the women in the community for the volunteer’s birthday. The women know how to chop up the vegetables into very small pieces – they had to show me how to do that right but I definitely did not get the technique down exactly. Then, the chicken gets shredded into small pieces (it is already cooked at this point). All of this gets mixed together and put in giant pot and cooked over a fire for a few hours. OH, they also add spices and a seed that gives the rice a yellow coloring. I also got to see the recycling group make jewelry from recycled materials. They taught me how to make bags out of snack bag wrappers. They make beautiful things. The volunteer, Emily, also helps out with a tree nursery group. They were making compost the day I got there, so that was really neat to see. I took a lot of pictures, so I’ll put those here now — they say so much more than words!