"...He prayeth well, who loveth well, Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best, All things both great and small;
for the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all..."

The Rime of the Anchient Mariner -Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Legendary Earth Day Event

I’ve been told my blogposts are a little long, so I won’t go into too much depth about what’s been going on in the last couple of months. If I had to use a metaphor to describe my experience, it would be this: Like when I was learning to drive a stick-shift, and I finally get into first gear, but I’m so thrilled or scared that the car is moving, that I don’t know what to do next.

Yada, yada, yada, I finally shift into second!

Lately I’ve been busier than I care to be, but a sense of accomplishment does feel nice. Two weeks ago I had two positive events come to fruition:

1) My first Environmental Education session with students from the Secundaria (middle school). It was the first one that I actually organized and planned. It was really cool because I took it from the very beginning with a story that presented the kids with a moral dilemma. Yesterday I found this quote by Baba Dioum that says ¨in the end, we conserve what we love, we love what we understand, and we understand what we are taught.¨ Essentially, our values have a direct impact on how we act, and our actions have direct and indirect impacts on our environment-so that was my ´learning objective´. It was a simple yet important place to start I think.

I was backed up by my counter-part Gaby, who mostly has traits I admire, for example she is as sharp as whip and thinks on her toes and is a great public speaker. My friend Christian, who’s another PCV was there to help out, and his presence was very welcomed. We basically worked as one finely tuned machine.

2) On the 15th I organized an Earth Day Clean-up of the river-bank which is used as a dump. It basically involved an entire primary school (approx 240), where the 4th-6th grades went out to the river, while the 1st-3rd grades stayed indoors and where ran through a circuit of environmental activities. I invited 15 kids from the middle school, 30 employees from the nearby G.M. factory, the Ecology Department from the Municipality, and about 30 women from the community. They picked up the trash and separated it (plastic bottles, glass, aluminum, and paper etc). In Mexico, glass is not recycled because it has a low value…so we filled an entire trash bin (those really big ones) full of glass…like beer bottles & Nescafe bottles (much to my dismay, mostly everyone here drinks soluble coffee…like, I had to sow my own coffee filter out of cheese cloth so i could have brewed coffee). Anyway, after about an hour we retreated from the mid-day sun. We then invited everyone who participated into the Hacienda’s gardens to feast on sandwiches and Mole con Arroz (come to Mexico and you will find out what a special meal this is) under the grassy shade (which is very UNCOMMON in this town). I had arranged for the guy who owns a radio station to blast music while we all ate. Kids played and a good time was had by all. I was so blessed that it all turned out fine, and that no one got hurt. Honestly, it took a LOT of coordinating, and ‘riding herd’ on people. I did everything I could do to prepare, and despite a few hiccups, it was amazing by American standards. People were asking me when the next clean-up would be, and asking me about other projects like renovating the Basketball courts. It really inspired people in this dysfunctional little town where the film Zorro was shot…so even though I really don’t like organizing events, it was totally worth it!

And so, I simply could not have made this any shorter, even without parenthetical clauses.