Tuesday, February 26, 2013

999 Trees, Unquantifiable Growth (Leah Penniman)

The leadership of the Mango Growers Association, Dancers, and Stone Artists joined us for dinner at the hotel to evaluate the project and celebrate our accomplishments. Ayiti Resurrect reiterated our commitment to return each year to facilitate a project of the community's choosing and gave them a survey to that end. The students shared their reflections and the general sentiment was that this has been an experience of a lifetime, that they are changed for the better, and intend to do more service work and stay connected to Haiti in the future. We gave a parting gift of materials to repaint and replace the flags in the memorial for those lost in the earthquake.

The day was a full work day. In the morning, we assisted KT, Olivia, and the Konbit shelter team with the earth bag house construction project. The house is made a locally sourced materials, primarily plastic rice bags and earth. We sifted the rocks and roots out of the soil and transported it in wheelbarrows to the work site. Then, we filled and stacked some demonstration earth bags and listened to the civil engineer on the project explain the mechanism of this type of construction. "Super-Adobe" as it's called, is earthquake and fireproof, inexpensive, low tech, and made without the use of wood. As Emet said, "Amazing!"

After lunch, we created a permaculture forest garden near the community center under Kiki's leadership. The concept of permaculture is to create an agriculture that mimics nature with efficient use of vertical space, perennials, and thick mulch. We planted basket vine, pineapple, mango, vetiver, and malanga (taro) and then placed a heavy vetiver mulch over the bare earth.

We gave a final push to finish the tree planting in the late afternoon. We planted fruit and ornamental trees around the community center and celebrated our grand total - 999 trees!!!!!


Many thanks to Naima Penniman, who photographed the beautiful images in these posts. 

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