Today we focused on community service. The goal was to build a plant nursery behind the dorms here at CEA. We also started working on the piñatas for the children that hang out at the library after school. Unfortunately the only rainy day since we have been here was also today! As soon as we got outside to start working on the plant nursery it started pouring rain. Personally, I enjoyed the rain so it was fun to be working building something during a downpour. When Alma showed us the picture of what we were supposed to be making for the plant nursery it looked nearly impossible. It just looked like it required much more work than we would be able to do, but I was surprised by how much we were able to accomplish. The picture Alma had was of a fountain like garden space with rocks dividing the garden into three tiers. Instead of using rocks however, she said we would use glass bottles that had been set aside to be recycled. I didn't really understand how it would work, but began to work on it. We placed the bottles neck down into the soil and then filled each teir with compost and covered it with sawdust/wood chips. I was surprised by how cool it looked when we were finished. What was most rewarding about it was the fact that the garden we had created was made out of all recycled materials. It was just so cool to see the things you can do with recycled materials. It made me want to get much more creative with the things that I recycle. When I think about all the artistic things one could do, and how cool they end up looking it's a wonder people don't use recycled materials to do more creative arts and crafts.
We felt really accomplished at the end. It also made us think back to some of the lectures we have had that have talked about how everything we consume ends up going back into Mother Earth. It felt good to have participated in an activity that recognized that aspect and worked to put consumed "waste" back into the Earth in a way that made it not "waste" and was meaningful. We hope to be able to see what the garden looks like when the plants grow. It would be really cool for CEA to be able to produce their own vegetables in a sustainable manner so that not only will their program talk about sustainability in terms of marine life but also in terms of the food the volunteers and workers consume, because ultimately the food we are eating ends up back in the ocean and the Earth.