Thanksgiving has come and gone and with it our wonderful group of short-term volunteers from Vanderbilt University. As I mentioned in my last post, the fall break group was here to help out in the Environmental Health Program by constructing a plastic bottle greenhouse on the roof of the library. The idea for a plastic bottle greenhouse “sprouted” from our new recycling program in the library. As community members continued to donate plastic bottles, we wanted to demonstrate other ways in which recyclable materials such as plastic bottles can be reused instead of tossed in the trash. Once the group arrived the greenhouse went up quickly, with only a few minor bumps in the road. By Saturday it was complete with planting boxes and a new composting bin, for the scrapes let over from Adult Cooking and Nutrition. After our holiday break we will have a planting party to show off the greenhouse to our community and get some herbs and vegetables in the ground for our cooking classes!
Check out these photos of their hard work and fun adventures here in Quito and the Valley:
|Our wonderful Vanderbilt group (plus their awesome leaders)|
|Our Vandy group leaders, Lauren and Roo, at the Bascilica|
|Group at the top of the Teleferico|
|Making the compost bin|
|The FINISHED product!|
"As Manna’s Thanksgiving Service Participants, we had the unique opportunity to participate in a variety of community development programs. We were excited to get involved in various education programs, specifically nutrition and English literacy. Here are some of our collective experiences:
Pre-school: Not only were the kids a joy to work with, it was a wonderful experience to interact with small children. Since some individuals didn’t know how to speak Spanish, it was lovely to see how communication and interactions can occur through physical touch as found with the preschoolers. Language learning starts and is the most effective at a young age. A good foundation is necessary for any kind of learning, and it was wonderful to see how Manna was working to build a strong starting point for the future. It was interesting to see hear from the preschool teacher as well that some kids didn’t know their colors in Spanish but knew the vocabulary words in English. As shown, primary education has an enormous impact in child development.
|Some of the vols spending time at the local pre-school|
|Helping out in nutrition class|
|Headed to ESPE, the local university, to chat with English students|