Friday, September 12, 2008

Backlog: Camp is ova

Synthesized from the journal: (undated, as I don't date my journal, but sometime in the first week of August)
Camp is over- I'm spending my first night at home in over a week.
Camp was successful. And wierd. It really was so much stress- I should have done it with someone else. The worst part of all was that the money wasn't coming through even though I was told it would be there by the time camp started, then it would be there by the end of camp, then it turns out they deposited the entire grant into the wrong account. Whose I don't know. [A huge loan from Meg (another volunteer), my parents and a complete wipeout of my living expenses account made it happen. I got an email from my country director that the funds should be in my bank account by the time I get back from vacation. I'm heading over there as soon as I'm done writing this.]
I brought William along to help out and cook. Tim and Emily were the Ministry of Fun, Yulie taught natural medicine. Karen and Jared took health. I did permaculture, otherwise known as a kind of sustainable agriculture. Poor William was so overwhelmed with work the first day, so Jared's cook Francis came over on day two.
And while I didn't get the name of Camp ACRONYM on the proposal, that actually was the name of the camp. Jared came up with the acronym: Aspiring, Creative, Revolutionary, Optomistic, Never-Say-Die Young Malawians. Also known as Enviro Health Camp. Or Camp Wiz.

And these gems:
(During riddle time at the bonfire)
Jared: What's black and white but read all over?
Camper, genuinely confident: Eleven!

Team mottos: (and I swear there was no counselor collaboration with any of these)
Hippos- Weapons of mass destruction
Snakes- The worst bitters
Lizards- We have short legs

Overall, I genuinely feel like it was a unique, helpful thing- especially how all of the classes were interrelated and that they all contribue to Wellness with a capital W. Caroline, who works with local schools teaching permaculture, was a great help. She gave us books on permaculture, lesson plans, seeds, ideas. She sent over one of her workers, Simone, to do a killer composting demonstration. (His secret ingredient is the inside of rotting banana stalks. Who knew?) Caroline also organized and led a field trip to Sandra's Orphanage, an awesome place to see what permaculture looks like in practice. Finally she came over with four other helpers to give a slideshow presentation on graduation day. It showed before/after sites, usefull plants, and examples of what we learned in class.
For graduation we had the students catwalkstrutdance up to recieve thier diplomas.

And now, home, I hung out with Jeannie Kathongomala and the Ng'omas, where I had dinner. Kondowole/woyera mix, with okra and mandolo (cowpeas) which I just learned about from Caroline. I also chatted with Charles, who sadly said that he will be transferred in about a week. Moving to Chintheche. It's nice to come home and relax and bathe in the lake at my usual beach and chat with my neighbors in Tonga. I've been meaning to hang out more with my neighbors lately- whenever I do they make me feel better.


Anonymous said...

Hi Matt. We loved this about the camp before your family arrived. Sounds like all went well, after all the obstacles--good job. Can't wait to hear about your part of the vacation with the family. Love G & G Wiz.

Anonymous said...

Mazel tov on the camp, ha. Sounds like all is well. Hope you are having fun with the fam. Stay away from those Hippos, they sound like a dangerous crowd.