NAME: Emily Christie
HOME ADDRESS: Falcon Lake, Manitoba, Canada
DATES IN NANGI: September 19- December 15, 2007
- Project 1: Helping out at the Plant nursery with Moti, Debu and Enam. This consisted of doing little tasks like filling soil bags, building infrastructure (roof to protect from frost), and planting seads- I’m sure I took way more from it than I could have ever hoped to contribute!
- Project 2: Helping with paper making. We focused most of our time on experimenting with ways to decorate the books to make them more eye catching to a western population- dying, stamp making, drying plants, ect. We also encouraged the ladies to promote their product by presenting the books to organized treks that would pass through the village. We were able to source out a supplier that would sell the books in the home town, and will continue to try and promote the books
- Project 3: Pen pals with kids in Canada. We found pen pal correspondents with a few schools from our home towns in Canada, which some kids e-mailed and others mailed letters back and fourth with.
Project 4: Help building the new composting toilets for the girls dormitory area. We learned the basics of the mechanics involved, and worked to keep things moving on the project. We also bought about $50 worth of tools to donate to the local carpenters and the school. We spent a week going to each individual class with the help of the teachers and taught the students about the advantages and importance of composting toilets, how to use them properly, and why it is important to use them properly. We also worked with the teachers to make sure there is proper infrastructure to support the continued proper use of the toilets through yearly education, supervision, and a scheduling system.
LIST EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING MATERIALS
stamps and dyes (some bought in town, others hand carved by Jesse) for papermaking
Wood working tools for stamp making and composting toilet building
Mainly covered above, but some of the challenges we faced included:
Translation- with the papermaking and composting toilets, many of the folks we were working with directly spoke little to no English, which meant we were dependant on teachers, etc. to help us with translation. Needless to say, lots was lost in translation, miscommunicated, or interpreted wrong.
Tools- tools were always in high demand, and it was often a full day’s work just to track down where the tools (or keys to open doors) were, that were necessisary to complete a project.
Cultural difference- probably the hardest thing to overcome- we experienced a lot of this with the composting toilets, where culturally the toilet area is not something worth exerting any energy on, including upkeep and clenliness- we can preach all we like, but there are certain cultural barriers that will just take a while to overcome.
The girls composting toilet was completed (shortly after we left) School wide training was completed- I’d love to hear an update on weather it is being taken care of & used properly.
We found some supplier for the papermaking products! A nice purple and yellow dye was chosen for decoration.
Many of the students (unfortunately not all) successfully corresponded with students in Canada (did the grade 5′s receive the letters mailed from the Winnipeg students?)
Keep improving the paper making product!
Get some homes set up with composting toilets
Find a way to deal with the local litter!
Set up a conversation class with the students, so they can practice actually speaking the amazing amount of English they know but are too shy to speak!
PROJECT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE VOLUNTEERS
Also plan a ‘fun day’ or refresher training for students on the composting toilets.