A lot has happened since the last blog entry I wrote. I’ve been to see the dolphins at Moon Reef, Navunisea School has had a huge fundraiser to raise money for school improvements, and the volunteers and I have had the pleasure of being the judges at the Dawasamu Secondary School Talent Show. What has excited me the most, however, is the new composting and waste management initiative that has just launched here in Silana.
Last week, the expedition volunteers and I broke ground alongside the village youth to start the new GVI community garden. The villagers and GVI will all plant seeds and share the vegetables we grow, as well as give the villagers some extra produce to sell in the markets. The villagers already have tomato plants that they’ve transferred into the garden, and we have just started planting our first batch of seeds. So far we’re growing tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, chilies, pumpkins, cabbage and wax gourds. We’ve found the perfect perch for them next to our bure, and I’m excited to finally see our little seeds sprout in the next few weeks!
To make the garden even more successful, we have started composting to enrich the soil. This led GVI expedition volunteers to create a waste management awareness presentation so we could explain to the villagers what composting is, how to do it, and why it is helpful. Additionally, the presentation included a section on recycling to inform the community about ways to reduce the amount of rubbish, and options for disposing of it in an eco-friendly manner.
During the presentation, we announced that we would bring in two more composting bins for the Silana and Navinusea School, and also informed the community that there was now a recycling bin for tin cans in the center of the village. The villagers welcomed our ideas with open arms, and made it a point to express their excitement about composting in particular.
There is no doubt in my mind that the awareness project was a success, because in just a week and a half, the tin recycling point is almost full with cans and ready to be taken to Suva. Furthermore, the villagers enjoyed our presentation so much that they have actually asked us to give it again this week for the people who couldn’t make it the first time around!
It is an incredibly rewarding feeling to witness such enthusiasm from the community and know that GVI is taking steps to make a positive impact on Silana.
Needless to say, it’s been a good week!