I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and I apologize for that. Things have been moving pretty slow, at times, here on the farm. The past couple weeks have mostly consisted of bonding with the community and trying to find ways to develop our projects. So, just to update you on the projects I mentioned in my last post…
1- video content: – This is coming a lot slower than I had hoped as a majority of the SEED students with enterprises are on their break and won’t be back until around the time we leave. That being said, I have completed editing the interviews of two of the three biggest enterprises on the farm. I have met with the third entrepreneur and we are currently working to set up a time. As far as the student interviews go, I’m having a little bit of trouble coordinating with them, but once I get my hands on them you’ll have the videos I promised.
2- Ecobricks: – We had a meeting with the MAD Travel team and have set up our goals and expectations for this project. Katie and Jill were given the tasks of coming up with 30 social media posts for ecobricks, while I am supposed to come up with an ecobrick promotional video. We are supposed to have these done by July 20th. In the meantime, we have been going around the community speaking with prominent titos and titas about getting on board with our project. So far, all of the ones we’ve spoken too have agreed to collect community plastic so that we can come around and collect it for later use. Finally, we have finished our presentation for the management team, and have received a one hour demonstration outline to present to the community/ schools.
3- Friendships: – We are having a lot of trouble getting funding for any of our projects and most of my time has gone to ecobricks, so I have not yet started on my solar dehydrator. Given this, I have the model drawn up and know what supplies I need so as soon as I get funding Jake and I will begin construction.
4- Natural pesticides: – After I spent a couple hours researching this we decided to focus mainly on ecobricks as a social enterprise. Therefore, we are done with this project.
5- Composting and waste management: – It took us a whole week, but we finally got our compost area set up. We cleared a 40 square foot plot and made 15 compost bins. All we have left to do with those is create the barriers which hopefully will come with the completion of the ecobricks.
6- Azolla pond: – This project never took off and we were given permission to trash it in order to focus on everything else.
Aside from that, farm life is going great. There was a bit of a security scare for a couple of days the past week but security has been enhanced and we’re all good now (Jake and I also bought machetes so I dare someone to break into our room). I desperately miss American food. I am completely used to the heat and humidity and have become comfortable with my surroundings. We just got back from a trip to Cagbalete Island. We spent the weekend there with a large group of Filipinos. I’ll throw some pictures up but other than that, we’ll just leave it at “it was fun.” We celebrated 4th of July to the best of our capabilities (beer, pool, and country music), and I got to enjoy my first Despedida (look it up). All in all, I still feel like this is a great personal experience and there is still a lot to come in these final three weeks. We have one trip planned for Zambales, where we will be replanting a forest, doing some archery, and attempting to surf with an indigenous tribe. One trip to Baler, where I will perfect surfing. Lastly, one trip to Banaue, where we will be visiting a mountainous rice terrace, and making the dangerous trek to find the oldest mambabatok tattoo artist, Whang-Od (100 years old, she’s famous, look her up). Until next time, enjoy!