Saturday, January 2, 2016

Club Vintsy Plants Saragisy


            Club Vintsy is an environment group of high school students at my Lycee, and although I do not work with directly as my primary job, I usually attend their meetings and functions with my sitemate since a large majority of it attendance is my students.  Every Wednesday afternoon the club has a meeting and then will usually do some sort of gardening activity; whether it be planting seeds in the sapling garden, learning composting techniques, or building new gardens.  But one special day a year WWF funds an excursion into the ambanyvolo (countryside) for a replanting activity and today was that day.  So after everyone meeting at the Lycee, we made our way through town and up the
northern road out of town.  This is no fast endeavor.  Walking is never done at a fast pace here but is a slow meandering; enjoying the time with others or in just enjoying the walk itself.  Our destination was the small neighborhood of Saragisy, about 1.5 miles outside of town that had to its name only a small two room E.P.P (equivalent to a grade school).  On the way out we stopped by the tree sapling depository that WWF had outside of town so that each student could grab two trees each.  With these and all of our food and drinks for the day’s picnic we made our way to our destination.  Once there a few of the students went to work producing wood and a cook site to prepare our lunch while the rest of the students went to work digging small holes and planting the saplings.  After all of the saplings had been planted, and the inevitable photo shoots had ended, we all went back under the tree cover to eat handfuls of lychees to applaud our success. 
All of the students, except those preparing the food then went out and played a game of soccer that ended with the soccer ball busting.  Once they could not play soccer anymore everyone returned to the shade of the trees to hangout till the food was ready.  The teachers and I then sat around banana leaves that had been laid out for us as a table and the students served us rice and a beef stew which was poured onto the leaves for us to eat.  After eating there were a few speeches made by the teachers and officers of the club and then we all packed up and started to make our way home.  On our walk home we came across a brush fire on one of the hills.  People starting brush fires is a common method here to rejuvenate the soil but it also kills any trees that might be growing; something Club Vintsy is fighting against.  So all of the students took up the fight, grabbed tree branches from the ground, and ran up the hill in a frenzy to put out the fire before it spread more.  







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