Job Well Done, Pt 2

July 21, 2014 10:26 pm Published by

We have come to the second half of guest season, and I’m thrilled to share the amazing work and joy that our recent guests have given us. Our friends from Bronxville High school in Bronxville New York, joined us once again on June 27th with ten awesome volunteers. You could see that they meant business, trying to complete as many projects as possible in their two-week adventure.

Bronxville’s first task was to clean every classroom at the Joseph and Mary school. The students were on their three-week summer break, so it was a prime time to do some much needed refurbishing. They brushed and mopped every floor and wall in both the primary and secondary school, followed by taking all the rugs and washing them out. I know our Kindergarten, First grade and Second graders are all very happy about that. After the cleaning was finished, the next task was painting several walls in the Primary school that had gotten some unwanted markings on them.

At this point in the trip, a lone volunteer named Ben Ranger from Indianapolis arrived for a month

long trip. He was immediately welcomed by Bronxville to join the crew. With a full group of hard working volunteers, we decided to split Bronxville into two groups, we had a farm crew and a painting crew. The farm crew went out into the fields (the same ones that Brunswick had tilled and flattened) and cleaned the excess dead weeds, created beds for planting new crops, fertilized the new beds with manure, and planted mchicha (greens) and beans!

It has been such an incredible experience to watch this particular row transform from a weed and bamboo cluttered piece of land — oh yeah, with a tree and giant termite mound in the middle of it — into perfectly created crop row. I’m very pleased to announce, this row is now showing the first signs of growth of both the beans and mchicha seeds. It won’t be too long before we will be able to harvest them.

After the cleaning, farming and painting, Bronxville plus Ben did student-led lessons with several classes ranging from 3rd grade to Form 1, teaching our students a wide range of lessons from aerodynamics of paper airplanes to the water cycles on earth. I want to give a heartfelt “Thank You” to Bronxville for their amazing work.

It wasn’t all work though, plenty of evenings playing and laughing with the JBFC girls plus a 4th of July barbecue and a pizza party. Bronxville, it was a blast.

Sadly the group left us on July 11th, but soon after we were greeted by three other volunteers, Daniel Ungar, Ari Gootnick and John Pugh all from Los Angeles. Along with Ben who is still with us, they have sanded and varnished the girls’ dining hall benches, organized the art room and started our new project of creating the “Guest Garden.” This garden will be designed and maintained by all of our guests staying with us. This will allow our guests to see the garden grow from trip to trip.

It is such a rewarding experience to see so many people’s lives impacted by JBFC; see them become connected to our mission, and then see their desire to help JBFC any way they can. I can’t wait to see the impact our new group of volunteers have on us.

Again I want to say Thank You to Bronxville and all of our guests for everything they have done for us, words can’t describe how much it is appreciated.

Guest Blogger, Travis Purser, is JBFC’s guest coordinator.

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This post was written by Mainsprings