Day 22: Community Education Garden

This turned out to be one of my best days in our project work. We set out to film our agricultural play and creative dance as planned two weeks ago.

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In the morning we started with our usual activity of watering our gardens and the children were in high spirits since we were to travel to some unknown land. We choose to visit one of our enterprising environmentalist who has set up a small camp with well grown trees that give it the atmosphere we needed. We boarded a truck with our drums, plates and saucepans not forgetting the firewood. The children’s faces started to change colour as we drove past all the shops into the wilderness that seemed not to have any soul and suddenly appeared the site of a camp place with very welcoming faces.

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After offloading all our property we started taking up different roles from setting up the fire, cooking tea and popcorn, peeling and fetching water and surely we had all grown into a formidable team that could stay together for many more years.

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We borrowed from all our cooking lessons we had held in the earlier years and I could see that the children remember the hands on lessons more than the rote learning that happens in our classrooms.

56789Baking was one of our core activities for the day and we all got involved in one way or another. We were hosted to the second class in our baking lessons and surely many of the children have learnt the techniques involved.

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After placing our queen cakes into the firewood oven which were as many as the number of the participants and their hosts we then embarked on filming our play.

Cakes ready for eating
Cakes ready for eating

From the stage of the house to the visit to the animal farm and then to the gardens was a thrilling play that truly teaches one to love agriculture because the benefits were there to see.

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When the drums were being tested in preparation for the creative dance it looks like the whole village was alerted and we got many spectators who provided the much needed audience. Our costumes and the green camouflage made us part of our natural setting and we were brought closer to nature an objective of our visit to this camp. The energetic dancers and the powerful hands on the drums could clearly show that the children have talents that have not yet been tapped and yet the teachers could easily say they are not good at mathematics and hence failures in life.

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We then sat down at our local dining room for lunch and celebrated as a family a thing we have enjoyed during this project. Of course we ate to our fill since we were very hungry and tired and we had our cake as dessert.

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All these international dishes give us a modern outlook to be able to design changes for our community members if we ever go into the catering industry. From the children’s’ evaluations of the day we were able to capture the amazement for the camp site and the judgement that we need more trees in all our community areas. Probably this should be one of our projects for greening our sub county starting with our homes. At the end of the day we had learnt about a sustainable home and what we should do when we grow up.This is learning that can not be done through a chalk and talk mathematics lesson but through a project based methodology. This project follows a learning approach that invites the learner to experience the end point first. Then when they like what they see they start to care about it  and later on decide to do more research about it  and finally carry out an action in that direction. With the personal action comes more care,research and then more action. This is what we commonly refer to as the empowerment spiral approach of learning.

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