Friday, February 24, 2012

In the Flood Garden on Inauguration Day

This was a very special day indeed.  Not only was it a wonderful way to show our community how beautiful our Flood Garden has become but it was also Uncle TJ's birthday.  So we celebrated with songs, speeches, great food and a wonderful tour of the Flood Gardens.

THE GREAT REVEAL!! Head Master David Gido was very proud to reveal the Flood Garden to today's visitors

Our duck house is painted and all ready to house our new tenants. The fish pond looks great and soon the plants we planted around it  will really make it look like a real pond.  We need to fence the animal areas before we can move in the ducks and the tilapia 

WE HAVE RABBITS NOW!! They have become very fat and soon we hope to have babies and learn all sorts of lessons from them.  We also have Guinea Pigs and one of them has had babies.  We will devote more posts on just our animals as they become part of the classroom lessons.

This is one of our rabbits behind their little chicken wire doors.  The rabbits do not have names yet.  Maybe we will have a contest with the children to see what names win!!

Auntie Robyn loved the rabbits

The Maasai house will not only allow us to study Tanzanian history and culture but also makes a very handsome kitchen!  I especially like the Maasai warrior drawings on the walls of the house and the painted tires!

Salum, a garden volunteer and friends of David, David himself, Uncle TJ and Mr. Mwasaga, MDFT's new advocate

Inside our Maasai House Kitchen.  It is very spacious and unbelievably sturdy.  It is also provides an unexpected shelter from the intense Tanzanian heat.  Many, many meals will be cooked here from now on.

With just a few bed sheets and blue tarps, David Gido and the MDFT teachers transformed this once garbage dumb into a wonderful banquet space.  It looks good enough for a wedding reception!!

Flowers are always beautiful and today they added a wonderful elegance for our inauguration banquet

Our greens are looking great considering how hot and dry it is during the Tanzanian dry season.  In fact, our flat leaf veggies are the only ones thriving in the intense heat.  We have learned an important lesson in seasonal planting, even when we think it is not too hot for humans!

Mr Mwasaga and TJ were kind enough to speak to the group on this important day.  Mr. Mwasaga is a member of our community who has come to our aid and advocates for MDFT whenever petty local officials come around looking for excuses to fine the school. He told us how important the Flood Garden has become for community and how it is important to invest in the youth.  Mr. Mwasaga is a retired park ranger and use to work in the Safari tourism scene.  He is very familiar with the written and unwritten Tanzanian history and geography and hearing him speak really reminds us of the importance of the elder generation in the lives of our children.  We hope to use his wisdom and guidance in our attempts to recreate traditional culture for our kids.

TJ travels from school to school in the state of Michigan challenging students to play their part and pick up the slack in the economy through service and volunteering.  Today he challenged everyone in the audience to consider their roles in the growth of the children at MDFT. he reminded everyone that each one of us is like a drop of rain, we have a purpose and thus must fulfill that purpose.  By ourselves we fulfill a purpose but together we can start a flood.

We would like nothing else than to flood Arusha with Flood Garden schools.  Since December, when the first seeds were planted in the ground, we have already witnessed the change in our students, the growth in our teachers and a sense of wonder and hope in our community.  People stop by just to hang out and many have a lot of questions.  Soon, we hope to plant flowers, fruits and veggies throughout our neighborhood.  In a few years, we hope that our entire village looks like our flood garden; a busy but clean urban environment with tranquil, beautiful and bountiful garden spaces.

In the kitchen getting food

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