SewHope is attempting to establish two centers in Santa Ana to demonstrate organic farming and other health promotion projects. One center will be at the clinic in Santa Ana and the other at the house of Ismael and Orfe in Santa Ana. Children and adults from other communities where SewHope has a presence will be able to visit to see the work in action, to ask questions, and to seek advice and assistance.
Today, we welcomed Pastor Martin and his wife and three of his five children to the house in Santa Ana. This family is from La Libertad. Ismael explained to them in detail about how we planted the gardens, showed them the growing gardens, and explained why and how he plants differently than some others. SewHope will be assisting Pastor Martin and some of his parishes with the gardens and promotion of the tippy taps, stoves, solar lights, and water filters. Pastor Martin got to meet the children of the youth group and to see them at work in the garden.
SewHope met Pastor Martin because we use his facilities to store our KAH food. Pastor Martin became interested in the KAH food, and we shared some with his communities. He was also able to see Orfe at work with her agricultural project in Mango two years ago. Unfortunately, his own attempts at gardening have not been successful perhaps due to not preparing the soil. So, he came to learn more about the hows and whys of gardening carrots and celantro and other vegetables. This is exactly what SewHope was hoping for!
Many things are cycled here. The organic waste from food preparation or food spoilage is fed to the ducks, geese, turkeys or dogs. Their waste is used as fertilizer in the garden. We collect and eat the eggs from the ducks and chickens for breakfast. Today for lunch we had soup made from a plant in the garden, and we are killing a chicken to eat for supper. The corn grown on the land is used to feed the chidkens, ducks, turkeys and us when we turn it into tortillas. The dried corn stalks are used as kindling for the outdoor stove. I am hoping to be able to find the ingredients to make our own laundry soap which will be more environmentally friendly than what is currently purchased and used. We have reduced our need to purchase clean water as we are using the same water filter that we are promoting. We have only just begun. Today we sold our first all assembled water filter complete with two buckets as well as a solar light! We are also using the outdoor fuel efficient stove purchased from Rudy and Living to Serve.
Ismael is a marvelous teacher. Before the children do anything, he makes a great effort to explain in detail what we will be doing, how we will do it, and why we are doing it this way. He talks about how much it will cost so that they do not believe the myth that it is too expensive. Ismael demonstrates to the children how to complete a specific task and then they take over. Each child gets at least one turn. They love to participate. Today we succeeded in watering the soil and planting two of our raised gardens. In one we planted carrots and in the other cilantro.
I learned much about our good God as I watched the children working today in the garden. Nothing was done randomly; ALL was done with GREAT CARE. To watch them meticulously draw a line for planting in a row and to carefully and slowly just put a bit of earth on top of the seeds. I was reminded of how much our God cares for each one of us with such tenderness. Just because it is a big garden or because there are lots and lots of people on earth, does not mean that each seed is tended with any less than total love and care.
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012