The Inivershall Rastafari Movement (IRM) is a non-profit. It's focus is the cultural, spiritual, social, political and economical development of all peoples of African descent.
Our journey began with buying all the groceries that we needed for three days of camping in the community garden. After getting the basics we continued our shopping tour in Kingstown where we bought fresh vegetables that created a perfect meal plan additionally to our fruit collection the day before. With all the food, tents, sleeping bags, working tools and our equipment we arrived energized and excited around noon in Villa Flat at the Rastafari Movement’s property and their community garden.
After a getting to know everyone, we started to cook lunch to start afterwards in a good mood with new energy.
After lunch Brian, one of the two volunteers, showed us the whole property and explained what we should focus on in the following next weeks. Then, we started our first action: separating all the different materials that have been in the ‘garbage-mulch-sticks’ pile for a longer time now. Therefore we pulled sticks, mulch and garbage out of the pile and collected them on different piles to set the base for the following steps. We found a lot of crazy stuff in the pile like shoes, organic baby food, a sink and a toilet and a lot of big spiders and centipedes and during this work we were motivated by good music and had a lot of fun. After a few hours we finished the pile and we discovered that underneath the mixture of materials was pretty good soil that we can use for new beds.
Afterwards there was a big welcome speech by Ras Yacob (Vice president of the Inivershall Rastafari Movement and the property’s owner), Ras Andre (President of the IRM) and Empress Modupe (Ras Yabob’s wife) which was very inspiring, because they want the garden to be a place for everyone that is interested in gardening and to produce food for the community as well as using this garden as a model garden to show how to farm properly. There was a really positive and friendly atmosphere which continued to be there throughout the days. And then every volunteer introduced themselves as well as our lovely teacher Mahsa which made everyone familiar with all the different people from different countries. Our team finished the first day in Villa Flat with eating out and having a great evening together.
The goal for the second day’s morning was to cut a lot of bamboo in order to have a strong and long lasting building material for a nursery and a greenhouse. It was a really tough work with machetes but we all done a good job so that we had after the first cutting around 60 bamboos. As we arrived back lunch was ready and really necessary because every worker was working until his or her limits. While some of us cut bamboo, the remaining people started to make a scientific map of the property so that we can use every space and plan everything accurately later. Others started to weed the existing beds and to start to make the new beds.
With lunch and a recovery break, we gained new energy to face the remaining work for the day: weeding, mulching and continuing to work on the new beds. First, we divided the team in different groups that we can work as productive as possible because we don’t have too much time. While some put out all the weed that grew on the beds, others covered the soil with mulch, that we collected before from the garbage pile, to protect it from drought and nourish it with the decomposed dry leaves. The other team was busy setting up the beds by slacken the soil and putting out stones. After all the beds were ready, we decided to use the rest of the time before dinner to go to the beach and enjoy the beauty of the coast and the white sand and of course it is great to have a reward in the end of a hard day.
Our third and last day was again used to cut bamboo but this time even more. We discussed how to work as best in the teams as possible and therefore we had a really good system that a few cut down bamboo, others cut the branches of the bamboos and the last team was carrying the bamboos to the street where a truck picked them up. With this system and the experience and practice from the day before, we cut around 90 bamboo in even less time than the day before. So, in total we collected around 150 bamboos which hopefully are enough to fulfill our plans and expectations.
The others continued with making a scientific map of the property such as finishing all the small tasks that we started. Furthermore, they prepared the food so that it was ready when we came back from the bamboo cutting. Our last task for this week was to clean up and pack everything again.
To summarize, this small trip was really successful and everything worked out good. It was a great experience because we learned as much as we taught and everyone was happy being there and creating the change. It was simply amazing to see how perfect our team can work together and since everyone enjoyed the time, we were highly motivated and we are really looking forward to go back next week, hopefully longer than three days.