Exuma Foundation Project Execution

Today was another blustery day on the island so I knew water activities wouldn’t be possible.  Thank goodness I rented the kayak for the first two days!  But next week is looking absolutely perfect for a full line up of activities (including the swimming pigs) plus I have a visitor coming.  Woop woop!  I had to get packed and ready by 7:45am to be picked up by Catherine from the Exuma Foundation to help her with some projects she had in the works.  As I mentioned before, she is often a one woman show with a little help here and there.  She is superwoman in more ways than one and her passion for this island and for her work seeps through her pores.

She picked me up and we headed for the Exuma Foundation facility to load up the equipment and helper we needed to continue work on a raised garden bed at the Stuart Manor Primary School.  The goal of the project is to get the kids involved in gardening, sustainability, and to foster accountability and ownership in their work.  And they absolutely love it.  So all we had to do was build the garden, mix the soil, and fill the bed with the soil.  The soil used for gardens here is 1 part sand, 1 part compost, and 1 part top soil.  It all has to be mixed together before filling the garden.  So that’s what we did.  And now I have another blister.  Pfflllttt.  Tomorrow, the kids will help plant seeds and mark each section as necessary.  Jonas, a part time maintenance worker at the foundation, helped us today.  We were the three gardening amigos and we crushed it.  But two women doing manual labor blows…their…minds here.  That’s a man’s job in the islands.  Pppsssshhhh.  Move over dudes.

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Catherine should probably get a truck.

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This is the sand, top soil, compost that we had to mix. In mosquito country.

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This is one of two gardens at the school. Those slats are their windows so I could hear everything they were saying. It was adorable.

I loved working right outside the school as I could hear everything going on in each classroom.  The school either doesn’t have A/C or they just weren’t using it so the windows were open and what I heard brought a smile to my face.  Perhaps this is totally normal in school but because of my lack of experience with anything involving children I just don’t know what normal is.  In one classroom, they were singing their times tables.  Is that even what they call it anymore, times tables?  I heard 2 x 1=2, 2 x 2=4, 2 x 3=6, and on and on but they were singing it.  More like chanting it.  So funny.  It continued I think until they got to 10 x 10.  But don’t quote me on that.  In the other classroom, it must have been music time.  The male teacher was on the piano teaching the kids how to use recorders.  So I gardened to a classroom full of recorders playing Mary Had a Little Lamb and Jingle Bells for a couple hours.  Over and over and over again.  I giggled out loud.

We easily completed the two garden beds at the school and headed back to the Exuma Foundation facility.  It was time to continue where we left off on the garden area that I helped redesign the other day (where the bees are).  Jonas went about his way and Catherine and I kicked ass, yet again.  We rearranged, re-mulched, re-rocked, moved dirt, etc until we were happy with the result.  We also messed with one of the beehives which was interesting.  Honey bees are quite docile until you f*ck with their house.  So don’t f*ck with their house.  We did and a couple got pretty irritated but we got away sting-free.  Only one last little thing needs to be completed in the garden area but Catherine isn’t sure exactly what to put in the center section so we’ll keep pondering that one.

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Entry to the Exuma Foundation

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Front of the Exuma Foundation property

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This looks like night and day from when I first arrived. Super pumped for them to use this now.

It was 12:30 and we were ready to be done with manual labor for the day so Catherine and I went to lunch at Club Peace and Plenty.  I hadn’t yet been to this hotel but heard all about it.  It used to be Rosemary’s childhood home and her brother was even born there.  Rosemary was born across the street in another house (now a store).   Catherine explained it was a landmark of sorts on the island.  It has a great view of the harbor and a ton of seating areas on different levels.  The prices were surprisingly reasonable for lunch and the food was great.  Catherine is a total bad ass and it was good to get to know her a little better.

We called it a day and she dropped me off at home.  Rosemary wanted to hear all about my morning so I caught up with her, took a nap, and then woke up and sat on the porch for a bit.  She needed to run to the grocery store and the hardware store and offered me to come along.  Score!!!  I was starting to run out of food and water and was on the verge of walking downtown.  But not sure how I would possibly get all my groceries back here.  Doesn’t matter anyway because my queen fairy godmother took me!  Love her.  She offered me a Sands Pink Radler beverage (it’s the local Bahamian beer brand but this was the girly version like a wine cooler) when we got back and we had a nice drinky poo on the porch before we called it a night.

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My queen fairy godmother. Can you be a queen and a fairy????

I see Jolly Hall Beach in my future tomorrow before I go back to the school in the afternoon…

“Comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life.”  Jen Sincero, You are a Bad Ass.

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