Rutgers - Science Summer Abroad 2010
Nine Science Undergraduate Students Around the World

Friday, June 25, 2010

Service project at an organic farm/animal sanctuary

We had our group service project today at Divertigranja organic farm and animal sanctuary. We were helping them build a cement path to make the farm wheelchair accessible. They aim to have kids with disabilities come and interact with animals, which they typically can't do on a normal farm. It was actually a lot of fun because we all worked well as a team and got the job done pretty quickly. A few people got to make adobe to make walls for one of the houses, which requires mixing a concoction of donkey dung with your feet!

It was great to be finally working together as a team, out in sunshine, getting dirty, doing some good services for the farm. I think what the farm is doing, everything from being organic to providing shelter for animals to bringing kids with disabilities in, is absolutely wonderful. It's obvious that the people here work really hard to make the farm the best it could be- they wake up early to feed the animals (the ostriches, monkeys, cows, raccoons, crocodiles, etc.), work on the houses, and tend to their plants. What's even more amazing is that they are just volunteers, not getting paid to do any of this work. They live in small self-made houses, built with bamboo and adobe. They really live with just the bare essentials and work hard every day. I admire them and have considered working on an organic farm one day, for the enriching experience and to help these important institutions stay alive and functioning.
By the time our service work was finished, we were all exhausted and went back to our houses. I feel very accomplished and am happy with every experience I've gone through the past four weeks. Being here has been an amazing experience that I'll never forget.

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