Hello fellow readers! Project Peduli recently embarked in an overseas humanitarian project in Guizhou, China and here we are having so many stories to share! There were many activities planned for the children, teachers and the villagers in Yang Tzai - the village we were in. The takeaways are aplenty and one of the many activities we did was gardening.
Here in Singapore, growing a plant has never been easier. Drop by to any nursery today and pick up a readily potted plant. All we have to do is to put it where the sun shines, water it religiously and there you have a garden. Our tropical and humid climate has made plant growing a conducive one.
The plan in Yang Tzai was turn a little plot of land into a garden or at least a small farm for the pre-school's own produce. The school has a plot of lawn with flowers and some chillies growing sparingly. The intention was well because we wanted a sustainable pre-school that could grow its crop. God forbid Earth would be starved of food due to population explosion one day and the kids in the pre-school whom stayed in would need to survive.
The gardening team came ready with all its gardening tools. Spade, seedlings, and gloves were all ready to be utilised so that the team could get down to business.
They started plucking all these beautiful orange carnations in hoping to replant it in a more aesthetical manner. Lo and behold! The principal's wife (apparently it's like a family-run school) stopped us because she really wanted to keep the flowers that way. Woops! Damage was done so we had to plant back the carnations.
As for the vegetable seedlings, we marked out a tiny plot on the soil to plant these vegetables. The soil was compact and scientifically it would be hard to plant seedlings. Not impossible but the seedlings were thin and the soil that we dug out came in blocks. Despite the soil conditions, we resolutely planted in the seedlings. Till today we still hope for divine intervention to revive those flaccid seedlings.
The hilarious part was this. After gardening, we went to the fourth floor of the school to see the view surrounding the school. It has this panoramic view that only urban dwellers like us would aw upon. How amusing it was to see the school surrounded by acres and acres of crop! Here we are trying to be the 'good guy Bill' helping them grow a crop, yet we forget the people in the village were better off growing crops and even flowers on their own. They probably do a better job than us.
As funny as it was, it makes us ponder that we urban dwellers are lacking in knowledge and skills that are probably useful in times of distress. In Singapore's context, we live in a smart city that is binded by binary codes and decks of server racks. Everything gets digital and at some point we miss the fact our needs like food and water are mostly imported. How can we develop survival skills that allow us to sustain ourselves, given certain dimensions in our lives like trade policies are beyond our locus of control?
On another note, this incident humbled us to continue learning even from the rural dwellers because knowledge knows no boundary. We were probably blinded by their living conditions and their lack in our ideals as an impediment to survive. Ironically, throughout the week, we were somehow depending on them for our meals.
Hope you have enjoyed our sharing! Stay tuned as we update you on our education enrichment activities!