Fighting Poverty with Passion
When the senior VISTAs warned me of the 3rd and 4th month blues during the year long term of service I thought that they were exaggerating or trying to scare me. I am sorry to say that these individuals couldn’t have been more correct. These past few weeks have been pretty rough for me with the onset of homesickness and unforeseen challenges at my site. I’ve been assured by a few wise souls that my misgivings about moving to New Orleans will pass soon, I’ll have to trust them to keep my sanity.
The show must go on in spite of low spirits and I have decided to throw myself into work in order to keep my mind busy. Just as in months past, much of my time has been spent organizing, scheduling, promoting, and setting up for Saturday morning workshops. Each workshop to date has had no less than six people in attendance. The chicken coop building class drew twenty-plus participants which was quite exciting and rewarding. Although January’s Green Projectivities were successful, I have been running into a few obstacles while planning for March and April. It is becoming difficult to find new craftspeople/artisans that are willing to lead classes. I know that there are talented individuals building, crafting, and creating in this city but it has been an uphill battle trying to find them since I’ve lived here such a short time.
In addition to workshop planning, I have been preparing for Ms. Williams’ second grade class from St. Benedict the Moor School. Next week they will be taking a field trip to the Green Project where they will learn about a type of recycling and reuse that may be new to them. A few weeks after their visit I will facilitate two classrooms sessions during which the children will create wind chimes fashioned out of reclaimed household hardware. The kids’ creations will then be auctioned off at our annual fundraiser, Salvations. I am thrilled about this partnership because the children will be learning about environmental concepts through the creative process. Their upcoming visit is approaching quickly and there is still much to do before their arrival, the next few days will be pretty hectic.
Bring on the springtime with its longer days, warmer air, and buzzing bugs. This wimpy Floridian cannot even handle a Louisiana winter!
-Kaylie Birdsall, Tulane VISTA & Environmental Education Coordinator @ The Green Project. For more information about volunteer and outreach activities, please click on this link The Green Project.