A large fog enveloped the showgrounds early in the morning. We finally made use of our bowls/plates and cutlery for breakfast after lugging those around for a while. Projects were divided into 4 groups consisting of show ground, golf course, retirement village and museum; thank goodness there was limited to no painting.
The service project primarily involved gardening and it was a beautiful day to be outside. We were taught how to hedge, make precise incisions on trees that have outgrown themselves and stumping trees. Learning to use the various tools and machinery was so interesting and a lot of fun. There was a lot of cleaning up, collating branches/plants and other debris whilst weeding to ensure the garden was up to scratch in terms of quality presentation. Things got particularly enjoyable when our team competed to collect the most as well as the largest piles of branches and load those onto the utes. After basking in the sun, fatigued from exhausting our muscles with sweeping with brooms/racks, hedging, weeding and cutting, we headed into the staff room for a well deserved lunch.
Lunch was pastries, sandwiches, fries and cake (personally baked by the Lynn, on board of directors for the retirement village). Food tasted fabulous, and we got to know our clients as well as play a game or two with Lynn - really cute and sweet of her. And in spite of it being sleep time for some of the residents, a few of the residents came along to have a photo with us. Talking with them was quite enlightening and joyous. Just seeing how the garden looked as well as the reactions of the residents made all the effort worth it. It was perhaps one of the most enjoyable projects on this trip.
In the evening we bonded over silent activities which lined up with individual values. These personal statements shed some light into some of the problems and level of support present in peoples lives, everyone has a story and I'm really glad we got to open up and get to understand people better, be it through their positive or negative experiences. The mental and physical day made it relatively easy to grab a good nights sleep.
By Down-to-Earth Diana