I planted trees today, folks! And I am officially going to plant a garden when I get home because planting trees is fun and therapeutic and a little messy, and I love it! Today, the Denver nursing group, lovely intern Jamie, Akiesha, Perlina, Olivia, and I went with some of the SHI guys on an early morning (5 AM departure!) journey to a village called Poite, 2.5 hours from PG. Poite is a village of about 600 people, and SHI has played a sizable role in promoting local agriculture there. When we arrived, we divided into groups of 4-6, and each group went to the property of a different farmer and planted 50+ cacao trees and about 8 coconut trees. My group was comprised of Team Awesome–Ernesto, from SHI, who has the sweetest smile and demeanor ever, plus Olivia, Jamie, Mary, and me. It was fun to have Mary in our group, firstly because she’s delightfully cheery, and secondly because we could ask her, “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?”
The farmer whose home we visited, Santiago, has a lovely wife, four sons, and one daughter, and he and his sons were out working with us to dig the holes for the cacao trees. I don’t know much about soil–or really anything at all–but I’m pretty sure that Belize’s natural climate is highly conducive to plant growth. The soil just felt nutrient-rich in my hands, and I’m pretty confident that all of those cacao saplings are going to thrive!
When I get home, I’m going to actively work on growing a garden so that I can sustain myself on delicious, local produce. I’ll start small, and I’ll probably need a lot of guidance from you experienced gardeners who may be reading this, but I’m excited to begin! My thumb is getting greener with every second! Prepare to come and visit me in NJ this summer and eat a locally-sourced meal made by yours truly!
The Whitmans arrive in 1.5 hours! Time to shower and head to the airport!