Women in Maucau using their personalized manuals for a hands on activity.

Last weeks photo of the week  featured me, so I figured I would keep the personal buzz going.  In the photo of the week I am drawing maps of each greenhouse owners plots, and what was near harvest, so we could design a participatory activity allowing the women to diagram what they could plant next, based on the nutrient cycles of different plants.

The design and execution of this activity took much more than one or two planning sessions, but instead was built upon six months of trial and error, relationship building, and capacity building with the community.  Although a long and arduous process, we feel it is necessary because of our strong belief in the power of community. As that post notes, it is the community who is responsible for success in the end, so it is crucial that we include them every step of the way.

While there were some rough patches, we all walked away feeling good about the activity, and what the women were able to learn, accomplish, and take away.  It was bitter-sweet for me, as it was our last workshop with Maucau before I leave for the U.S.  At the same time, however, I know that because of the process we all went through, the Maucau family greenhouse owners will be just fine without me. ~Chris

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