This week we continued in the same groups for the voluntary work, as we had already done a week in our roles we already had a routine and enjoyed it even more. Brandon and the boys got the locals involved in touch rugby, this was interesting as half of them didn’t know what rugby even was, and didn’t understand that the ball had to be passed backwards. However by the end of the session they were all keen to do it again and they´re really happy they had been shown how to play. In Jakera kids club we were focusing on arts and crafts, we made jewellery, painted pictures and used plasticine while also teaching the children some English and playing games. The English classes continued to have a great turnout and the girls involved in that definitely felt very pleased with how it went.
After this we started another section of our volunteering in Caripe. For the first 5 days we were camping while doing reforestation work. We met Govinda who was leading our project and on the first few days we went up the mountain where we started a tree nursery. We ended up planting about 350 trees into little bags which we were really pleased with. We also made a large display board which we put up in the school opposite to where we were staying, here we also did a presentation to some of the classes about the work we had done. During our stay at the campsite we also did some fun and cultural activities, we made hot chocolate from scratch from cacao, we had a tour around the coffee plantation which we are told makes some of the best coffee around, and we went into the famous Guacharo cave which was really interesting and Govinda was a great guide for it. Everyone else had the opportunity for a full body massage throughout the trip which everyone found amazing. After this stage of the trip we moved camp to an eco-camp nearer the centre of Caripe, here we were working in a school. One the first day we helped to clear the back area of the school to make a place that the children could play in, this involved moving a large pile of rocks and took us most of the day but afterwards it look so much better and our hard work had definitely paid off. After this we spent the rest of our time there on a few different projects, we helped them to redo their kitchen which was mainly painting it, also others made a sign for the school and a sign to remind the cars to slow down at the busy times where there would be a lot of children around. We really felt like we were doing worthwhile jobs as the staff and children were so grateful for us being there and they gave us certificates at the end which I know we will all place somewhere proudly. After finishing this project we had Carnival to focus on, which we were all really excited for. We were told that we were going to be in the parade and our theme for our costumes was indigenous. We spend bits of Friday, Saturday and Sunday making our costumes out of sacks and coloured string, this was really fun and brought out our creative sides. On Sunday we went down to Carnival and spend about 4 hours dancing down the street as part of the parade, it was such a fun and amazing experience that we all enjoyed so much! The next day it was time to come back to Jakera, overall we had really rewarding and fun stay in Caripe.
By George and Katie