my final volunteer year

Six years later all the burning questions

Yes the teachers did get trained……………………..

Did the garden get built?  more pathways, a bike stand area, the rotunda, more fruit trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers, new vegetable beds and composting stations, an archway entrance to the garden, and plenty more room for successive generations of Abruzzians to add their mark. Yes it got built.


Did the children benefit ?  Fifth and sixth grade journal entries recording five months of garden activity with ‘Madam Sheerazie’ tell incredible stories of their intellectual growth, all the while connecting English, Urdu, science and math to hands on learning. Yes, they and all the other students benefited more than they consciously comprehend.


Dr Javed Iqbal’s visit with the children June 2014

Did the teachers understand the concept and how to apply it? Training teachers was the highlight of my last year at the Abruzzi school garden. Brilliant ideas that had never crossed their minds emerged rapidly once the dots began to connect. They understood and then some!


Tenth graders with the staff. Sept 2014

Did the administration get it? Not in a million years!

Did the donors get it? Those that still follow the program, did.

Did I accomplish what I set out to do? Almost but not quite.

Will I do it again? Differently!

What was the highlight of these 6 years? A grassroots volunteer effort funded by individuals and one corporation from every continent of the world except Africa, and the excitement and creativity of the children in journaling their garden activities. Both were things I never imagined possible but came to pass because we worked on it together!

Hurrah to every volunteer mind, hand, and heart who made it possible, and to each child who taught me the wonders of learning once again.


goodbye abruzzians

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