Coming into today, I did not know what to expect, besides maybe a few blisters on my hands, which I did end up getting. Today was going to be my first time partaking in an environmental brigade and after yesterday night’s meeting, we knew that we were going to be doing a lot of manual labor. When we arrived at the site, we broke up into two groups: one group was going to build a chicken coup and the rest of us would be clearing a field. My hoe and I were going to be clearing the field.
When we arrived at the site, the grass was up to knees, if not higher, and the sun was directly above us. As one of the community members marked off the areas that needed to be cleared and the soil that need to be turned, I wondered if maybe working on the chicken coup would have been better, given my small physical stature. But once we got started on clearing the field, it was actually a lot of fun. While we tanned under the blazing sun, we hacked and pulled away at the grass and weeds as one large team to reveal carcasses of animals, small boulders, and tree roots, bit by bit the field was cleared away.
Although we had the option to switch with the people who were building the chicken coup after lunch, most of us stayed with clearing away the field for the entire day. And, at the end of the day, it was incredible to see the difference that we were able to make. Just that morning, our small plot of land was a wasteland filled with rocks and weeds, but by mid-afternoon, there was a plot of land that could be used to grow crops and help sustain a community. In just a few hours we were able to make a visible difference, and there was so much potential for our efforts to grow into something even greater.