Never Ending Food was recently privileged to play host to visit from a group of Second-Graders from one of Lilongwe’s International Schools. The children (fourteen in all, plus two teachers) had a fun, interactive, and hopefully very educational visit!
The day began by learning about Malawi’s vast base of natural resources by observing many of the items that were on the food-and-resource display that they had been set up for them. We looked at nutritious local foods and even income-generating activities such as handbags made from recycled plastic and shoes made from grass.
As part of this ‘resource’ theme, several volunteers helped to mix up a batch of local ‘camel-foot’ juice (not as bad as it sounds, it’s actually a lemony-flavored pod from a local tree that we make into a flour and mix with sugar and water to make a very refreshing drink). Next, they were able to get their hands dirty by filling up a potting tube and planting cuttings of mulberries, cassava-trees, and sweet potatoes (which they were able to take home with them).
After this we all took a look at how a solar-dryer works and the children helped us to fill it up with vegetable leaves that they located throughout the garden. One of the highlights, however, had to have been the feeding of the worms in the worm-farm. We even took a few of these worms to feed to the chickens where we discussed the importance of animal management. Another huge hit was the finding of toads in one of the fish ponds. We used this as an opportunity to talk about natural ecosystems, the interaction between living things, and natural pest management.
The day ended with a look at the importance of diversity—in nature, in nutrition, and even in their own class as many of the children come from different countries and have so many great things to share with each other!