I may have mentioned in previous posts that I am a member of the Urban Gardening Club at my school. The goal of our club is to reach out to the community and make people happy through gardening. Our current project, which has been going on for the whole year, is linked with the XS Project. The XS Project looks to improve the living conditions of residents of Jakarta’s many trashpicker communities, and JIS is a large partner of the program. Throughout the year, the Urban Gardening Club (UGC) have been doing fundraisers, sales and plantings to raise money to buy plants and materials to build plant boxes for one of the communities. The boxes were made and painted by our members, and all the plants and soil were bought using money raised from plant sales. In short, there has been a long build-up to Sapling Sunday.
On Sunday morning, I cycled off with Papa at 7:10am. We split up at Pasar Cipete: Papa went to do some shopping and I continued to school. When I got there I discovered (somewhat disappointedly) that NONE of my three friends had showed up. With the help of the Micro-Finance club, we loaded up two buses with soil and plants, and went on our way. We drove down to Lebak Bulus, which is about 20 minutes south of JIS. We met up with the director of the XSProject, Retno Hapsari, and walked over to the community. We were met by loads of children scampering around: super lovely and welcoming. We went over to the school, where we would install all three of the boxes. It was quite small, with just a couple of rooms and a yard full of rubble, but with a lovely community feel. My Social Studies teacher was also there with the Micro Finance, and there were a lot of chickens milling around too, so… good company! Our boxes had been moved to the community the day before, and it was quick work to move them into their places. But it was reeking hot, and there was hardly any shade, so it was quite tough. After that, we dumped all the soil into the boxes, and then got the kids out to help with the planting. Of course, it was super fun, but the boys weren’t so concerned with keeping our much-loved chili plants alive. oh well! We got everything planted in the end, and all the ornamental plants looked great! After that, we shared some biscuits with the children, then hopped on the bus and drove home. Another success for the club!