Week 1 2014

posted May 25, 2014, 5:57 PM by Ethan Shirley

The first community we visited after landing in Cuiaba was the Nazare orphanage outside the town of Pocone. Both the kids and adults who live there were excited and a little confused at our arrival, but were very welcoming. After a few days to gather basic supplies and get settled, we traveled to our first homestay with a teacher in the nearby community of Cangas. For the rest of the week we taught high school age kids the theory behind our biodigester design, as well as the basics of why they should practice sustainability and environmental conservation. It was exciting to meet so many new people, both students and teachers, as well as sampling local foods and exploring our surroundings. For one afternoon we traveled to another nearby village, even smaller than Cangas, called Chumbo. The schools had been closed due to a teacher strike, but we were still able to gather a group of around 30 students and go through our entire lesson plan. The students invited us to play soccer with them after the lesson, and we finished off the week by heading back to Cangas. We had planned to build a small scale biodigester and store it at the school for one week until it started to produce gas, then we return to Cangas to demonstrate how it worked. However, so many kids rushed outside when they saw us building the sample product that we were able to turn its construction into another lesson. It was very cool to see them become genuinely interested and continue to ask more questions even outside of the classroom setting. We look forward to visiting more communities this upcoming month to teach and simultaneously learn more about the culture and lifestyle here in Brazil.