I apologize for being so tardy with my posting! I have had a crazy week! Let begin by telling you of my crazy group from hell. Basically it was a group of middle schoolers and their parents who came for an overnight experience. To make a VERY long story very short, they were very rude and disrespectful to me and the experience. Eventually, when I went to check on them, they had disregarding any of the rules and activities I had given them. I was really appalled. With some encouragement from other vols, I pulled the chaperones aside and told them that they needed to take charge and help the kids have a better experience. They basically blew me off. About 20 minutes later my friend Sarah walked in wondering why there was a mom and a few kids DRIVING AWAY off the farm. Of course, I knew they were from my groups, and I was right. At this point I was very upset. I was mostly sad, though. How can people be so flippant about the matter of global hunger, malnutrition, and poverty? I have devoted myself and my summer at the very least to help be a part of the solution and they can't even last one night sleeping and existing without AC. Their excuse? They wanted to be someplace cool for awhile. THEY WENT TO GO GET ICE CREAM. Well, you say, at least the night couldn't have gone any worse. Of course, that would be a lie. For it was at this point that another volunteer walked into my house and asked if there be any more people leaving the Global Village tonight. Of course, it was my group. Half of them decided they couldn't take it, and they moved back into the bunks. Their debrief went okay, but I was just glad to have them gone. I learned a lot about being a facilitator and dealing with people. It was hell to have the experience, but I'm glad I did.
Blah, well then I had a few exceptionally long days (8am to 8pm or so) trying to get the gardens planted and do more groups. Last night, a few friends and I decided to go visit one of our co-workers, Rachel, who was in the hospital with Lyme Disease. As the 6 of us are exiting the highway, Dan, our driver discovers that the brakes went out. Holy Moly. We (and by "we" I mean "he") couldn't find the emergency brake and were rapidly approaching an intersection. We swerved into the grass and barely missed a bunch of highway signs and a fire hydrant before swerving onto the road and coming to a stop. It was scary, but we were all okay, thanks to Dan's quick thinking and great driving skills. We called AAA and had the van towed, and made it safely back to the farm.
Today, I had another group from hell, but again, it was mostly the fault of the chaperones. Apparently I have great skill in picking terrible groups. The tour (of 3rd and 4th graders) went really well, and they got to eat some of our spinach, lettuce, dill, and parsley. They seriously went nuts. They were clamoring to be able to try it. Their moms would have been proud. So the main chaperone was this mean school teacher who was complaining because a hayride had been scheduled for the garden, but they didn't recieve it because our tractor is broken. (Instead we walked through the garden, which was more hands-on anyways). She went on and on about how they were big donors and how the way the booking was handled and there was no hayride was the last straw and blah blah blah and how they weren't coming back to the farm and that was their last donation... and of course, and Ed Vol (let me emphasize volunteer) who has worked for this farm for roughly 3 weeks was the one hearing these complaints. I came to the conclusion (in my head) that this woman was disillusioned. You don't give money to Heifer to give to Overlook Farm. You give to Heifer because you believe in the mission of Heifer and you genuinely care about the plight of how the other 2/3 of the world lives and you want to be a part of the solution. In my opinion, if the kids did the fundraising, and they enjoyed themselves and want to come back, then they should be able to. It's sad that a bunch of stuffy adults who think they've been mistreated can be such a detriment to broadening the scope of a child's capacity to learn and grow and experience. I hope they come back for the kids' sakes.
All that to say, it sounds like I'm complaining a lot, but I'm really not. I love my job and I love the farm, and that means taking the stuff that sucks with the great stuff. Like I said before, I am learning A LOT, and that's good. It's all really good.
Stay hydrated and don't support genetically modified food (cough cough current tomato crisis) ,
P.S. buy local!