Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wisconsin Volunteers Travel to Guyana

On April 17th, two volunteers from Wisconsin traveled to Georgetown, Guyana to fill a “non-traditional” Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer assignment: video production. This is the second volunteer assignment for video producer, Cheryl Diermyer, and the first for Pat Fellows. Their assignment the first week is to produce a training video on Hydroponic Shadehouse Gardening.

Over the past few years the unpredictable weather patterns, long periods of drought and especially rain and flooding, have made traditional gardening challenging and not profitable for many gardeners in Guyana. A new method of gardening is being introduced to the Guyanese, Hydroponic Shadehouse Gardening. While it is beginning to catch on among some gardeners/farmers, it is hoped this video will assist Hydroponic Shadehouse staff with training. The video will also help to introduce Hydroponic Shadehouse gardening to farmers, assist those who have already built their Shadehouses, make improvements to their structures as they expand, and better manage pests.

During the first week in Guyana, Cheryl and Pat interviewed and videotaped two Hydroponic Shadehouse owners who shared information that will be used in the training video. Over 200 photographs and approximately 2 hours of video was shot of the Shadehouses, the owners, and their yield.

This past weekend, Easter weekend, a huge holiday in Guyana, was celebrated. In addition to the traditions of attending church on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the Guyanese eat hot cross buns on Holy Thursday and have a huge celebration on Easter Monday where everyone gathers near the seawall to fly kites, celebrating the Resurrection. This was quite an amazing sight, hundreds of kites in the air at one time.

The first week here was very productive, as well as very fulfilling for us. Getting to know the families we spent time with during recording and learning more about the Easter customs of Guyana has given us a wonderful glimpse into the lives of the Guyanese people as we continue our work here.

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