Finally here are some of the images and info updating you on our progress in the garden. The three of us (Miriam, Melissa and Ronald) along with Palestinian architect, Rawan Serhan arrived at Al Shurooq School about 2 weeks ago and have been in the garden ever since. We have been working together with the kids at the school, and have had a variety of drop in volunteers who have offered their support.
When we arrived we found the garden full of weeds and so our first task was removing them, for this we recruited some very eager and enthusiastic young volunteers (the kids from the school). We continued shifting rocks – of which there are many – and the task of moving soil from one place to another began. In the first week the Zyara 2009 group joined us for a day helping with painting and landscaping, and we did the first photography workshop with the kids. For this we brought disposable cameras from Scotland for each child, Arabic speaking volunteers worked with the kids individually throughout.
Prompted by the delivery of a truck of what can only be described as large boulders, kindly donated by the Beit Jala municipality, we have incorporated these into the focal point which we had been developing, making a stone structure forming a circular mound.
We have made many trips around the area from Beit Jala to Bethelem to Beit Sahour, visiting local businesses and scavenging recycled materials that can be incorporated into the garden. These have included old tyres, wooden cable wheels, wooden palettes, scrap and felled olive wood so far.
We have also been working with a local carpenter in designing the pergola – another focal point in the garden. This arrived and was constructed a couple of days ago. Today we will do some planting with the children, on their last day of summer camp and do a final photography workshop…
Photos showing the progress made so far
We are now in our last week in the school, with the main heavy duty work behind us we still have more planting, leveling, painting and sanding to do. For this final week we will focus in on the details needed to bring our work on the garden to a finish for this year.