Day two at Orkeeswa! The tree planting planning group made a lot of progress and is very hopeful for our project. In order to learn more about local erosion and ensure the long term success of our efforts, we have been working closely with the community. Today the village elders, the chairman, and the headmistress of Orkeeswa lower school joined us, and we asked them questions to learn about what kinds of plants are best suited to protect the soil. At the end of our meeting each group, consisting of two Groton students and two Orkeeswa students, pitched their ideas to the larger group. We are not sure which idea we are going to use yet, but we know we are planting 600 trees around the nearby dam and primary school. Planting trees creates landcover which reduces runoff and prevents erosion. Our project is inspired by the Greenbelt movement in Kenya whose leaders focused on listening to locals and planting trees to protect the environment and empower women. I like this project because it gives me a chance to work with the older students, and I can’t wait to start planting trees on Thursday! Tomorrow is safari day, so a change of pace from a typical day at school. Lyndsey, Emma, Sarah, and I want to let our parents know we are craving grilled cheese, but we’re having a lot of fun.