Sunday, October 5, 2008
Tomorrow is my first official day at ECHO! Here is an overview of what I'll be doing for the next several months...
During the month of October I will be primarily completing orientation tasks. In the mornings I'll alternate working with five of the six interns in their various garden plots: the Tropical Lowlands, the Rainforest, the Urban Rooftop, the Tropical Highlands, and the Semi-Arid garden. The only garden I will not work with is the Monsoon garden, which I will eventually inherit the maintenance of.
In November I begin shadowing Heidi, who is the current intern over the Monsoon garden. For the entire month I'll be learning the garden by working alongside Heidi, so that at the end of the month I can take over the maintenance and planning of the area. This also includes caring for the chickens and the Moringa trees.
From December on I will work a more constant schedule: work in the Monsoon garden and plant nursery, trainings and seminars on Mondays and Wednesdays respectively, large project farm work on Thursdays, and other tasks including leading tours of the farm and working in the bookshop. Next August I'll begin training my own replacement.
We work 6 days per work: 7:30 - 5:00 (although often later) on Monday through Friday, and then Saturday mornings. I recognize that it will be difficult work and long days, but right now I can't wait to start.
During these few days before the internship I have been hospitably welcomed by a lot of people. The Johns and Valkenburg families have both welcomed me into their homes and fed me, and their warmth has definitely eased the transition to life in Fort Myers. I have also enjoyed getting to know the rest of the staff here at ECHO. The girls living in the India house had the guys (Asia house) to dinner one night, which was incredible (even though they fed us caterpillers. No lie.).
Anyway, thanks for bearing with my long post. If you have any questions or just want to say hello, I'd love to get emails from some of y'all!