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    Fruit trees make the Rubondo community even greener

    Day 183

    Shading the Way

    The Rubondo Secondary School sits on a large hill, with lots of land surrounding the school. When you stand outside of the classrooms, looking down the hill, you feel the vastness of the Rubondo community and how green and lush it is.

    The area around the school is green, and just down the hill is a well where the community pumps water.

    But there are no trees past the main road, and the students walk up a bare hill in the heat before getting into their classroom.

    As another learning opportunity, as a way to shade part of the students’ walk to school, and even as a source of additional nutrients, we decided to plant over 200 fruit trees on the school property!

    Students, visitors from the US, and staff from our international programs planted a combination of different trees to line a walkway for the students to use, and decorated other parts of the property that have plenty of sun and space.

    The students had anticipated our arrival – they decided to dig most of the holes before we got there, creating the path so that we could plant dozens of trees in less than an hour!

    We planted so many fruit trees! Mangoes, guavas, oranges, and avocados, as well as nim trees — a medicinal tree that helps keep other trees healthy and keeps away mosquitos.

    The students loved the activity. A handful were running back and forth from the well fetching water for the newly planted trees, while others helped ensure the holes were substantial enough to accommodate the tree and that the soil was compacted around the new seedlings.

    Not only did they promise to care for the trees, but they wrote down all of the names of the travelers helping so that they could name the tree after each person. “When we pick an avocado tree from here, we’ll be eating a Samantha avocado and an avocado from here will be known as a Selwyn avocado.”

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