I had misconceptions of what we were going to do during our internship. I was too boxed in by my idea of what an NGO and what CWTS activities usually were. To be honest, I had thought we were going to be immersed into communities, people and realities that differ from our own to gain a greater awareness of what it is we, especially as students subsidized by the people for the people, should always keep in mind. And to some extent this did occur, but not really in the way I was imagining it to. Yes, we did get immersed into a different community but it was within the walls of the PRRM headquarters or rather their rooftop. We interacted most with what was often around us but usually forgotten, nature, or more specifically, the plants.
I had never really taken an interest in gardening or plants in general (except for that one week during the summer when I was a wee child where I planted mongo seeds which, to be fair, were very easy to grow). I used the fact that I’ve been living in rural communities my entire life as an excuse for my indifference. My stay in the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement taught me that wasn’t a valid excuse at all. In fact, one of PRRM’s interests is the propagation and protection of the environment in the rural setting. This is in line with their main concerns, Sustainable Agriculture. Their urban garden is a showcase of their work on this issue. I’ve been saying in my blogs that I’m going to do whatever I can do with my own capabilities to help our community and I think this has actually given me another avenue to be able to do just that. We need to step up and take care of our environment
Last Monday, during our last meeting one of our bosses asked us, “Tutuloy mo ba talaga ito (sa bahay niyo)?” and I thought why not? I have nothing to lose. We have the means. In fact, my mother has actually already been doing just that. We even get some of our food ingredients (e.g. calamansi) from our very own garden.
I am grateful to the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement. I’ve experienced a tiny bit of what our farmers go through and have gained a greater appreciation for them. I was introduced to sustainable development in a more in depth level and was oriented on its importance to our communities and environment. I have gained a greater work ethic and a respect for the work force, especially the NGOs who do their work for the benefit of others. I was given a new way to actually make a difference (even if the effects can be views as miniscule). So if ever you’re reading this Boss Jo, thank you very much. 🙂