Day 15 (July 07) of this great adventure, we rounded up as many SES students as possible and headed to Firefly for their scheduled Baga-Beach-Lovers cleanup day. The SES students are so great and willing to be involved. They arrived on our "mzungu" time (which means they were on time) as opposed to African time (which means sometime) and eager to start the day.
When I traveled to Bagamoyo in 2012, one of the things that bothered me the most was the trash that littered the streets and the beach. Much has changed in the past 6 years and the local citizens have taken the initiative to clean it up. They schedule Saturdays to meet and clean and have provided recycle/trash bins on the beach for every day use.
Ashley Washburn, Founder of Asante Sana For Education (ASFE) supports this initiative and helps to involve the students in understanding the importance of their environment. ASFE provided the team with gloves for all those that participated on this day and then donated to the Baga-Beach-Lovers organization.
An instructor met us and provided education and understanding about trash and how it impacts our environment on land and water. And, how littering the environment impacts our and all living things health. Instructions were given on what was trash and what was recyclable materials and we split up into groups with large bags and headed to the beach.
What a great experience. We loaded up those bags easily as there was a lot of litter! And, it felt good to know that I was a part of something that had most likely been my most bothersome thing about a wonderful place called Bagamoyo from many years ago.
When we returned to our meeting place with our bags, our instructor showed us how to separate the recyclable items. She also taught us about a mobile app “World Cleanup”, which shows you how you can take pics of trash around the world and then another when it is cleaned up. It is a mobile app and very interesting and I encourage everyone to take a look and realize how there are people all over the world aware of the issue of litter and its impact. And, it is comforting that so many more are aware of the issue and want to be a part of making a change.
It was a learning day for the students, yet it was also very hot and humid and not even noon yet. ASFE arranged to have New Millennium Hotel host the SES students and ASFE volunteers (Kristin, Isabelle, Zura, and me) for refreshments on its roof of eight stories that overlooks the Indian Ocean. It was a treat for these students. But, this biggest treat was for the volunteers that was honored to spend time with this special group. We have all found them to be outstanding citizens and we are as proud of them as those involved in ASFE.