Constant Gardeners at Work

Besides attending school in the morning, English classes in the afternoon, and extracurricular activities on the weekend, Little Hearts residents share a variety of responsibilities in order to keep our facility clean, orderly and welcoming. Yes, you guessed the dreaded word – chores! Chores are assigned to all kids on a rotating schedule and cover everything from cleaning the bathrooms to helping out in the kitchen to watering the lawns.

Today’s post features a few images of the kids busy with maintenance of the green areas. They are quite extensive: a grassy football pitch at the centre of the facility, a net-house for growing vegetables at the back, flower pots all around, and of course our most cherished green space – the small botanical garden that the kids created six months at the front of the main building. With its placid pond, the tinkle of water coming from the bamboo water wheel, the shade of a few fruit trees, and the frequent chirping of birds, this is a place that invites quiet meditation and gives the kids a chance to retreat from the bustle of the classrooms and dormitories. There are benches here where the kids often meet in small groups to enjoy a quiet moment or a private conversation.

The botanical patch is also home to our two exotic pets, the sugar gliders. These tiny arboreal possums love sweet foods like fruit and honey and are able to glide through the air like flying squirrels – hence the name. We keep them in a large and comfortable cage lest they fly away. Of all the kids, Ben and Lisa are especially attached to the gliders and feed them daily.

The pond is the botanical garden’s centrepiece. It must be cleaned thoroughly once a month, a complex operation that involves temporarily relocating its inhabitants (carp and turtles).

Elsewhere on the compound, the grass (both in the botanical garden and on the football pitch) must be mowed and weeds removed weekly. And all green areas and flower beds are watered frequently; as we’re now in the dry season, that means daily.

All these ‘green’ chores are done by the kids without too much complaint, while Billy keeps a watchful eye on everything. Thank you, everyone, for making our living environment so pleasant and home-like.

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